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News release: How ‘green’ are your local election candidates? – the interim results.

25th April 2012
news
release

Ahead of the Greater Manchester local elections on Thursday 3rd May, Manchester Friends of the Earth have announced the interim results of the online environmental issues survey of election candidates. [1]
Manchester Friends of the Earth campaigns on a wide range of issues relating to sustainability and social justice including climate change, corporate responsibility, real food, trade justice, sustainable transport, aviation and waste & recycling.

We believe that voters in Greater Manchester should have clear information on the environmental policies of their local election candidates.

So far, a total of 105 local election candidates out of the 826 Greater Manchester candidates have responded to the survey (12.7%).  Respondents have included Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, and Andrew Fender, chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) committee.

The survey has been completed by candidates from all 10 GM council areas.  Candidates from Trafford (28.6%), Manchester (20%) and Salford (15.2%) accounted for over 60% of the responses. Labour Party (37.1%) and Green Party (36.2%) candidates submitted nearly 75% of the survey responses – Liberal Democrats (14.3%), Conservatives (9.5%) and Others (2.9%).

The survey results highlighted clear support from local election candidates, from all political parties, for a range of environmental policies – yet such policies or targets have not been introduced by most of the local councils in Greater Manchester. For example:

* Supporting the creation of a Bee Action Plan by your Council to create natural habitats in public open spaces (87%).

* Asking your Council to switch to a renewable energy tariff for its buildings and services (76%).

* Backing a recycling target of 70% by 2025 for Greater Manchester (86%).

* Supporting better integration of cycling and public transport, e.g. through the provision of cycle carriage on off-peak Metrolink trams and longer distance bus services (83%).

* Support the introduction of a default speed limit of 20mph in all residential areas for the benefit of people walking and cycling (79%).

* Agree that your Council should fund campaigns to promote cycling as a healthy and sustainable mode of transport (80%).   (See note 2 below for survey response results).

Ali Abbas, Manchester Friends of the Earth energy campaigner said: “With 76% of local election candidates supporting a switch to a renewable energy tariff for their Councils buildings and services it is time for all local authorities to make this change.  This will support Clean British energy and also help Greater Manchester meet its C02 reduction targets.”

The survey also highlighted that local election candidates from all political parties show little support for Manchester Airport’s plans to double its passenger throughput by 2030 with only 16% of respondents indicating that they supported the plans.

Colette Humphrey, Manchester Friends of the Earth, joint co-ordinator said: “The survey has highlighted the cross-party politiical support for a range of key environmental policies. It is time for local councils to turn this support into action.”

Manchester Friends of the Earth would like to thank all the candidates who completed our survey. We will be publishing the full survey results so that voters can have clear information on the environmental policies of their local candidates. We would like to encourage all local election candidates who haven’t yet completed the survey to give us their views.

ENDS

CONTACTS FOR COMMENTS

Dr Graeme Sherriff, Manchester Friends of the Earth, Transport campaign co-ordinator.  Mobile: 07948 405071..

Pete Abel, Manchester Friends of the Earth Co-ordinator. Mobile: 07951 642858.

Notes to Editors:

[1] The environmental issues survey is available via: https://manchesterfoe.org.uk/blog/2012/04/17/survey-of-local-election-candidates-tell-us-how-green-you-are/

The deadline for candidates to respond was midnight Tuesday 24th April. The data included here are the interim results. We would like to encourage all local election candidates who haven’t yet completed the survey to give us their views. Updated results will be made available on the Manchester FoE website.  manchesterfoe.org.uk

[2]  The interim survey results indicated strong support from respondents for the following environmental policies:

* Support for stronger regulations to stop supermarkets from throwing away edible fruit and vegetables because the food does not look perfect.

Overall support 90% of all respondents. (Green 100%, Labour 89%, Liberal Democrat 86%, Conservative 60%).

* Support for the creation of a Bee Action Plan by your Council to create natural habitats in public open spaces.  

Overall support 87% of all respondents. (Green 100%, Labour 87%, Liberal Democrat 79%, Conservative 60%).

* Asking their Council to switch to a renewable energy tariff for its buildings and services.

Overall support 76% of all respondents. (Green 97%, Liberal Democrat 79%, Labour 66%, Conservative 50%).

* Backing a recycling target of 70% by 2025 for Greater Manchester.

Overall support 86% of all respondents. (Green 91%, Labour Party 89%, Liberal Democrat 86%, Conservative 60%).

* Support better integration of cycling and public transport, e.g. through the provision of cycle carriage on off-peak Metrolink trams and longer distance bus services.

Overall support 83% of all respondents. (Green 88%, Labour Party 79%, Liberal Democrat 79%, Conservative 50%).

* Agree that your Council should fund campaigns to promote cycling as a healthy and sustainable mode of transport.

Overall support 80% of all respondents. (Green 97%, Liberal Democrat 86%, Labour Party 68%, Conservative 60%).

* Support the introduction of a default speed limit of 20mph in all residential areas for the benefit of people walking and cycling.

Overall support 79% of all respondents. (Green 88%, Labour Party 79%, Liberal Democrat 79%, Conservative 50%).

The interim survey results indicated moderate support from respondents for the following environmental policies:

* Call on their Council to declare itself a ‘Fracking-Free Zone’.

Overall support 66% of all respondents. (Green 91%, Liberal Democrat 67%, Labour Party 66%, Conservative 10%).

* Support your local authority becoming / continuing to be a Nuclear-Free Local Authority.

Overall support 66% of all respondents. (Green 91%, Liberal Democrat 64%, Labour Party 63%, Conservative 0%).

* Support a target of 20% of journeys under 5 miles being made by bike by 2020.

Overall support 66% of all respondents. (Green 94%, Labour Party 61%, Liberal Democrat 50%, Conservative 40%).

* Support on-road cycle training being provided free of charge for adults, and funded by your local authority.

Overall support 60% of all respondents. (Green 85%, Labour Party 39%, Liberal Democrat 86%, Conservative 20%).

* Support the adoption of Meat-Free Mondays in all your Council’s catering and services.

Overall support 57% of all respondents. (Green 79%,  Liberal Democrat 57%, Labour Party 50%, Conservative 20%).

The interim survey results indicated no agreement / little support from respondents for the following environmental policy

* Support Manchester Airport’s plans to double its passenger throughput by 2030.

Overall support 16% of all respondents. (Conservative 30%, Labour Party 29%, Green 3%, Liberal Democrat 0%).

Overall No vote 44%. (Green 85%, Labour Party 13%, Liberal Democrat 12%, Conservative 10%).

Overall Undecided vote 31%. (Labour Party 47%, Liberal Democrat 43%, Conservative 30%, Green 12%).

[2] Manchester Friends of the Earth is an award-winning environmental campaign group, raising awareness and lobbying for policy changes at a local, regional, national and international level. The group consists entirely of volunteers, and its campaigns are funded by membership fees and individual donations.  Up-to-date information is available on the group’s website: manchesterfoe.org.uk  Manchester Friends of the Earth is a Licensed Local Group of Friends of the Earth, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.