Communities for Zero Carbon Oxford, a collective of local environmental groups in Oxford which includes LCWO, has drawn up a list of 12 questions for Oxford candidates in the 2021 local elections, covering a range of environmental issues.
Our intention is to enable a range of responses from candidates so that voters can get a good sense of the differences between candidates and parties on these key issues; and to stimulate thinking about the choices our local councillors are faced with.
The survey is addressed to Oxford City candidates in both the Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council elections. The survey was sent to the election agents for Conservative, Green, Labour and Liberal Democrats candidates. Member groups of Communities for Zero Carbon Oxford also sent the survey to any other candidates standing in their local areas where contact details were available.
All questions apart from the last one ask candidates to indicate their agreement with a statement on a scale from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree” (plus the option “don’t know”); and explain their answer in 50 words or less. The last question provides an opportunity for further comments on a green and just recovery in Oxford and Oxfordshire.
Find out how candidates in your area have responded
We have published responses by city ward and county division here – click on your ward or division to see your candidates’ responses to the questionnaire. Questions are listed in order and responses in alphabetical order by surname.
Not sure about your ward or division? Find out on the the ‘Who can I vote for’ website by typing in your postcode. This will tell you your city ward and county division, and which candidates are standing in each. The full list of candidates nominated for the Oxford City Council elections is available on the Oxford City Council website here; and the full list of Oxford City candidates nominated for for the Oxfordshire County Council elections is available on the Oxfordshire County Council website here.
What if one or more of the candidates in your ward/division have not responded? Published responses will be updated regularly to capture any further responses. Communities for Zero Carbon Oxford has tried to reach every candidate but we need your help to get more responses. Please reach out to your local candidates and tell them you want them to add their views. You can also send us their contact info at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will follow up.
In parallel with this survey, the Coalition for Healthy Streets and Active Travel (CoHSAT) have carried out a survey of candidates focused on transport issues across the whole of Oxfordshire. Find out more and access the results here.
Responses to the Communities for Zero Carbon Oxford election survey Responses to our survey of candidates have been coming in – so far 35% of all candidates have responded.
We urge more candidates to respond (see link below) – published responses will be updated regularly. So far the majority of respondents agree or strongly agree with the importance of the environmental issues highlighted in our survey. The individual comments provided by respondents will allow you to compare the views of different candidates.
If you have questions, please contact Julia Patrick at Low Carbon Oxford North.
Link to survey for candidates
The survey is available here. This is for OXFORD CANDIDATES IN THE 6 MAY LOCAL ELECTIONS ONLY: all Oxford City Council candidates; and those Oxfordshire County Council candidates who are standing in Oxford City divisions. To complete the questionnaire, you will be asked to indicate which city ward and/ or county division you are standing for. PLEASE DO NOT COMPLETE IF YOU ARE NOT STANDING FOR ELECTION.
The questions put to candidates are set out below.
Overarching – local
1) The climate emergency should be an explicit and integral consideration in all local authority decision making.
Overarching – national
The Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill, developed by a team of scientists, academics, lawyers and campaigners, aims to ensure that:
- The UK takes a lead role in limiting global temperatures to 1.5°C and in ecological protection and restoration, taking into account emissions and damage to nature caused by the UK internationally,
- the transition to a carbon neutral economy does not place a burden on the poorest in society, and
- citizens are central to deciding how to move forward, in a Citizens’ Assembly with real teeth.
2) I support the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill.
3) Motorised traffic in and through Oxford should be reduced 50% below present levels by 2030, to limit air pollution and increase space for cyclists and pedestrians.
4) Development decisions (planning and housing) should design out car-dependency and facilitate the creation of 15 minute neighbourhoods, where residents can access all daily goods and services within a 15 minute walk.
Homes and Energy
5) All new homes built in Oxfordshire should be built to zero carbon standards.
6) Local authorities should introduce policies and measures to enable all homes in Oxford and Oxfordshire to achieve an EPC rating of C or higher by 2035.
7) Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council should introduce policies that support the installation of renewable energy sources.
8) Local authorities should use every available mechanism (including the planning system, grants and others), and support and enable innovation, to phase out fossil fuel use across Oxford, including domestic, business and industrial use as well as use in their own buildings and operations.
Nature and biodiversity
9) The creation, protection and restoration of biodiversity and green spaces for all should be a priority for local authorities including the development of a Nature Recovery Network.
10) As Oxfordshire County Council candidate, I support the doubling of tree cover in Oxfordshire by 2045; AND/OR: As Oxford City Council candidate, I support Oxford making a significant contribution to doubling tree cover in Oxfordshire by 2045.
11) Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council should introduce policies that support the development of a food system which promotes local production and use of agro-ecological methods (ie sustainable farming methods that work with nature).
Overarching – contribution to green and just recovery
12) Finally, in 100 words or less, please describe what you plan to contribute to ensuring a green and just recovery in Oxford/ Oxfordshire.