Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is the Independent group a new party?

No, the Independent group is not a new ‘party’; however North Somerset First Independents is a new group in North Somerset. There are Independent prospective candidates, councillors and MP’s across the UK. Both the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Independent Network are there to offer help and advice. In particular the Independent Network is in the unique situation of being the only organisation in the UK that supports and promotes independent candidates. The Independent Network was formed just before the 2005 general election by a group of like minded individuals who were quite simply fed up of party politics and felt that there must be a better way forward. The objective of the Independent Network is to demonstrate that independent candidates are a credible alternative to party political candidates and promotes this view. North Somerset First Independents are registered with the Electoral Commission, have a Constitution and set of principles in place that our prospective candidates abide by. 

Q: What is the reason for setting up North Somerset First Independents?

There are many people who consider standing as an Independent Councillor because their beliefs are very strong about their local community and the people who live and work within it. However running an election campaign on your own can not only be daunting, time consuming and expensive but a very lonely experience, with no guidance or help. North Somerset First Independents has been created with all these things in mind to bring together these like minded people from across the District who wish to stand in the local elections to give them support, team encouragement, guidance and the knowledge we can tap into each other’s skills sets and experience which will benefit us in becoming a strong, focused team.

Q: As a Group of Independents should all our candidates agree?

No, we believe that the whole point of being Independent means you should always follow your heart, head and beliefs.  Disagreement and discussion is normal and a necessary route to find the right democratic conclusion or solution.

Q: What is North Somerset First Independents main objective?

We believe that the current administration within North Somerset Council is not democratic or transparent due to its majority stronghold. We want to break down this stronghold to make it a fairer and more balanced democratic council. We aim to reinvigorate local politics and believe localism is the key to this. But above all we want to renew your trust within local politics.

Q: What does North Somerset First Independents want?

We believe that local politics should be at local level. We want to be the voice of the local people and communities, to be able to offer support, advice, make the staff and departments within the Council offices more accessible to the public. We want to see a change within the existing framework for committees and the people who attend. By implementing a new structure this will make better use of time, money and provide a better service to you the public. North Somerset First Independents believe that only change will re-empower our local communities and help begin to restore your faith within the local administration.

Q: What will North Somerset First Independent group provide that is different?

Independent candidates in local elections have always had to stand on their own two feet. By bringing free thinking Independent people together as a concentrated group means we can offer support to each other and stand united within the council chambers ’rather than being ‘shot down’ by the opposition when it comes to voting, giving us a stronger voice for you.  But fundamentally we are committed to you and your community.

Q: Are Independent Group Members politicians with a new name?

No, we are people from all walks of life who want to see the right changes being made for the good of our District, we are not standing for the notoriety that can come with being a councillor, we are standing for the representation and good of our communities as Independent advocates. As an Independent group North Somerset First Independents are not influenced or governed by party politics.

Q: Why North Somerset First Independents?

As your only local Independent group, North Somerset First Independents believe our policies and aim's should put local issues, people and the communities we are standing for first. Because we believe North Somerset deserves better. Localism is the key and heart of our manifesto. The Localism Act was introduced in November 2011; the aim of this act is to delegate more decision making powers from central government into the hands of individuals, communities and councils making the right decisions for the local people on local issues.

Q: Who can join North Somerset First Independents?

Anyone can join North Somerset First Independents irrespective of their; race, gender, culture, faith or age.  We welcome your support, the only thing we ask is that you pledge an understanding and adhere to our principles for which we stand.

Q: How will North Somerset First Independents monitor, regulate and discipline themselves? 

We have to be self disciplined; this is something that is fundamental within our day to day careers. The principles we have set in place are there as guidance and as a reminder of what we must abide by. Whilst we are aware we are only human and not infallible, we will endeavour to fulfil our roles with due diligence and care. We do not have a group ‘whip’ in place to keep a tight reign on the group, as we felt this would go against the individuals being ‘Independent’ and having the freedom to speak up for what they feel passionately and strongly about. Our beliefs and ethics will keep us true to you.

Q: Why are Independent groups more likely to have a better calibre candidate than the other mainstream parties?

Many of the prospective candidates recruited by the main stream parties are discouraged from having their own views or opinions, will be governed by party policies and have their hands tied when it comes to voting. This tends to result in recruiting candidates that can be manipulated, are only there for the money, self importance and notoriety. We embrace Independent candidates who follow their heart, beliefs, have their own voice and will not be coerced into making the wrong decisions, but will fight with integrity, transparency and democratically for the constituents.

Q: Why would an Independent group have a set of principles?

As an Independent group we believe that principles and ethics are more important than political beliefs. Principles give us guidance; make an Independent group different from the main stream parties which have policies set in stone which are disseminated down from their central office and use propaganda to score points.

Q: What are North Somerset First Independent groups principles?

We use as guidance and follow ‘The Bell Principles’.