Bath and North East Somerset Independent Group 

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Our constitution

1. Title

The title of the group is Bath & North East Somerset Independent Group, acronym BIG.

2. Aims and Objectives

The purpose of BIG is to make Bath&NES a 21st century model of living well - economically, socially and environmentally - to which other places aspire, by changing the way its local government works.

BIG will:

  • operate in, and only in, the whole of the Bath&NES local authority area
  • be entirely independent of any national political party
  • stand candidates in Bath&NES wards at council elections with the aim of securing a majority
  • engage local people from all walks of life in the pursuit of its purpose
  • pursue with vigour the objectives set out in its manifesto
  • conduct its business in accordance with the beliefs and behaviours stated below.

3. Beliefs and Behaviours

Supporters of BIG hold to the three following statements.

(i) The primary role of local government is to lead its community. That means enrolling all the locality - residents, workers, businesses, voluntary and community groups, other parts of the public sector such as the NHS and universities - in developing and realising a common ambition. Councils are best able to do this when independent of any national political party.

(ii) Effective councils:

  • base decisions on wide consultation, sound facts and proper analysis
  • engage openly and honestly with the public
  • draw local talent from all walks of life into shaping the future
  • respect difference, value diversity and seek common ground
  • search constantly for improvement and learn from elsewhere
  • support and build the community’s capacity to do things for itself
  • look beyond the next elections
  • give firm direction to council staff to get things done.

(iii) BIG will succeed only if what it offers is plainly different from and better than perpetuating conventional politics. BIG will demonstrate that in the way it campaigns: that is also the way it will conduct the council. Members of BIG commit to five behaviours in relation to its work which make that possible:

  • recognise that differences between people are an asset
  • put group interest ahead of personal interest
  • argue views robustly but accept that they will not always prevail
  • rise above blame and personal attack within the group and in public 
  • make the wellbeing of Bath&NES paramount.

4. Structure

  • BIG is unified by the Co-ordinating Group (CG), consisting of not more than thirty members and meeting not less than four times a year. One such meeting will be constituted as the Annual General Meeting. A quorum for meetings is twelve. Any alteration to this constitution must be approved by the CG at the AGM.
  • The CG will have all lawful powers relevant to the attainment of BIG’s aims and objectives.
  • The CG will appoint a Management Committee and agree its terms of reference, modus operandi, membership, strategy, operating plan and budget together with that of any other subgroups, which may change from time to time and which are accountable to the CG.
  • The CG will appoint at any one time a number of spokespersons for BIG. No person may speak on behalf of BIG unless so appointed.
  • The CG will take decisions where possible by the method proposed by the subgroup concerned with the wellbeing of BIG, failing that by majority vote.

5. Membership of CG

  • Members of the CG will be members of BIG and will not be active within Bath&NES on behalf of any other political party.
  • Members of the CG undertake to make an agreed contribution to the work of BIG in addition to participating in CG meetings. They will make an annual payment to BIG not less than the minimum amount set by the CG.
  • Members may resign at any time by giving notice in writing to the CG.
  • Members may be appointed to, suspended or dismissed from the CG by its decision.

6. Officers

  • The officers of BIG required by the Electoral Commission (Leader, Treasurer, Nominating Officer) will be members of the CG and appointed by it. Their roles will be as defined by the Electoral Commission together with any additional duties determined by the CG. The CG may appoint further officers, such as Secretary and Campaign Manager.
  • There will be one accounting unit for all of BIG, under the direction of the Treasurer. All financial matters will be handled within the provisions of the financial scheme approved by the Electoral Commission.

7. Management Committee

  • Unless otherwise decided by the CG, the Management Committee will comprise the three statutory roles (Leader, Treasurer, Nominating Officer), any other roles appointed by the CG and the convenors of any subgroups.
  • In order to maximise participation, the CG will rotate all Management Committee roles between CG members as and when it sees fit.
  • The Management Committee will meet and conduct its meetings as it collectively decides.

8. Candidates

  • BIG candidates for election will commit to the Nolan Principles of Public Life and to this constitution. They will interviewed by a panel of CG members appointed by the CG.
  • No-one may stand for election under the BIG name and emblem(s) without the approval of the CG and certification by the Nominating Officer.

9. Membership of BIG

  • Membership of BIG is open to anyone who supports its aims and objectives, on payment of an annual membership fee set by the CG. There is no limit on the number of members.
  • Any member judged injurious to the interests of BIG may be suspended or dismissed from membership by decision of the CG.
  • Members may be co-opted to CG subgroups.

10. Finance

All financial activities of BIG will be conducted in accordance with the finance scheme approved by the CG and with statutory requirements. No-one other than a CG member may incur expenditure on behalf of BIG and CG members may incur expenditure only with the approval of the Treasurer.

11. Dissolution

BIG may be dissolved by decision of the CG. Any assets at that point will be distributed in accordance with arrangements recommended by the Treasurer and agreed by the CG, for example to a charity or party with similar aims.


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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