IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this in April or early May 2021, please go to the webpage on our 2021 Local Elections Campaign [LINK]. The information below is mainly about getting motions passed by local councils - this will become relevant again after the elections on 6 May.
Local politics is very important in pushing for change at the national level. Of course, as a piece of national legislation, the CEE Bill doesn’t come under the remit of your local council. However, councils, local political parties and other bodies can declare their support for the Bill. In councils, this is achieved through the passing of a “motion” in support of the Bill. Motions are proposals that are discussed and voted on at council meetings. They can include clauses which call on the local MP (or MPs) to support the Bill in Parliament. The more local institutions there are across the UK that pass motions in favour of the CEE Bill, the more pressure is put on MPs in those areas to back the Bill in Parliament.
Check whether your council supports the CEE Bill
The way local government is organised in the UK is quite complex and depends on where you live. But for our campaign you don’t need to have a perfect grasp of it. The main thing is to try to get as many different councils as possible to back the Bill. Go to this webpage for a list of local councils that have already passed a motion in favour of the CEE Bill (scroll down past the MPs). Remember: even if one level of local government, say, your town or parish council, backs the Bill, another level, say your district, borough or county council, may not have passed a motion.
Find your local councillors
You can find out who your local councillors are at the various levels using the website WriteToThem.com. You might like to start by contacting the town or parish councillors that represent you, and then once you have gained their support, you can approach the next level up, whether that’s a district, county, borough, metropolitan or some other form of council (it’ll all be made clear for your area on the WriteToThem page). You could even ask the town/parish council to include a clause in their motion that calls on the next level of local government up to also pass a motion in favour of the Bill.
Contact your local council
Write to your local councillors using the resources listed below. We’ve included a template letter that you might like to adapt for your purposes. And you can even include a draft notice of motion. Providing the wording in this way makes it clearer what we are asking of the council, and does some of their work for them, making it one less hurdle to get over. There are two versions of the template letter and the draft motion, depending on whether your council has declared a climate emergency. If you’re not sure, check this list. Finally, we’ve also provided a draft press release that you can send to local media outlets to publicise the passing of the motion.
- Draft motion and letter for councils that have declared an emergency
- Draft motion and letter for councils that haven’t declared an emergency
- This webpage lists local authorities that have declared a climate emergency
- Link to the Climate and Ecology Bill (the official name of the CEE Bill) as published on the Parliament website
- The executive summary of the CEE Bill
- The CEE Bill briefing (coming soon)
- Draft Press release
Once you’ve contacted your councillors, there are various things you can do to chivvy along the process. Take a look at the detailed advice listed in the resources below for more useful information.
- Here is some more detailed advice on contacting your council about the CEE Bill, lobbying other councillors and following up on the whole process.
- Here is a link to the minutes from Warrington Borough council’s meeting on the CEE Bill - in case you want to take inspiration from this. Go to pages 5 and 6.
- This is a briefing for campaigners getting in touch with their local council in Powys. You could consider putting something similar together in your area.
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