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Hundred's of People attend Eve of Election Forum (posted 12 May 2010)

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Hundred's of People Attend Eve of the Election Forum in Cathedral on 5th May 2010

Picture: One of the Candidates
One of the Candidates

Hundred of local people attended an Eve of the Election Forum held in the Cathedral on the 5th May.  All four Chichester candidates went head-to-head in a pre-election debate and also answered questions submitted by the public.

The four Chichester candidates attending were: Simon Holland (Labour), Martin Lury (Liberal Democrat), Andrew Moncrieff (UKIP) and Andrew Tyrie (Conservative).  The forum was chaired by the Dean of Chichester and started with each candidate being invited to give a short presentation, outlining their Party's case for election.  The Chairman then asked the candidates questions that had been submitted by the audience.  (A selection of the questions is provided below).

  • On behalf of Fairtrade Chichester, I would like to ask the candidates, if elected, what steps they would take to support the development of Fairtrade during the life of the next Parliament?
  • In light of the UK's national and regional ageing population I would like to know how each of the candidates propose to fund a fairer system of social care for older people?  Will it be through National Insurance or general taxation?
  • Would each party representative please say if they are in favour of Turkey joining the European Union and how their party would accommodate the resulting massive influx of immigrants to this country, albeit that the immigrants come from inside the European Union?
  • It is forecast that power blackouts will begin as early as 2015:  What will each Party do to protect the old and the vulnerable from cold and darkness in winter weather?
  • "Rising traffic levels and congestion are causing problems for people, business and the environment.  The current financial climate probably means that major changes to the A27 are likely to be put back for several more years.  In the meantime what specific measures can our local MP take to assist local government in improving matters?"
  • Recent initiatives on education have stressed the importance of 'inclusion' of all kinds in schools.  Would candidates like to comment on:
    - how they would ensure that all pupils have access to the best in education, in existing schools and through new school provision? and
    - how, at a time of severe financial restraint, they would provide adequate funding for all schools and all pupils to benefit from their plans?
  • In view of the openess of this election, in a constituency like ours, some of us will want to vote not simply on party politics, and even less on the media image of party leaders.  But the personal qualities of our MP do matter, and will be a factor in our decision.  Local election literature is curiously reticent about the candidates themselves.  Would each candidate like to tell us three or four personal qualifications, experiences or achievements which he feels commend himself to us as our MP?

    Does standing for a political party require accepting every detail of policy, or is it about a commitment to broad principles, with some freedom to dissent?  If it is the second, could you name an area of policy where you take the minority view in your party?

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