Elections 2021: Mayoral candidates to be quizzed on their commitments to restoring nature and becoming carbon neutral
15th March 2021
On 6 May 2021 there is a local election to decide the Mayor for Bristol, as well as the Metro Mayor – the regional Mayor for the West of England. Both roles are held until 2025 and have local decision-making powers, so whoever gets voted in will have a lot of influence over how our city and region responds to the climate and ecological emergencies we face.
Bristol Green Capital Partnership, in collaboration with local organisations and groups, is organising two hustings events to focus on what commitments each candidate will make to ensure our area’s response to these emergencies will be fast and fair: one event for Metro Mayoral candidates on Monday 19 April and one for the Bristol Mayoral candidates on Tuesday 27 April, both held online from 6-7.30pm.
What is a hustings?
A hustings is a meeting where election candidates debate policies and answer audience questions. All candidates are invited and have a chance to share their views and respond to questions so these events are politically neutral. Sometimes, as in this case, hustings are organised around a particular issue or set of issues.
What powers do the Mayors have?
The Bristol Mayor leads the council and councillors and has decision-making powers for the city. They also represent the city at a national and international level.
Bristol is the first city in the UK to declare both climate and ecological emergencies – with an ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030 and to restore nature for wildlife and people to thrive together. The Mayor of Bristol has a unique opportunity to lead the city in its urgent response to these emergencies and accelerate progress in a way that involves and benefits all communities.
The Metro Mayor holds power and funding for transport, housing, and adult education and skills, for the whole area.
All three of the local authorities in the West of England have declared climate emergencies, as has the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and all have set targets for their areas to be zero carbon by 2030. The WECA area covers Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
The West of England Metro Mayor has a great deal of influence over how the region will respond to these emergencies over the next decade and meet ambitious targets. A green and fair recovery needs the political vision and will to implement with the urgency required.
You can hear candidates answer questions on how they will lead our city and region to restore nature for wildlife and become carbon neutral by 2030, and compare how each candidate responds. This can help inform your decision on who to vote for, and rather than reading all policies, it is a much livelier way to engage in the democratic process – with opportunities to ask questions during the event. Find out if each candidate is willing to take action on climate change and address the ecological emergency seriously, responding with the urgency required and in a way that will benefit all people and communities.
Submit your questions
To help us to represent your views and questions in during the event, we invite you to share your questions for candidates and tell us about what matters most to you and your community.
Make sure you book your place for both events and we will send you a video link before the event
- Everything you need to know about metro mayors from Centre for Cities
- An introduction to local government: Bristol City Council and an elected Mayor
- What are metro mayors and combined authorities from Climate Action
- Come along to the Green Mingle 5.30-7pm on Thursday 1st April to hear more about why this election matters and what several groups, campaigns and organisations across the region are calling for
What asks would you make?
As we get closer to the elections, groups and organisations across the region are working together to set out their asks for candidates.
- Representatives from Friends of the Earth and Climate Action Groups, working together under the banner of Climate Action West of England have published a Climate Action Plan for the WECA region and are asking the Mayoral candidates to adopt its policies in their own manifestos.
- An alliance between Avon Wildlife Trust, Bristol Avon Rivers Trust, Friends of the Earth, CPRE Avon and Bristol, Forest of Avon Trust, National Trust, RSPB and Woodland Trust have set out their policy asks for the Metro Mayor in the manifesto: A nature-rich West of England
If you are working with a group or alliance to outline your asks for candidates, let us know by e-mailing email@example.com