Candidate School Programme

Following a successful programme ahead of the May 2021 local elections, we are very excited to be holding the below series of virtual events for candidates in 2022.


All events are completely free to attend. Please sign up to as many or as few events as you would like. Some events have limited places, but we will endeavour to accommodate as many people as possible.


Term 1 – November/December 2021

9 November 2021 – 6pm – Introduction to Being a Councillor

(Virtual Event)

A chance to hear from our panellists Councillors Marianne Overton (Leader of the LGA Independent Group), Sarah Rouse, and Peter Southgate on what inspired them to run for election, and their individual journeys once elected. The floor will then be open to a Q&A. Chaired by Councillor Jo Beavis.

15 November – 6pm – Canvassing

(Virtual Event)

This session will be lead by Councillors Gillian Ford and Jason Zadrozny. An opportunity to learn more about the process of canvassing from the start of a campaign to the end – when to get leaflets printed, how to get your name and face out there, top tips for situations you may come across, how to recruit helpers, and more.

22 November 2021 – 4pm – Social Media
(Virtual Event)

This session will be lead by Councillors Hannah Dalton (Deputy Leader of the LGA Independent Group) and Neil Prior. The workshop will cover using social media within your campaign and your role as a councillor.

24 November 2021 – 12pm – Unitary Candidates Session
(Virtual Event)

This session is for candidates for the new unitary authorities, a chance to hear from Councillor Jim Hakewill, the sole independent elected for the new North Northamptonshire unitary authority in 2021, and Councillor Julian German, who has sat on Cornwall council since 2013, serving as Leader for two years.

8 December 2021 – 6pm – Should I start a Political Party?
(Virtual Event)

Councillor Paul Woodhead (Treasurer of the LGA Independent Group) will lead a panel of independent councillors that have chosen different paths. Councillor Woodhead set up the Cannock Chase Independents political party, Councillor Karen Lucioni will be representing the Independent Network, and Councillor Dinah Barry will be sharing her experience as an unaffiliated independent that sits in a group with other independents at Enfield council.

14 January 2021 – A training day at Smith Square - 11am-4.30pm

After Christmas, we will be launching the second term of the Candidate School with a day of in-person training at our offices in Smith Square, Westminster. Workshops on the day will be facilitated by Tasneem Siddiqi. Tasneem is an experienced trainer and coach. Her broad experience, including as a BBC Radio 4 presenter, enhances her training programmes which include techniques to make an immediate positive impact, preparing messages to engage an audience, speaking in public, using body language and voice to communicate confidently. Sessions will cover self awareness and communication, presentation and media skills, and creating a compelling campaign.

There will be a meeting for Independent Candidates in London Boroughs from 9.45am-10.45am ahead of the main event.

Details of virtual workshops for the second term will be announced in December, with sessions covering the following topics:

  • GDPR
  • Developing your USP
  • Campaigning Techniques
  • Dealing with hostility and challenge
  • Q&A on filling out nomination papers
  • How to be an effective Ward Councillor