With fewer than two weeks to go to the 2011 local elections, we all need to start campaigning and publicising for independents’ election to local government. We need to tell voters that independent candidates are the only alternative to the party political status quo. Print off as many of the posters and fliers below as you can, give them to friends, family workers, colleagues and members of the public. The posters need to be placed in the windows of homes, on community notice boards, in the windows of shops and pubs.
As Martin Bell has said: “Independents are the only alternative vote, but we need the electorate to know they have that alternative.”
The final applications for an Independent Network endorsement have pushed the number of endorsed candidates for the local elections to over five hundred.
It has also seen the endorsement of two candidates for the Welsh Assembly, two candidates for the Scottish Parliament and one candidate for the Leicester Mayoral elections.
The bank holidays which are approaching around Easter and the Royal Wedding may provide many opportunities for a public appearance in your ward.
Have a look through the events in the run-up to the election and see if you can make an impact on any of them. April 23 is St George’s Day, April 24 is Easter Sunday and April 29 is the Royal Wedding. The Royal Wedding falls on a Friday so anything that happens on that day will be reported in the following week’s paper. If there’s a street party or community event happening in your ward, get involved and talk to (though don’t annoy) the attendees – and make sure you keep your eyes open for the press photographers.
Representatives from the YES and NO campaigns for electoral reform debated the question: "Should independent candidates and their supporters support the yes campaign, the no campaign or abstain by spoiling their ballots, not voting or writing something else on their referendum paper?"
Dr Lee Rotherham, a campaigner for No2AV and Deborah Grayson, from Yes to Fairer Votes debated electoral reform before an audience of independent councillors and their supporters from across the country. Brian Ahearne, Director of the Independent Network, chaired the debate.
The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill is currently progressing through Parliament. Once passed we – the public – will have the opportunity to elect the Police and Crime commissioner of our local police force. A local police force can cover large areas both urban - such as Greater Manchester – and rural such as Devon and Cornwall constabulary.
Read what this might mean for independent politics at: http://independentstogether.blogspot.com/
We need you! We want to know how many independents are standing in your area, as opposed to candidates from political parties. Please spend five minutes online filling out our survey. The results of the survey may well be the basis of a national news story.
To discover all of the candidates for your local council elections please visit your local council’s website where – on the front page of the site – details of your local election candidates have been published.
Many thanks for your help in providing this information. If we receive a good number of responses we will write a news feature commenting on the findings.
Over thirty supporters of independent politics – including Mayor Egginton and the UK’s youngest politician Tom Bletsoe, joined Martin Bell and the Independent Network for lunch followed by a training day.
With just over a month until the local elections 2011, independent candidates from across the UK and their supporters came to the Pleasance Theatre in Islington. Due to a gas leak at the Woodstore Grill we enjoyed a sandwich lunch before settling down to an afternoon of talks and workshops.
Martin Bell OBE, the former Independent MP, joined Tom Bletsoe, the UK’s youngest elected politician, and Tony Eggington, the first independently elected Mayor, to launch the Independent Network’s local election campaign .
For an election campaign that has not captured the media’s attention the Independent Network’s local election launch received excellent coverage. Martin Bell spoke on BBC Radio 4 at the crack of dawn before joining us at the Pleasance Theatre for the press conference. Experienced independent campaigners – such as Martin Bell and Mayor Egginton - joined the politicians of the next generation – such as Tom Bletsoe – for the first time.
On Thursday 7th April you are invited to join the Independent Network for lunch with Martin Bell OBE followed by a pre-election event for independent local election candidates and their supporters.
Our ‘elections on a shoestring’ booklet is not the only resource we provide for campaigning candidates. Our online resource centre is a one stop shop for your local election campaign. Go online today (www.independentnetwork.org.uk/resources) and learn from Richard Taylor’s electioneering tips, compare campaign plans, explore academic research, follow useful links and download campaign posters and artwork.