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News release: Local elections 2024: from clean air, better buses, school streets to tackling the climate crisis – what are local election candidates views?

news release

Ahead of the local elections, Manchester Friends of the Earth is asking all council candidates standing for election across Greater Manchester to let voters know what they think about key environmental issues. [1]

On Thursday 2nd May, people have the opportunity to vote for the local councillors who will represent them.

If elected as a local councillor they will be a member of a Greater Manchester local authority that will have to address urgent environmental and social challenges during their term and beyond.

Climate change, nature, and human wellbeing are inextricably linked. If these are not addressed adequately then the cost to current and future generations in terms of lives lost, livelihoods damaged, and economic harm will be severe. It is the poorest in the world who are suffering most, despite contributing least to the problem.

Manchester Friends of the Earth are asking all local council candidates to let voters know their views on 14 key environment issues, including if the candidates will:

* make climate action one of their top priorities if elected?

* support increasing the percentage of primary schools in your local council area with a permanent school street to 25% within 5 years?

* support a significant increase in a network of radial and orbital bus priority routes to help provide consistent and reliable bus journey times across Greater Manchester?

* support introducing a workplace parking levy for large and medium-sized businesses in Greater Manchester?

* support the introduction of a Departure Tax at Manchester Airport to raise funds for climate action across Greater Manchester?

[See note 2 for full list of questions].

Catherine Thomson, Manchester Friends of the Earth coordinator said:

“We need our local councillors to make tackling the climate and biodiversity crisis a priority. The transition to a carbon-neutral Greater Manchester must be socially just and support those who are most disadvantaged first.  The longer we put off these tough decisions the harder it will be.”

“We think voters have the right to know where candidates stand on key environmental issues that affect all our lives, such as air pollution, warm homes, affordable public transport and climate change.”

The responses received so far from candidates are available online [3] together with summary response charts by political party and local council area [4].

ENDS

Contact for comments:  Pete Abel, Manchester Friends of the Earth.  Mobile: 07951 642858   email: pete@manchesterfoe.org.uk 

Notes for editors

1) See manchesterfoe.org.uk/le2024

Where possible we directly contact local candidates by email, Twitter or Facebook. We also contact local political parties and ask them to circulate the survey to all their local candidates.

2) Candidates are being asked to give their views on the following 14 questions:

Q1: Will you make climate action one of your top priorities if you’re elected?

Q2: Will you support increasing the percentage of primary schools in your local council area with a permanent school street to 25% within 5 years?

Q3: Will you support the GMPF Divestment Pledge: “If elected, I will do all I can to ensure the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, which is controlled by the ten GM councils, ends investment in fossil fuels within the next two years and invests in a just transition to a zero-carbon economy.”?

Q4: Will you push for a workplace parking levy for large and medium-sized businesses in Greater Manchester?

Q5: Will you encourage your council to install on-street bike storage in local residential areas?

Q6: Will you call on the Greater  Manchester Combined Authority to set a clear pathway to meet the World Health Organization targets for healthy air by 2030?

Q7: Will you encourage your council to streamline the local planning system to make heat pump installations and retrofit easier, and push for a consistent approach across Greater Manchester?

Q8: Will you support a ban on pavement parking in your council area?

Q9: Will you do all you can to ensure that your local authority puts in place plans to double tree cover in your council area?

Q10: Do you support the introduction of a zero-carbon standard for all new buildings in your Council’s Local Plan?

Q11: Will you support a significant increase in a network of radial and orbital bus priority routes to help provide consistent and reliable bus journey times across Greater Manchester?

Q12: Do you support the introduction of an ‘ethical advertising policy’ on Council-controlled sites?

Q13: Do you support the introduction of a departure tax at Manchester Airport to raise funds for climate action across Greater Manchester?

Q14: Do you pledge to support 65%+ recycling alongside residual waste reduction targets by opposing all new incineration capacity and opposing long-term council waste contracts that are incompatible with these targets?

See Local elections 2024: candidate survey questions and background information

3) The local council candidate responses are published online as they are received.  See  Election Survey 2024 – Candidates  (click on the relevant local council tab)

4) See 

Election Survey 2024 – Areas.

Election Survey 2024 – Parties

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

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