One of the most significant things that we can do to help the environment is to contact our local politicians and convince them that climate change and sustainability are vote-winning causes that are worth fighting for.

The ‘Declare a climate emergency‘ website is a useful resource – if you type in your postcode, it will tell you who your District Councillor, County Councillor, MP & MEP are and how to contact them.

Details below of our local authorities, and what you can do to influence them, are below.

Parish councils

If you want to see change in the local community, then we’re fortunate to have several Parish Councils: – see Our Parish Councillors are elected to represent the interests of our local community and to promote a harmonious environment.  

District council

Our ‘Two Dales’ fall into two Wards of Richmondshire District Council.

  • Hawes, High Abbotside and Upper Swaledale
  • Lower Swaledale and Arkengarthdale

We’re delighted that, as of July 2019, Richmondshire District Council voted to declare a ‘climate emergency’, following lobbying from Sustainable Swaledale members. As part of this they will research possible actions and draw up a plan, including involving members of the public and publishing a 6 monthly progress report.

We have been informed that RDC has taken the following additional actions to reduce damaging environmental emissions:

  • Use LED bulbs in their buildings.
  • Put solar panels on some of their buildings.
  • Turned off electric street lamps after 12:00pm in rural areas.
  • Are requiring stricter standards on housing policy.

What can I do?

We need to keep the pressure on our politicians! If you’d like to see more changes brought about then join us in encouraging Richmondshire to take positive action against climate change.

RDC policies will be reviewed over the summer and targets set for the next 4 years. We need to lobby the council and let our representatives know we want to see climate change risks and adaptation measures embedded into council plans now.

Why declare a climate emergency?

There is a growing movement for declaring climate emergency at local, regional and national levels. The ‘Declare a climate emergency‘ website includes a section on why this is useful, and states:

“A Climate Emergency declaration issued by a body in authority, such as a government or local council, can be a powerful catalyst for community-wide action if paired with a clear action plan.”