Independent Torfaen County Councillor Catherine Lewis was shortlisted by the award winning think-tank Local Government Information Unit for the Best Online Councillor 2010 award.

The Independent Network’s Tamsin Omond said independent councillors were increasingly becoming recognised and rewarded for providing innovative multimedia platforms for online dialogue between a ward and its representatives:

“Councillor Lewis provides what the voters want: a councillor who consults their constituency constantly and innovatively, rather that relying on directions from their political party.

10,000 election manuals to encourage 10,000 independent candidates

Last month the Independent Network asked current independent candidates for top-tips to campaigning on a shoestring.  Thank you for all of the excellent ideas that were sent in, which have now been compiled into a 16 page booklet.

Next week the Independent Network will be sending a couple of booklets to each and every independent councillor in the UK to read and pass on to interested independent candidates.  Please have a browse for any new electioneering ideas sent in from experienced councillors across the UK.

Independent Councillors – Recruitment drive.

The Independent Network would like your help in recruiting yet more passionate and committed people to stand as independent candidates in the local elections, May 2011. 

The Independent Network is undertaking online advertising to ask people to come forward as independent candidates for the local elections. The applicants are asked to “run as candidates for local government positions to represent their communities and consciences”. It requires applicants who “will treat political opponents with courtesy and repect whilst being free from the control of any political party, pressure group or whip”.

Tamsin Omond, national coordinator, said:

We want YOU to serve as an Independent Councillor

Committed politically independent people required to run as candidates for local government positions to represent their communities and consciences, not a political party. On successful election the candidate will be sworn in as a parish, town, county or district councillor.

While you don’t need any special or formal qualifications to be a councillor, having or being able to develop the following knowledge areas will help you manage your responsibilities:

Your advice for UK’s youngest councillor

Your advice for UK’s youngest councillor

We have launched a forum topic for the benefit of Tom Bletsoe – our youngest endorsed candidate.  If you would like to offer your support, congratulations or advice please do log in to the Independent Network forum and join the discussion.



Independent Network invokes a media storm

Independent Network invokes a media storm

Tom Bletsoe – the youngest endorsed Independent Network candidate – made history at the St Ives, Cambridgeshire by-election where he became the UK’s youngest elected politician. On learning of his success the Independent Network press office rolled into action.

Popular petitions may become Parliamentary Bills

In an attempt to reduce what is seen as a disconnection between the public and Parliament, ministers have promised that the most popular petition on the government website will be drafted as a bill. It is also planning to guarantee that petitions which reach a fixed level of support – most likely 100,000 signatures – will be guaranteed a Commons debate.

Q+A with Independent Network’s youngest Local Election candidate.

Tom Bletsoe is the youngest Local Election 2011 candidate to seek Independent Network endorsement.  Just 18 years old he is a student from St Ives, Cambridgeshire.  He will run as an Independent in the St Ives Town Council by-election which is taking place on February 11th.  Tamsin Omond, our national coordinator, caught up with him on the campaign trail.

The views expressed in this article are the views of Tom Bletsoe and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Independent Network.


When did you first get interested in politics? Who inspired you?

What’s all this about a Big Society?

We have been invited to many conferences and debates about the Big Society and its impact on local government.  We’ve even written an article about one such conference.  You can read all about our experience of listening to Paul Twivy (CEO of the Big Society Network) and Oliver Letwin MP here.  The question of the Big Society is a fascinating one. 

Five more local groups join Independent Network.

Watford Independents, Stockton Independents Association, Sutton on Sea Independents, Billingham Independents Association, West Lindsey Independents have all been endorsed by the Independent Network.  These groups are now able to endorse local Independent candidates to their group and to the Independent Network.  They are also available to respond to national media requests that are made to the IN office. If you are an Independent or a supporter of Independent politics and live close to any of our endorsed groups do get in touch and we will connect you.  We congratulate all seven groups for their commitment to true independent politics.