Campaign to Protect Rural England Standing up for your countryside

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How you can make a difference in the local elections

At CPRE, we are big believers in local democracy and in the importance of people and communities having an influence over the decisions that affect their lives. The upcoming local elections being held in England on Thursday 2 May are a great opportunity to have a say on matters affecting your area.

Voting will be taking place in 248 councils, electing over 8,500 councillors and six directly elected mayors, with almost every part of the country being affected in some way. This is the biggest local election in a number of years, and could see the political landscape at the local level shift significantly.

We have created this video to explain why it is so important that we get out and vote in these elections!

Our manifesto for the countryside

We have launched a manifesto, Stand up for your local countryside, calling on candidates of all parties to support the rights of all people to enjoy a countryside that promotes a healthier economy and a happier community.

We ask prospective mayors and councillors, if elected, to support policies that address:

  • Best use of land - respecting the constraints of designated landscapes, making use of brownfield sites and prioritising sustainable, public transport.
  • Thriving rural communities - getting the local council building more homes for social rent and prioritising local housing need over market demand.
  • Empowered communities - championing and upholding the voice of local people through the planning system.
  • An enjoyable countryside – developing light pollution policies and encouraging outreach and engagement programmes to provide equal access to the countryside.
  • Climate change and the countryside – setting a local authority climate change strategy and embedding climate change into all local policy areas.

You can read the full manifesto here.

What can you do?


Find the information you need:

To find out what local council you live in, go here:
To find out where your polling station is, go here:
To find out who the candidates are, go here:


Engage with your candidates:

In the run up to election time, you can contact your local candidates and let them know the most important things to you and ask that they reflect this in their election promises. One of the easiest ways to engage with your candidates is to send them an email or a letter. You should be able to find their email and postal addresses using the links above. 

We have drafted an email/letter that you could send them – see here.  And our manifesto, Stand up for our local countryside, can be found here if you would like to include it. 

There are often local hustings events where you can go along to meet the candidates and ask them questions. These are likely to be advertised locally, so keep an eye out for them in your local newspaper and other media.


Get out and vote:

Most importantly, make sure you take the time to go down to the polling station and vote!

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