The results of the local elections are in and sixty four of the candidates who signed the SECA ABCD climate pledge have been elected across the South East. This is an encouraging outcome and a sign that both candidates and voters want climate to stay centre stage for local councils, not drop off the agenda..
Thanks to the efforts of local SECA groups who contacted large numbers of candidates, and local political parties who picked up on the pledge, a total of 331 pledges came in altogether. This is far more than we reached in the 2019 elections and an indicator of the growing importance of the climate emergency as an election issue. All the candidates that were elected are highlighted at the top of the pledge register below. The other pledges are listed below them.
It is interesting (and heartening) to see the fairly even spread of political parties amongst those 64 pledge candidates that were elected:
- Labour 23
- Conservative 15
- Lib Dem 14
- Green 12 (many in seats or councils where they are the first ever Green party councillors)
Discussions are taking place about the best way to follow up on the pledge with the new councillors. We will gather ideas from the SECA steering group and from other groups involved in the pledge collecting and give an update on suggestions in the next newsletter.
Here’s an overview of the results:
County Council Results
In East Sussex County Council 8 out of 50 seats are now held by pledge councillors (4 Green, 2 Lib Dem and 2 Labour). Well done to Julia Hilton who is on the SECA steering group and was elected in Hastings.
In Kent County Council 3 out of 80 seats are held by pledge councillors (2 Labour and 1 Lib Dem in the Canterbury area)
In Hampshire County Council 4 out 78 seats are held by pledge councillors (2 Conservative and 2 Lib Dem)
In Surrey County Council 2 out of 81 seats are held by pledge councillors (2 Green). Congratulations to Jonathan Essex who has a long connection with SECA and held his seat in Redhill.
In West Sussex County Council 18 out of 70 seats are held by pledge councillors ( 7 Conservative, 7 Lib Dem, 3 Labour and 1 Green). Congratulations go to Jay Mercer who is a SECA stalwart and Sarah Sharp who is a longstanding SECA supporter and is the first Green party councillor on WSCC.
District and Borough Elections
There was a strong showing in Hastings Borough Council where 7 Labour and 1 Green pledge candidates were elected. Congratulations again to Julia Hilton, who is the first Green councillor elected to Hastings BC.
In Adur District Council 4 pledge candidates were elected (1 Conservative, 2 Labour and 1 Green for the first time). In Worthing 3 were elected (all Labour).
In Reigate and Banstead 2 Green councillors were elected for the first time.
2 pledge councillors are in place in Crawley, Mole Valley, Fareham and Gosport.
1 pledge councillor is in place in Canterbury, Havant, Isle of Wight and Thanet
We all wish that more candidates had been prepared to pledge. But as a result of the ABCD campaign, we can be encouraged that more climate and divestment issues have been raised and discussed in party circles, more contacts with councillors have been initiated, and more elected councillors will be aware of the public pressure out here for climate action and divestment.
So all in all, we can say the pledge campaign was definitely worth all the effort that went into it!