Candidate School Programme

We are very excited to be holding the below series of virtual events for candidates. 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.

View a video of our ‘Introduction to Being a Councillor’ event.

9 March 2021 – Dealing with Hostility and Challenge workshop

This event is close to capacity, but we are operating a waiting list.

Facilitators: Mike Thackray and Imogen Walker

As Councillors or prospective candidates, you are likely to have many difficult conversations – with opposition members, the public, officers, the press and within your groups – and it’s important to handle them well. 

This interactive workshop will provide insight into different thinking styles, tips for dealing with hostility and the important role of self-belief.

Mike is a registered practitioner psychologist, and an experienced and engaging facilitator whose main passion is leadership and individual development.

Imogen Walker Imogen was a councillor in Lambeth for twelve years and Deputy Leader for four. She provides advice and training to public and private sectors on engagement, strategy and communication skills and is a Vice-President of the RSPCA.

10 March 2021 (10-11.30am) – Presentation and Media Skills

This event is fully booked

Facilitator: Tasneem Siddiqi

This event will cover:

  • Presenting with style and confidence
  • On-screen presence and influence
  • How to handle the media effectively
  • Personal Action Plan

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.

12 March 2021 -  Standing for election and campaigning in a COVID 19 context

There will be a de-brief for LGA Independent Group members and candidates following the LGA event ‘Standing for election and campaigning in a COVID 19 context

Please sign up for the webinar here, and the de-brief by using the Candidate School registration form on this page.

19 March 2021 (12-1pm) – Completing your Nomination Papers Q&A

Facilitator: Matt Box

This will be an opportunity to go through the nomination paper process with an experienced Council Officer, hear some top tips from LGA Independent Group Councillors, and ask questions.

Matthew is currently the Head of Elections and Democracy at Swindon Borough Council, with a focus on governance, elections and mayoral administration. Matthew holds the Diploma in Electoral Administration, was a Director of the Association of Electoral Administrators of nine years and is now one of their national examiners.

25 March 2021 (12-1pm) - Administration and Opposition Q&A

Panel: Councillor Nick Darby (Surrey County Council) and TBC

This session is an opportunity to wrap up everything that has been learned over the Candidate School Programme. There will be a mixed panel of experienced Councillors present to speak about what it is like being a Councillor in administration and in opposition.

The floor will be open to questions and discussion.

Nick Darby is the Leader of the Opposition at Surrey County Council where he is Vice Chairman of the Adults and Health Select Committee.

Past events

If you would like copies of presentations or recordings of any of our past events, please email independent.grouplga@local.gov.uk:

  • 9 February 2021 (2-3.30pm) – Self Awareness and Communication
    Facilitator: Tasneem Siddiqi
  • 16 February 2021 (12-1pm) – Canvassing
    Facilitator: Councillor Jason Zadrozny
  • 17 February 2021 (2-3.30pm) - Creating Compelling Campaigns
    Facilitator: Tasneem Siddiqi
  • 23 February 2021 (4-5pm) - Social Media
    Facilitator: Councillor Neil Prior