The Lobbying Act

Our Bright Future recognises the need for charities to avoid political bias – particularly in the run up to major elections.  We also believe wholeheartedly in the right of charities to express views on issues of public policy that relate directly to their charitable objectives.  Many advances in social and environmental policy have been secured as a result of charities advocating beneficial changes and all our lives are better for it.
Our Bright Future is an ambitious and innovative partnership led by The Wildlife Trusts which brings together the youth and environmental sectors. Our vision is for young people to get what they deserve: a healthy planet, a thriving greener economy and a bright future. The underlying goal of all our activities is to empower and inspire young people to make their future brighter and lead progressive change in their communities and local environment. 
Our four programme outcomes are:
  • participation in the Our Bright Future programme has had positive impacts on young people equipping them with the skills, experience and confidence to lead environmental change
  • the Our Bright Future programme has had positive impacts on the environment and local communities
  • the Our Bright Future programme has influenced change and created a legacy
  • the Our Bright Future programme utilises an effective partnership working and a youth-led approach, leading to stronger outcomes for young people and the environment
In the run up to the 2019 UK General Election, all non-political organisations are required to take particular notice of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014 (the Lobbying Act), which became law on 30th January 2014.  It changed the established rules relating to activities undertaken by non-party campaigners (including charities), which could reasonably be regarded as being intended to influence the outcome of national elections in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland (including the UK General Election).
The Act aims to ensure that between 13th December 2018 and 12th December 2019, expenditure intended to influence the voting decisions of the general public is kept within reasonable limits and is reported openly, clearly and concisely.  All organisations intending to spend more than £20K in England, or more than £10K in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, on a specified set of ‘regulated activities’ must register with the Electoral Commission and report all their regulated campaigning expenditure to them.
We will be promoting our views directly to our members and committed supporters, to journalists and the media, and to the politicians and political parties themselves, highlighting legislation and policies that will create a better future for young people and the environment.  We will aim to ensure that anything that we communicate directly to the general public (on our web site, in leaflets and posters, at events, through social media or in paid advertising) is factual, balanced and entirely independent of influence by those standing for election or those helping them to do so.  We will continue to respond to government consultations and to contribute to public debates that are not directly related to the General Election.
We won’t be looking to support one candidate or another, or one party over the next, partly because as charities we are not allowed to, but mostly because the future of the next generations and the natural environment on which we all ultimately depend is too important for it to become the subject of party political disagreement or mean self-interest.   We will work impartially to promote this understanding in all our politicians.