Originally posted in 2016 by Katie Fanning, former UKIP Manchester Membership Secretary and YI in UKIP Chair North West
Katie’s campaign was successful, and she continues to serve the best interests of the party and its membership as a prominent and enthusiastic NEC member.
Having been a supporter of UKIP for several years I became a member in 2014 following our success in the Euro elections. I took an active role immediately, within weeks of joining I collaborated with three other members from Trafford Branch to found and establish the UKIP Manchester branch. Upon forming the committee, the role of branch Membership Secretary was taken by myself.
In addition to being the UKIP Manchester Membership Secretary, I was the campaign manager for Manchester Central in GE15, Vote Leave Greater Manchester Voluntary Coordinator throughout the referendum, stood as a Local election candidate 2016 in Gorton North Ward coming second. Following these roles, I was then elected as the Young Independence North West Regional Chairman and subsequently elected as Deputy Chairman of Young Independence, alongside these positions I maintain an active role grass roots campaigning across the country. During this time I have become increasingly concerned with our party’s decision making, internal functions and capabilities particularly our NEC which in its current form is not fit for purpose.
Due to these concerns, I have decided to stand for the National Executive Committee. I believe that my skill set, derived from my time in Business Analytics, which includes professional operating model design and Lean Six Sigma optimisation, organisation design and related skills/capability development, change management and performance management of businesses and their teams would be a major asset to party organisational structure, recruitment and fund raising.
Our future success as a party will depend on organisational and operational reform, optimisation of our internal management processes with a focus on expanding our internal capabilities. As with many non-profits we appear to be fiscally solvent but we are held back from expanding because we barely make ends meet each year and post referendum this situation has only worsened. This is why it is a matter of urgency that our issues with recruitment, fundraising and professionalising our internal processes are dealt with promptly along with mitigating the potential risk of corruption within our internal process systems by decreasing dependency on major donors and limiting the power of any individual member.
As a party of principles, I think it is important to not to fall into the trap of dependence on a small handful of donors as this could put our entire party’s political integrity at risk when their donations come with stipulations that can manipulate our internal democratic processes. Broadening our fundraising base can reduce this dependency on these major single donors making us self-sufficient within a few years and ensuring that the will of our grassroots membership is upheld.
Under my operating model proposal influence will be spread out equally and regionally with the proposal to establish a “National Board” made up of 12 regionally elected NEC positions and an “Executive Board” made up of essential operational positions, these seats would be elected but within a selection process for candidacy based on skill, qualification or ability to fulfil the function that is critical to the role.
It is also of utmost importance that consistent and regular organisational wide communication, consultation and reporting should be conducted on a routine basis and that the wider membership and organisation should be kept informed, consulted and engaged in regards to the motions and activities of our NEC. To assist in this a Grassroots Officer(GO) should be elected to the “Executive Board”, they would act as a voice for branches, regional organisers or chairmen; the GO would be the go to person, they can engage in open and objective communication to effectively share information, bring up proposals, objections, grievances, have direct influence and power on core party policy and internal decision making processes. The GO would give feedback on how well the party policies and procedures are working directly to the top of the chain along with their NEC regional representative creating a linear/ horizontal communication model in regards to grassroots communication. My full operating model will be available on my website by mid-November.
If elected to the NEC I shall
- Support, design and manage our operational reform; forming a transparent, accountable and efficient operating model and a clear responsibility assignment matrix (RACI) that will ensure that NEC members are aware of their responsibilities, that their performance is measured with key performance indicators (KPI’s) and they are held accountable should they not fulfil their responsibilities, whilst also ensuring that the grassroots membership are consulted and informed on motions and proceedings.
- I would propose an NEC operating model that would consist of two segments with a semi-appointed Executive Board and a National Board made up of 12 elected regional positions that together would make up the NEC.
- Provide expertise and facilitation to drive down the operational cost base, increase efficiency and drive process improvements to improve financial performance, maximize process capability, flexibility and capacity.
- Facilitate growth and expansion of UKIP through the implementation of a national integrated multichannel fundraising and recruitment campaign, reducing dependence on already stretched party resources we can ensure the future viability for our party leaving our leadership free to just worry about advancing our main political goals.
- Make organisational wide communication and consultation a key focus with regional organisers, branches and the wider grassroots membership being consulted on all core subjects, that they are kept informed of any actions or proceedings undertaken by the NEC, that minutes of all official NEC meetings are recorded, readily available or widely distributed enforcing transparency.
- As part of the open communication policy my contact details would also be made available for members to contact me directly about any party operations related topic, assistance or grievances ensuring the grassroots membership have a voice.
- Optimize membership and organisational wide experience by re-designing, improving and delivering value added engagement processes and services that will increase active member participation from the branch level up.
- Ensure unbiased grievance and disciplinary actions. Those hearings to overturn suspensions are arranged promptly and investigations are conducted in a fair and appropriate manner.
- Give Young Independence a direct say on the party’s direction and internal processes, bridging the gap between UKIP and YI and working with the YI Chairman to ensure that the opinions of our under 30’s membership are all taken into account.