Frequently Asked Questions
What is BIG?
A group from all walks of life formed in October 2017, inspired by what has been achieved by independent councillors in Frome and Bradford-on-Avon, and united by the belief that our Council should be led by local people working closely together with a shared ambition for Bath&NES.
What does being independent mean?
It means our policies and actions are independent of any national political ideology and control. We act together, using the best evidence available to us, in the interests of local people.
What is BIG’s objective?
To run the Council following the May 2019 local elections, in a way that is free from Punch & Judy politics: open, collaborative, evidence-based, engaging far more local talent, eliminating waste of all kinds and above all getting things done rather than talking about them.
Bath & North East Somerset is a pretty good place - what’s the problem?
With all its advantages, this place should be a 21st century example of living well - economically, socially, environmentally for the benefit of all - to which others aspire. Right now it isn’t.
Aren’t you just another political party?
We are registered with the Electoral Commission so we can stand candidates in more than one ward. But unlike others we don’t take orders from a party HQ in London; we take our instructions from the people of Bath & North East Somerset.
Aren’t you worried about splitting the progressive vote?
Not in the least. Over the last 20 years control of the Council has see-sawed between Conservative and LibDem and yet nothing significant has been achieved. We are not about left, middle or right and not concerned with how our supporters vote at national level. A vote for BIG is a vote to set Bath and North East Somerset free from national party political control.
How is BIG funded?
Entirely by its supporters. The annual sub is a fiver. Many people give more.
Aren't you just about Bath?
No, we have supporters in Keynsham, Midsomer Norton, Radstock and every ward in the area. Running our Council well matters to everyone.
How is BIG organised?
We have a management committee of 10 who are appointed by a larger group of our core supporters which anyone can ask to join by showing interest and getting involved. Additionally we have advisers with specialist skills who give their time free of charge. We have only one paid part-time administration assistant.
Who are your candidates?
People of all backgrounds who share our belief that the Guildhall should be free from conventional party politics.
What are your policies?
There will be a single BIG manifesto supported by all our candidates, each of whom will also highlight their specific ward issues and opportunities. We'll make decisions openly, based on what matters to people and on the hard facts.
Independents are often mavericks with far-right or single issue agendas, or only interested in their own ward - which are you?
None of the above. We're ordinary people who live here and think we can do better.
Whose vote are you aiming to win?
Anyone who’s frustrated by the energy wasted in party political bickering, and who just wants things done. A vote for BIG is a vote for meaningful and effective change.
This all sounds very well-meaning but what would BIG actually do if it ran the Council?
We’ll lead the Council with vision and ambition. We’ll involve far more of the people who live here in the Council's work. We'll listen to those who don't usually get a look-in or think the Council will do nothing for them. We'll do more to help communities help themselves. Above all we'll get a grip on issues which have been fudged or left for years in the 'too hard' box.
How can I get involved? Sign up as a supporter. Tell your friends, neighbours and colleagues about BIG and ask them to sign up too. If you’re able to put in some time, tell us how you’d most like to contribute. This can range from helping to develop policy through to delivering leaflets and knocking on doors to win votes. And of course if you’d consider being a councillor we’ll be delighted to hear from you!