Local elections 2019…. is the environment winning? #LE2019

1st May 2019

With one day of campaigning left before the local elections in Greater Manchester on Thursday 2nd May,  Manchester Friends of the Earth welcomes the  cross-party support from candidates for urgent action on key environmental issues facing us locally, nationally and worldwide. (1)

Each candidates’ responses are available for people to view online (2) and so far, 253 (25%) of the 994 local candidates have replied. Of the candidates who have responded:

* 96% would support a Climate Emergency motion in their local authority area. (Q1)

* 94% supported re-regulation of our bus services in Greater Manchester. (Q6)

* 94% would support the introduction of a zero-carbon standard for all new buildings in Greater Manchester from 2021 (Q3)

* 91% support the phase out of pesticide use in their local authority area (Q9)

* 90% agreed that the Greater Manchester Pension Fund should fully divest from fossil fuels in the next two years (Q2)

* 80% support the introduction of a cap on emissions from flights to and from Manchester Airport (Q8)

* 75% support the introduction of a Clean Air Zone D (which includes private cars) in the Regional Centre (Q5)

* 72% would  support a ban on pavement parking in your council area (Q7)

Catherine Thomson, Manchester Friends of the Earth co-ordinator said: “We wouldn’t dream of telling people which way to vote but we think voters have the right to know where candidates stand on urgent environmental issues that will affect all our lives, such as climate change and air pollution.”

“Our elected councillors need to put young people first and act now for a sustainable future. The longer we put off these tough decisions the harder it will be for future generations.”

“We would like to thank the candidates who took the time to respond and let voters know their views on these important issues.”

Across Greater Manchester response rates for candidates from each political party ranged from: Green Party 58%, Liberal Democrats 34%, Labour Party 30%,  “others” 22%, Conservative Party 5% and UKIP 2%.  (3)

Response rates for each local council area ranged from Manchester (48.1%) to Wigan (12%). (4)

On Thursday 2nd May, people in Greater Manchester have the opportunity to vote for the local councillors to represent them. The local councillors elected will have to implement solutions to meet many social and environmental challenges during the next 5 years and beyond. These include rising transport & energy costs, traffic congestion, illegal levels of air pollution, ill health, low levels of physical activity and the urgent need to drastically reduce climate-wrecking emissions.


Contact for comments:  Pete Abel, Manchester Friends of the Earth, Mobile: 07951 642858.

Notes for Editors

1) See https://www.manchesterfoe.org.uk/election-survey-2019-parties/

2)  See https://www.manchesterfoe.org.uk/election-survey-2019-candidates/

See https://www.manchesterfoe.org.uk/election-survey-2019-questions/ for details of all the survey questions that candidates were asked. Also includes the background information provided with each question.

3) Between 15th to 30th April, where we could find contact details for candidates, we directly contacted approx 65% of local election candidates via a combination of email, Twitter or Facebook asking them to respond to the environment survey.  In addition, where contact details were available, local political parties were contacted  by email, Twitter or Facebook asking them to circulate details of the environment survey to all their local candidates.

4) Response rates for each Greater Manchester local council area are available at: https://www.manchesterfoe.org.uk/election-survey-2019-gm-areas/

5) 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: www.manchesterfoe.org.uk. Manchester Friends of the Earth is a Licensed Local Group of Friends of the Earth, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. www.foe.co.uk