Researching your Councillor

You can find out who your local Councillors are at Writetothem and using the Government website. Local council websites have more information on specific cabinet members such as their specific interests.

It is important to be aware of the:

  • Structure of your council

  • The political control of your council

The overall political control of councils

The political party composition of every local council is crucial in determining how the council works, as councillors tend to vote and act in line with the rest of their party. In councils with a ‘strong leader’ structure, the largest party has significant control, as they make up members of the cabinet, and opposition parties tend to only have the role of scrutiny.

‘Knowing the party that your councillor belongs to is crucial. In terms of freedoms some parties are terribly constrained in terms of having to follow the party line.’
— Jillian Creasey, former Green Councillor for Central Ward, Sheffield

Resources available to find out what your council is doing on climate change

The Local Government Association (LGA) has a ‘case studies’ page where you can search what your local council is doing on climate change. You can search by topic and area.

The cross-party LGA regularly briefs parliamentarians of all political affiliations on issues of concern and relevance to local government ahead of debates in Parliament. These can be found by searching a topic of interest e.g. ‘transport’ or ‘flooding’ on the LGA’s ‘briefings and responses’ page.

There are also many resources available to your Councillor to become better informed on climate change issues:

The LGA has created a ward Councillor workbook on climate change and their ‘compare renewables’ page helps Councillors to assess which renewable projects are viable in their local area.

Climate Local is an LGA initiative launched in 2012 which aims to support councils both to reduce carbon emissions and to increase resilience to climate change. As of 2014, 96 local authorities had signed up. Less than half these councils have submitted progress reports (possibly suggesting that councils are backing out on commitments or there is a lack of funding).

You can find out which councils have declared climate emergencies, and information about councillors, campaigning, and zero carbon Britian’s research on this website: