Electoral reform groups to launch Councils for PR Project

The campaign, led by Makes Votes Matter and Get PR Done!, will call on local councils to pass a motion to demand that PR is adopted for Westminster elections. Sheffield Green Party member Alan Yearsley reports.

Greens make gains in local government election
Alan Yearsley

Next week, cross-party campaign group Get PR Done! will launch its ‘Councils for PR’ campaign to encourage local councils in England and Wales to pass a motion calling for proportional representation (PR) for Westminster elections.

Now Make Votes Matter has also signed on to make it a joint initiative by two of the most active electoral reform groups in the UK. Make Votes Matter (MVM) and Get PR Done! (GPRD) both believe that they should practice what they preach and work together to achieve a common goal, just as the progressive parties that share similar values need to do so.

The official launch is on 23 May, where Labour MP Clive Lewis will be the featured speaker at an online event. As of 20 May, 168 tickets have been distributed.

The cross-party plan is inspired by a project kicked off by Greens on Bristol City Council, asking local councils to declare a climate emergency. 

Recently, Chichester City Councillor Polly Gaskin (Green) was able to have her council unanimously pass a motion calling for the replacement of the antiquated First Past the Post (FPTP) voting system by some form of PR for Westminster elections. The Councils for PR motion can be downloaded and read here.

The Greens are stepping up their campaigning for PR. In early May, London Assembly member Zack Polanski put in a scintillating performance when he was a guest on LBC radio. “We deserve a politics that ends the culture of safe seats and jobs for life,” Polanski said. 

Here is the full list of speakers for the 23 May C4PR launch event, which begins on Zoom at 19:00: 

  1. Clive Lewis, Labour MP for Norwich South since 2015 and widely regarded as Labour's leading campaigner for PR. He regularly works on a cross-party basis with Layla Moran of the Lib Dems and the Green Party's sole MP Caroline Lucas.
  2. Amelia Womack, deputy leader of the Green Party in England and Wales. Since 2019, she has visited hundreds of local campaigns and events across the country.
  3. Max Wilkinson, the Liberal Democrats' parliamentary candidate for Cheltenham. A former journalist, he is currently the cabinet member for climate emergency at Cheltenham Borough Council.
  4. Ricky Knight, a Green councillor on Barnstaple Town Council since 2003 and a founding member of Councils for PR.

To register for ticket, visit the Councils for PR event page.

You can contact C4PR at: contact@councilsforpr.org.uk