Get involved

We have a great vision for Essex, but we cannot do it without help. "Party Politics" has made "Politics" a dirty word, but the truth is living in a Democracy, getting involved in Politics is everyones responsibility. Don't leave it to others. This is what we have been doing for decades, which is how Political Parties have been able to take over to the extent that they have. We need your help. Here are some of the ways you can get involved.

1. Subscribe

 

The easiest thing you can do, if you haven't already done it, is to subscribe to our newsletter by entering your email address into the relevant box on our home page and clicking subscribe.

2. Become a supporter for free

Anyone can become a supporter of Essex Independence. This is the most basic relationship you can enter into with our Party, it won't cost you a penny and it comes with no rights or responsibilities under our Constitution.

 

As a supporter you can:

  • Gain access to the members section of the website.

  • Comment on blog posts.

  • Participate in our think tank by commenting on think tank posts.

  • Submit problems to our think tank.

  • Attend the occasional branch meeting and participate in discussion.

If you are computer savy, you can get instant access to our online community by clicking the red button below to sign up and create an account yourself, which will automatically make you a supporter.

 

Alternatively click the blue button to apply for the subscription of your choice and we will email you to determine the best way to progress your application.

 

3. Become an Associate or Member

Membership is the lifeblood of any Party, including ours. Your subscription gives us financial stability. It doesn't cost much at £15 a year for Associates and £20 for Members, but it all adds up, and with enough Associates, Members and Patrons this money enables us to compete in the expensive game of Politics.

Prospective and serving Councillors

We set this Party up to support you as Independent Councillors, not to control you. This is why we don't have a manifesto or a whip to enforce it. Whether you become an Associate or a Member your independence is protected by our consitution (3.1 and 3.2).

 

The most notable difference between the two is on the ballot paper. As an Associate you will retain the description "Independent" but you won't have an emblem. As a Member you can use our Party description and emblem. Regular Independents have been at a disadvantage since emblems were introduced. We help you overcome that by allowing you to use our emblem.

There is also a difference in responsibilities. As an Associate the only responsibility you have under our constitution is to pay your subs. As a member you are also expected to pursue our vision and objectives and uphold our principles, which are essentially about promoting and supporting Independents across our County and being a good Councillor. Members are bound by our constitution, which includes a power of exclusion and revocation for any applicant or member who violates our principles. This is necessary to protect the Party's reputation from damage by extreme elements, for the benefit of the candidates standing for election under our banner.

We are pursuing collaboration with the Independent Network and we recommend getting involved with them. If you are already a Member of IN, you can become an Associate with us. If you become a Member with us, you can become an Associated Member with IN. The Independent Network operate at National level, whereas we operate at County level. Our organisations are complementary, rather than alternatives. We offer different support so it's worth getting involved with both of us. As an Independent, you need all the help you can get.

Members of the public

In principle you can choose either. However, if you are already a member of another political party, you can only become an Associate. An example of where this might apply would be if you want to be a member of The Conservative or Labour Party so that you can have a say over who might be the next Prime Minister, but locally you believe in supporting Independents.

 

As an Associate or Member you can:

  • Do everything a Supporter can.

  • Regularly attend branch meetings.

  • Vote in think tank discussions.

  • Attend the Party Conference and other Party events.

  • Receive support from the Party in elections.

  • Apply for positions in the Party (Members only).

  • Vote and/or Stand in internal Party elections (Members only).

  • Stand in a public election under the Essex Independence banner (Members only).

  • Stand in a public election as an Independent (Associates only).

If you are computer savy, click the red button below to sign up and create an account. Once you are logged in you can upgrade from a Supporter to an Associate or to a Member on the "My Membership" page.

 

Alternatively click the blue button to apply for the subscription of your choice and we will email you to determine the best way to progress your application.

4. Donate

There is nothing more valuable than your time, but if you are too busy with work or life, but you believe in our vision and want to help, please consider supporting our work by setting up a monthly donation to help cover costs. Your donations will help those who do have the time achieve more.

You can set up a monthly direct debit by clicking on one of the buttons below. Our Direct Debit facility is processed by GoCardless so you will be redirected to GoCardless to complete the transaction.

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5. Join our Patrons club

If you've got the money and you want to make a massive difference to Independents in Essex, then please consider becoming one of our Patrons. Membership of the Patrons Club is £500 a year, which is charged in place of the regular membership fee.

 

As a Patron you will have all the same rights and responsibilities as a regular Member, but additionally to thank you for your generous patronage you will receive:

  • An invitation to the annual Patrons dinner.

  • An invitation to any exclusive events.

If you are computer savy, click the red button below to sign up and create an account. Once you are logged in you can upgrade to a Patron on the "My Membership" page.

 

Alternatively click the blue button to apply for the subscription of your choice and we will email you to determine the best way to progress your application.

Get more involved

If you joined a while back, or you're just keen to hit the ground running, then there are plenty more ways you can get more invovled with the Party and help us support Independents across our County.

1. Simple things you can do from your sofa

There are a number of ways you can help us achieve our vision from the comfort of your sofa or armchair. Here are just a few examples:

  • Like & comment on our blog posts.

  • Submit problems to our Think tank.

  • Contribute to the Think tank discussions.

  • Share our content on social media.

2. Come to branch meetings

Associates, Members and Patrons are all encouraged to regularly attend our branch meetings. Supporters are welcome to come along occasionally. Everyone is welcome to contribute to discussion on the night, but only Members and Patrons can vote.

Meetings are good fun. These are some of the benefits of coming along:

  • Get to know people who live in your area.

  • Mix with people of all age groups, sharing ideas across the generational divide.

  • Meet like minded people who care about their Community.

  • Keep up to speed with what is happening locally.

  • Contribute to the think tank discussion.

  • Socialise and put the world to rights over a glass of something after the meeting.

  • After all of this, you're doing something useful for the Community at the same time.

3. Take on some responsibility

We are a small team. We rely on people volunteering some of their time to help us achieve our vision. In as little as an hour a week, you can make a meaningful contribution. Whatever your individual skillset, there will be something you can do to help. For instance we need:

  • Writers - Producing articles, newsletters, letters to papers and elected representatives...

  • Designers - Producing artwork, leaflets, boards and banners, content for our website...

  • Photographers - Capturing images of our County, our candidates, images for articles...

  • Researchers - On local issues, for our think tank, monitoring Council activity...

  • Analysts - People good at analysing data to guide policy and strategy...

  • Organisers - For leafletting, street stalls, coffee mornings...

  • Administrators - For our website, social media and groups...

  • Branch Committee - Running each of our branches....

Organisation is key to success, so we've divided up what needs to be done into dozens of different roles to make each manageable. All of these roles are organised into teams, to make it easier for us to support you, and for you to support one another, and each team reports back at branch meetings. These positions are only open to Members and Patrons, in which case information about the roles available will appear in your members area.