The Independent Network must raise funds from its membership if it is to continue campaigning after the Local Elections 2011. Without a membership fee, large donors or a large organistion’s funding, the IN’s external funding sources are close to drying up.
More than ever the IN is reliant upon private donations. “Sadly we receive no state or trust funding. We require essential funds for the everyday running of the organisation, such as office facilities and staff,” said Brian Ahearne, Director of the IN. “Urgent funding for campaigning and co-ordination is desperately needed if we are to establish national credibility for Independents.”
The Independent Network will close its Local Election endorsement process at Noon on Monday 14th March. Over 250 independent candidates have already been endorsed with more awaiting confirmation. The Independent Network would like to endorse all 1200 of the current independent councillors. Get in contact via the website if you or your local independent group wants endorsement: www.independentnetwork.org.uk
A LETTER FROM JIM THORNTON
Independents do not have the luxury of a party organisation that can spread election costs over a number of Wards. These are tough times for getting political donations for local elections. Do you have any great ideas on how to get maximum votes for minimum cost?
IN is compiling a Booklet to give out to Independent Candidates, and we would be really grateful if you could share your ideas. What was really effective for you? What did not work so well? What do you want to try out this time? We want those who are standing for the first time as Independents to have a flying start and stand the best possible chance of winning. Please help us help them!
Unlock Democracy, a national campaign which promotes democracy, rights and freedom, invited the Independent Network to attend its ‘Empowering People’ event.
Oliver Letwin MP kicked off the day with a speech about the Coalition’s vision of citizenship. In his opinion the Big Society will deliver the support needed to transition our local areas from individualism and mistrust to involved communities.
Many of the groups at the event were part of the third sector and Oliver Letwin MP faced questions about how the third sector, who already consider themselves as a healthy part of a big society, will cope with the demand to provide services that have now been cut from the public sector.
Two independent crossbench peers have joined the Council of Reference. Parliamentarians Lord Sutherland of Houndwood and Lady Young of Hornsey are the latest exemplars of independently minded politics to join the Independent Network Council.
Lord Sutherland is one of the UK’s most distinguished philosophers of religion and was created a life peer in 2001. The former principle of Kings College London has also received several honorary degrees and was made Knight of The Thistle in 2002.
Inspired by the ‘Rally to Restore Sanity’ campaign, the Independent Network (IN) decided it was only appropriate that they too promote civilised discussion by reclaiming the Tea-Party. The event was held between 1pm and 4pm on Saturday 30th October.
Martin Bell OBE, John Stevens, Mayor Egginton, Professor Colin Copus, Suzanne Moore, Cllr Keith Ross OBE, Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe and Cllr Marianne Overton have joined the Council of Reference: a body of exemplary independents dedicated to the promotion of independent politics in the UK.
The Independent Network has been overwhelmed by endorsement requests from local Independent groups. In the run up to the local elections 2011, it seems that Independent groups from across the country are looking for a national identity which the Independent Network offers.
The endorsement process has been streamlined to ensure that it is locally governed and administered. It now allows an endorsed group to endorse other local councillors and candidates into their group and therefore into the Independent Network itself.
The Independent Network is calling for a strong volunteer force to aid local candidates across the UK. We wish to extend our support to local government candidates via volunteer regional conveners.
If you have any upcoming events, celebrations, or stories be sure to let us know. We enjoy reading your blogs and newsletters and we would love to help you amplify their content. It is also a great way to make sure that best practice advice from your campaign or candidacy can be shared across the network.