Volunteers Needed To Support Candidates

The Independent Network (IN) is recruiting volunteers to act as local IN conveners to provide support to local independent candidates.

Less than a month since the election former IN endorsed Parliamentary candidates, Cllr Marianne Overton (Lincolnshire Independents), Mark Ashwell (Wokingham Independent Network) and Cllr Jonathan Salt (Cambridgeshire Independent Network) have already taken the initiative, supporting existing local groups or setting up new local networks to help more people stand as independent in future local elections.

The IN is forming a nationwide network of volunteer conveners to encourage and assist independent candidates. This is a big step towards tackling party politics issues at local council level and a catalyst towards getting independent candidates into national office.

As local figureheads for the IN, conveners’ responsibilities include encouraging and recruiting people to stand as independent; endorsing and promoting candidates; providing political advice; and keeping in regular contact with candidates through email, phone calls and social media activity. The time commitments for conveners will vary on the time available to each volunteer, but as with most things in life, the more time put in, the more impact conveners will have on local independents.

The IN also encourages members of numerous existing independent support groups, such as Rotherham Independents and East Herts People, to join in and make the movement against party politics even stronger in time for the 280 English local authorities going to the polls next May.

Independent parliamentary candidates received a record number of votes at this year’s General Election, more than double the votes received in 2005. Despite the growing trend, Independent councillors lost 107 seats in last month’s elections and the IN believes creating a network of local conveners will help reinvigorate the independent movement in local government.

Existing Groups and Networks

Marianne Overton has won seven local elections with landslide results, working hard to maintain vital local initiatives such as jobs, homes, food and natural environment and setting up the Lincolnshire Independents group in 2008.

Mark Ashwell launched the Wokingham Independent Network last week after receiving 2,340 votes in the general election, making him the ninth most popular independent candidate in the country.

Jonathan Salt got involved with local politics in Cambridgeshire as an independent after his local council went ahead with plans to sell the town’s Corn Exchange despite public outcry. Jonathan Salt launched the Cambridgeshire Independent Network on Twitter only two days after standing for Huntingdon as an independent parliamentary candidate.

Get Involved

Anyone interested in becoming a local convener or if any existing independent groups would like to get involved with the IN email: secretariat@independentnetwork.org.uk

The IN is currently planning its future activities and has no millionaire donor and receives no grant funding. Help support our work and donate safely and securely on PayPal at http://bit.ly/cAtaWe

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