Policy think tanks and councillor networks

The Independent Group is the most diverse group of councillors and the most representative of the public. It is important that we harness the knowledge and experience of our members to ensure that we are working effectively and that our voices are heard.

In order to help achieve this we have set up a number of policy think tanks and networks that provide networking opportunities, a chance to help form policy positions within the group and shadow the work of the various LGA governance structures.

Think tanks

Each think tank is led by the lead Independent Group member appointed to the relevant LGA governance structure. They cover the following policy areas:

  • Children and young people
  • Community wellbeing
  • Culture, tourism and sport
  • Environment, economy, housing and transport
  • Resources
  • Safer and stronger communities
  • Improvement and innovation
  • City regions
  • People and places
  • EU / international matters¬†
  • Fire and rescue services

Council network think tanks

We have think tanks supporting our members on the executive committees of the District Councils Network, County Councils Network, and Unitary Councils Network.

What do they do?

  • provide a constructive forum for the exchange of ideas and information between members to assist policy development
  • serve as an informed voice to assist the Independent Group Executive
  • identify, articulate, and evaluate current policy issues and develop solutions
  • provide timely comment on LGA policy briefings and submissions

How do they work?

  • They primarily carry out their function virtually.
  • There is the opportunity for members of think tanks to come together as part of various Group events.
  • Full members appointed to the relevant LGA governance structure are responsible for leading appropriate engagement with the members of their think tank.¬†

Councillor networks

To encourage Independent, Green and smaller party members to build links with each other, we also have a number of councillor networks for women, people from BAME communities, councillors with disabilities, and young councillors. WhatsApp groups provide a chance to seek advice, and to share best practice and helpful resources with peers.

Who can be part of our think tanks and networks?

  • Any member that is able to receive support from the Independent Group can join a think tank,
  • Members appointed to LGA Boards, including substitutes, are automatically added to the corresponding think tank membership list.

Sign up to a policy think tank or councillor network