2011-2015 Ways of Working

These are the Ways of Working adopted by the original group of 17 candidates in 2011 and which guided the work of the 10 IfF councillors for the next four years. Click here for the current IfF Ways of Working Ways of Working The Independents for Frome ‘Ways of Working’ are prefaced by this quote: “The noble art of losing face will one day save the human race”. Piet Hein Here are the Guidelines we use to work. A willingness and ability to participate in rational debate leading to a conclusion. Understanding the difference between constructive debate and acidic personal attacks. Avoidance of identifying ourselves so personally with a particular position that this in itself excludes constructive debate. Preparedness to being swayed by the arguments of others and admitting mistakes. Relative freedom from any overriding dogma or ideology which would preclude listening to the views of others. Trust, confidence and optimism in other people’s expertise and knowledge. Confidence in the mechanisms and processes of decision-making that we establish, accepting that the decisions of the majority are paramount. An acceptance that you win some, you lose some; it’s usually nothing personal and there’s really no point in taking defeats to heart. And there are the ‘Principles’ which are how we’ll work with IfF’s final 6 Principles: Independence. Traditional party politics are corrosive and serve no purpose at a local level. IFF councillors would be non-party and free to make decisions on behalf of the community without policy imposed from outside, nor with the requirement to vote as a block. Integrity. We intend to introduce as much transparency and openness into...

Election by numbers

Any election is, of course, about the numbers. Votes cast, swings, turnouts and polls. Unsurprisingly there are no polls for the town council; no one has ever thought it was worth the cost but there are some numbers that are worth considering before we get to the stage of counting votes.   Wards and seats There are eight wards in Frome and, confusingly, the number of town councillors varies from ward to ward. The important thing to remember is that you have as many votes as there are council seats in your ward. This means that if you live in Oakfield you can vote for up to two different candidates, if you live in Keyford you can vote for up to three. Here’s the full list. You don’t have to use all your votes but you don’t get your full say if you choose not to. IfF have a candidate for every seat.   Number of candidates That brings us on to the number of candidates you have to choose from. IfF have put forward 17 independent individuals (one for each seat) meaning that wherever you live you can use all your votes for IfF candidates. None of the political parties have put up a candidate for every seat so if you’re a national party supporter you might not be able to use all your votes for your chosen party. The Frome Times has a list of everyone standing for the town council Between us IfF and the national parties have put up 49 candidates for the 17 town council seats. You may think that’s nothing special but it...

Common ground

Independents for Frome – common ground from IfF Frome on...

A familiar question

“How can I know what I’ll get from a group of independents?”   It’s a question we’ve heard and answered before. But it becomes more relevant as people’s attention is naturally drawn from local issues to the general election.   If you’re looking for manifesto style commitments you won’t get them from IfF. Manifestos are dangerous things (as we’ve seen nationally). They are a response to a point in time but expected to be delivered in an uncertain future.   Rather than developing policy based on an ideology, IfF candidates commit to working with each other, discussing and debating what’s best for Frome and agreeing to disagree. The standard political party response to this approach is that it is bound to fail because you need strong ideology and an identifiable group to make decisions and get things done. However, four years of an IfF led town council has shown that that simply isn’t true.   So what you will get with a new IfF led town council is a commitment (agreed by all 17 candidates) to focus on: Completing the Town Hall and Showfield projects Focus on sport and healthy living Push for the right mix of housing, green space and employment (using the neighbourhood plan) Look to attract more significant investment into the town All the while giving the people of the town the opportunity to set the priorities. You’ll also get strong, informed decision making by a range of people with a real passion for the town rather than for politics.   Now, just for a minute, let’s pretend that that’s not good enough for you, that...