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The next General Election is being held on 4th July 2024 – and now, more than ever, every vote counts.

But why is it so important, and why would we want to sit up and take notice? We know all too well how overwhelming it can feel when we look at the state of nature and climate in the UK and around the world; it’s an issue that can drive feelings of helplessness, and, all too often, it seems impossible to help on an individual scale.

The good news is that’s not actually true. Here at Sustainable Penzance, one of our main priorities is encouraging the local community to get involved in decision making. We have more power than we think, and the elections are a key moment where we can influence what happens next by going out and casting our vote.

What needs to change?

We already know that profit and unsustainable growth are at the root of most of the issues we face as a community. It’s why we continue to see raw sewage pumped into our seas, rising temperatures around the world and a soaring cost of living crisis.

So, if you, like us, want to put people, place and planet at the top of the agenda, this is a pivotal moment to have your voice heard. Through your voting choice, you can influence what you want to see happen where we live, and ensure our local representatives are fighting for what we need most: change.

Whether it’s the ocean and green spaces, or our own community and those who live in it, we need to make sure it’s all being looked after and restored to create a better future.

But how do I know who to vote for?

The best way to decide how to cast your vote is by doing your research. It sounds time-consuming, but it’s easier than we think and is so worth it. Just start by reading each candidate’s statement or manifesto, so you can see what is at the top of their agenda, and decide whether it resonates with your own values and hopes for the future.

Here, we’ve listed the nine candidates standing in the St Ives constituency, with links to more information on what they’re standing for (just click on their names), so you can see what they’re all about for yourself.

Labour Party – Dr Filson Ali

Green Party – Ian Flindall

Liberal Democrats – Andrew George

The Common People – John Richard Harris

Independent – Dave Laity

Reform UK – Giane Mortimer

The Liberal Party – Paul Nicholson

UK Independence Party – Jason Saunders

Conservative and Unionist Party – Derek Thomas

Plus, watch our video with some of our candidates below, highlighting their key priorities for Penzance.*

*Please note: All candidates were invited to participate in the making of this video, and you can see the full list of those standing above.

How to vote

To cast your vote on polling day, you need to head to your closest polling station with your photo ID. Your polling card (which you should have received in the post) will tell you which polling station you need to go to, and this will be open from 7am to 10pm on the big day.

Once there, you’ll be given a ballot paper containing a list of the people and parties you can vote for. Just follow the instructions on the top of the ballot paper to finish the job!

If you haven’t received your polling card yet, contact your local Electoral Registration Office as soon as possible.

Please note, postal votes must be sent with enough time to arrive with the elections team at your local council by 10pm on polling day to be counted. If you forget to post it, you can take it to your local polling station on the 4th July.

What happens next?

The hard work doesn’t end on polling day. Part of our mission at Sustainable Penzance is working to create a thriving town for the future in the face of climate and ecological breakdown. It’s the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced.

How we vote now is vital – but, once the results are in, we need to then work with our elected representatives to make real change. That means holding them to account and trying to do what we can as a community to be part of the solution.

Keep your eyes peeled as we’ll be sharing our top tips on how to engage your elected MP in the coming weeks, and don’t forget to follow us on social media to stay tuned for our latest updates.