November 17, 2023

Hustings aims to drive climate and nature up the political agenda ahead of local elections

  • The hustings will allow local people to explore the parties’ positions on climate and nature issues
  • Each of the four political parties currently represented on the Council has been invited to send a representative.
  • Voters care strongly about the environment, and it will play an important role in the upcoming local elections

The hustings will be run by local climate and nature charities and campaigners: Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust, Hope for the Future, and South Yorkshire Climate Alliance. All of them are working to get the voices of local people and community organisations heard and to ensure that voters are informed about how candidates and parties plan to put climate and nature at the heart of their agendas.

The event will be held in collaboration with Festival of Debate, and will take place online at 7pm on Tuesday 25th April. You can find more information and sign up here. Veteran non-party political campaigner Nigel Slack will be chairing the discussion.

Many climate and nature issues are related to policies which will impact the everyday lives of local people. These include sustainable transport, warmer homes, green jobs and energy, as well as climate impacts such as flooding. Accessible green spaces can serve both communities and nature.

Geoff Cox, Chair of the Climate Alliance, said “we must remember the recent words of the United Nations’ Secretary General that everyone, and everywhere, needs to be acting on the climate and biodiversity crises facing humanity – and that includes Sheffield.  Find out what the different Parties in this election are offering, and bear that in mind when you come to cast your vote.”

Ian Cracknell, Advocacy Officer at Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust, said "Almost two years have passed since Sheffield's councillors unanimously declared a nature emergency in our city. It is now time for our local representatives to step up efforts and enact meaningful change if we are to see a recovery for both climate and nature by the target of 2030. These hustings provide the perfect opportunity for people to hear what our local candidates propose to do to help nature's recovery and tackle climate change, and I look forward to hearing what they have to say.”

Alex Clegg, an Engagement Officer at Hope for the Future, said “Local councils have a huge role to play in tackling climate change and protecting our natural environment. Sheffield City Council is no different. Decisions by councils can make a big difference, whether improving public transport, ensuring warmer and more energy efficient homes, or protecting green spaces. This event is an opportunity for residents, business owners and communities across the city to come together and hear our future councillors' plans on what to do to reduce carbon emissions and adapt to a changing climate.”



Hope for the Future is a climate charity which works to equip communities, groups and individuals across the country with the skills to communicate the urgency of climate change with their local politicians. Each year, we train over 1,000 people and work with over 100 MPs and councils across the UK, alongside running community events and school workshops. Our aim is to ensure everyone’s voice is heard as the UK takes action on climate change. 

Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust is a registered charity that collaborates with the local community to safeguard and enhance the environment, creating a better future for wildlife, people and the green spaces that we all depend on. We manage 15 nature reserves including Wyming Brook, Greno Woods, and Centenary Riverside, and offer a year-round program of activities to inspire people of all ages to learn about nature and enjoy the great outdoors. The Trust's advocacy efforts are focused on protecting wildlife and green spaces, including standing up for threatened areas and empowering others to take action for nature. Our goal is to ensure that 30% of land and water are excellent for nature by 2030, and that everyone has access to green space within a five-minute walk from their homes.

Festival of Debate is an annual series of events that creates opportunities to bring people together to share new ideas and lived experience that can help shape our understanding of the world. 

The event is chaired by Nigel Slack. With over 10 years as a non-party political activist in Sheffield, Nigel prides himself on being an independent voice and an honest broker. He has worked with Sheffield for Democracy, It's Our City! and Who Is My Councillor? to improve transparency, openness and integrity in the city's politics. Most recently he worked, alongside others, to help guide Sheffield City Council's transition to the new Modern Committee System which, whilst still very new sets a firm foundation for future better Governance