Bath and North East Somerset Independent Group 

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The BIG story

After the local elections in 2015, when the Conservatives effectively took back control from the Liberal Democrats, who had in turn taken control from the Conservatives, it became obvious to many in our Unitary Authority that history was repeating itself. The council has swung, on a regular basis, from Liberal Democrat to Tory and back again and yet nothing has really changed, no compelling vision has emerged for this most beautiful, exciting part of Great Britain.

There were at least 3 groups based in Bath & North East Somerset who felt this lack of democratic accountability and inspiring leadership. These were people who felt it so much that, despite coming from utterly different places politically, they decided they could work together to bring about their vision of bringing a different, more sensible, more effective and more inclusive kind of politics to the Guildhall.

The first group were the people who previously been involved in the campaign for a mayor for B&NES. They had been inspired to run this campaign because they were disappointed with the lack of leadership and imagination shown by our current council and thought a Mayor for B&NES would be a way forward. It attracted some good ideas and many good people but ultimately failed in the face of a concerted attack from all the main Political Parties. Ironically we have since had a mayor imposed on us in the west by central government.

Secondly there were a significant number of activists and local residents from the pressure group Bath Deserves Better. They firmly believe what their title says and are prepared to do something about it. The group grew out of the proposed eastern Park and Ride, Libraries and Arts fiascos, and if ever there were more compelling cases for the need for joined-up thinking within the council then we have yet to see it. 

Thirdly there were many people who had seen what had happened in Frome and the spread of the Flatpack Democracy movement. This is a fast spreading movement that sees an urgent need to deal with the lack of an active, modern democracy at the local level. Anyone who has been subjected to being ignored by elected Party members, in the intimidating setting of the council chamber, while they are given 2 measly minutes to make their case about something they or their community care passionately about, will understand where they are coming from.

Happily they had met or heard about each other one way or another and all agreed ‘something should be done’. We agreed that the way forward was to have a council made up of councillors who were independent of any national party, working together for the good of the place. Each would bring their own expertise and enthusiasm but not be forced to follow party political dogma dictated by an increasingly isolated and centralising government. To BIG members a good idea, backed up by evidence, is a good idea no matter where it comes from. We agreed to set up under the BIG banner so that our councillors, once elected, will work together under common aims, using an agreed set of principles and way of working, but be free to disagree and offer a better alternative.

The first meeting was held in November 2017 and since then we have worked hard to put together what we believe is a credible alternative to the current system. A system which, when push comes to shove, is based on party political dogma and not the needs of the people of the whole of Bath & North East Somerset.

One year later, after much thought and hard work, independent but committed to working together, we announced our first 5 candidates with more to come.

Our aim is to take over the Guildhall and free it from the dead hand of meaningless tradition and yaa-boo party politics. We challenge you to join us on our exciting adventure and sign up now.

BIG is registered with The Electoral Commission as a political party in Great Britain, registration number PP6744. We are funded entirely by subscriptions and donations from individual supporters below the amount reportable to the Electoral Commission.  We do not accept corporate donations. Privacy Policy

Promoted by Stephen Taylor on behalf of the Bath & Northeast Somerset Independent Group (BIG), both of 10 Russell St, Bath BA1 2QF

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