An update from Age UK’s Campaigns Team on the upcoming Local Elections on 5th May, including guidance from the Charity Commission, a template letter to candidates, and social media wording.
With local elections happening across London and parts of England on 5th May, here’s a campaigning guide from Age UK’s Campaigns Team. Read on for details on the Charity Commission’s guidance on campaigning and political activity, as well as access to a template letter to candidates and some social media wording.
Local elections are happening across London and parts of England on 5th May. All councillors in all London boroughs, as well as elections for councillors in some Metropolitan boroughs, District Councils, Unitary authorities and the Somerset and North Yorkshire County Councils, will take place. The Mayor for the South Yorkshire Combined Authority will also be elected. You can check on the Electoral Commission website what elections are taking place near you.
As ever, charities must ensure they adhere to the Charity Commission’s guidance on campaigning and political activity. This means charities must not endorse candidates or campaign to influence the outcome of an election. To ensure they remain neutral, Charities must also consider:
- How to respond to requests by candidates to visit your events or services.
- How to limit any association between a particular political party and your charity if a member of staff is running as a candidate.
Age UKs based in London may want to use Age UK London’s resources for engaging with candidates, which includes a template letter and a manifesto.
You might want to email candidates in these elections to highlight the issues older people face locally and ask for a commitment from candidates to tackling these issues.
Alternatively, you might want to engage newly elected councillors once the results have been announced. It would be helpful to build relationships with local councillors and the leader of your council once they are in position, perhaps by inviting them to attend one of your services.
If you would like to write to candidates ahead of the elections and promote issues facing older people, you can use the template letter below. We recommend highlighting two or three issues that are impacting older people locally or that your Age UK has been working on tackling.
Social Media Wording
If you would like to promote participation in local election voting, you can share the “Where Do I Vote?” tool to help people identify their polling station.
You can also promote this on Twitter:
Local elections are taking place today! Don’t forget to cast your vote – you can find your polling station here: wheredoivote.co.uk/
And on Facebook:
Local elections are taking place today! There are multiple council positions being elected and this is your chance to ensure older peoples’ voices are heard. You can check where your polling station is here: wheredoivote.co.uk/
For any support with your local election activity and engaging candidates, please contact email@example.com.