Local elections 2021
On the 6th May 2021, people across England will head to the polls to vote for their local councillors in the biggest ever series of local elections in England.
Your councillors (the people you are voting for) have the power to help local people and enable nature’s recovery. They make many decisions at a local level that impact your community and wildlife locally, including, having a say in what will be built and where, how to control air pollution, how to improve access to green spaces and they will play a key role in developing a Nature Recovery Network.
The local elections are an important opportunity to ensure our future local representatives have nature’s recovery, climate action and a green and fair recovery from the pandemic at the top of their agenda.
Yet despite their importance, around 65% of people don't vote in the local elections.
For more information on the local elections, why they are important and how to get involved, read our local election guide.
1. Ask your local councillor candidates to stand up for nature
We need our political leaders to step up and take immediate action to reverse declines in wildlife and restore the natural systems on which we all depend.
You can use our template to write to your local council candidates to ask them how they will tackle the climate and ecological emergencies elected and whether they pledge to put forward a motion for the council to declare an ecological emergency.
Use our email template to write to your candidates now!
Dear [INSERT CANDIDATES NAME HERE],
As you are a candidate in the upcoming local elections, I am writing to you today to ask how you plan to tackle the ecological emergency and support nature’s recovery in my local area if elected as a councillor.
We are facing an ecological and climate emergency, and, in the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration, we need to see our political leaders take urgent action to ensure nature’s recovery locally and globally.
I am greatly concerned about the decline of nature in my community, and the large numbers of people deprived of accessible green and wild spaces. [INSERT WHY NATURE IS IMPORTANT FOR YOU OR COPY THE FOLLOWING... For me, nature has never been more important. We have relied on greenspaces that are rich in wildlife for our physical and mental health during a difficult time for everyone.]
We know that nature’s recovery is also vital for tackling the climate crisis and that nature underpins a healthy and thriving society and economy. Thriving habitats can safely lock up vast amounts of carbon, while providing other vital benefits that help us adapt, such as flood prevention, clean water and improved health and wellbeing.
If elected as a local councillor you will play a vital role in restoring nature and tackling the climate crisis locally. As a constituent, I am clear that these are key issues when considering who to vote for in the upcoming local elections.
Therefore, I am writing to ask what are your plans to tackle the ecological emergency and put nature into recovery in our local community?
I am also asking that you pledge to put forward a motion for the council to declare an ecological emergency if you are elected. Through declaring an ecological emergency and putting a strategy, targets and an action plan in place, councils can be part of the change to reverse declines in wildlife and restore a healthy natural environment for people and wildlife.
[INSERT YOUR NAME HERE]
[INSERT ADDRESS AND POSTCODE]
How do I find out who is standing to be my local representative?
If you are in Portsmouth, Southampton or the Isle of Wight, you will just be voting for your local councillors to represent your local area, also called a ward. However, in the rest of Hampshire, you will be voting for your ward councillors who represent you at your district council and for the councillors who will represent your division (broad area) at Hampshire County Council.
To find out what elections are happening near you and find a candidate list, you can use the Democracy Club's online tool and type in your postcode: https://whocanivotefor.co.uk/
The official full candidate lists will also be published on your District, City or County Council's website from the 9th of April 2021.
2. Meet your local council candidates and quiz them about what they'll do for nature
Meeting your local council candidates is a good way to understand their priorities and identify how committed they are to acting on the climate and ecological emergency.
We recommend contacting a councillor candidate from each major political party in your ward and asking them for an online meeting to discuss how they will take action for nature.
For more information about meeting with your local candidates, read our local election guide.
Questions you could ask your local candidates
What are your plans to reverse the decline of nature in my local community?
If elected, how will you tackle the ecological emergency?
If elected, will you pledge to table a motion for council to declare an ecological emergency, setting out a clear strategy, targets and an action plan for nature’s recovery locally?
Lockdown has shown us the value of greenspaces near to where we live, how will you support and increase access to nature-rich green spaces in our local area?
We know that we need to join up fragmented habitats into a ‘Nature Recovery Network’, how will you work to put this into place?
How will you support the local community to take action for nature locally?
3. Ask a question at a hustings or organise a hustings
Hustings are an opportunity for voters to hear the views of candidates on a range of issues and in turn, voters can raise issues that matter to them, by asking questions during the event.
To find out more about attending, asking a question at, or organising a hustings, read our local election guide.
4. Vote for the candidates that stand up for nature
On Thursday the 6th May 2021, vote for the councillors who you can trust to speak up and take action for nature.
Remember, if you are not already registered to vote in England, the deadline to register for the local elections is the 19th April 2021.