With less than 40 weeks left until the next local elections, the Independent Network will assist independent candidates at the next local elections in May 2011 to loosen the grip of the national parties on UK politics.
The number of independent councillors dropped to around 1,200 out of a possible 21,000 at the last election, but the Independent Network wants to see this figure boosted back up at the next local elections.
There is little time until the May elections so it is extremely important to start planning campaigns now. The Independent Network can provide you with guidance in preparing for the election, and we list many local independent groups around the UK on our website (www.independentnetwork.org.uk/research/local-independent-groups-uk), as well as sites that promote independents (www.independentnetwork.org.uk/research/other-sites-promoting-independent-representatives-uk). If you know of any more that we may have missed, please e-mail us. Jim Thornton has also written an informative book on electioneering and local government, which can be found at www.ehpeople.org.
Party issues should not occur at local level. Party politicians are elected on a platform of national issues. Decisions in local government should be made according to debate and reason and not simply agreeing with one’s party. Independent councillors are also not restricted in dealing with local concerns by national party issues.
Many have lived in the communities for a long time so understand the concerns of residents. Consequently they stand on a platform of relevant, local issues.
However, as Jim Thornton said, “The absence of a national identity for independent candidates and representatives undermines the perception that voting Independent can actually make a difference.”
“The Independent Network hopes to redress this imbalance by giving independent candidates a national identity at the next local elections. Coupled with candidates’ well-planned campaigns, it expects this will encourage voters to have confidence that a vote for an independent will affect change.”