Saturday, 18 April 2015

Settle Hustings for General Elections

Which of the above will become out next MP (Skipton and Ripon  Constituency)? 
L to R: Julian Smith (Conservative), Alan Henderson (UKIP), Andy Brown (Green Party), Malcolm Birks (Labour), Jacqueline Bell (Liberal Democrat)

See end for videos on questions of Nature Conservation; Defense; Low Pay-Poverty trap; Introductory talks

Churches Together in Settle and District (CTISAD)  on Fri 17 April again hosted a meeting for people to ask questions for the candidates for our MP for the General election (See 5 years ago here) . the meeting was held at St John's Methodist Church

I made  posters. The first had the word "Hustings" as the headline.. only to discover that the majority of people in the ordinary world of Settle did not know the word "Hustings" .. and a few said it was "American". So I settled on "Meet your next MP".

The Justice and Peace Group of CTISAD helped organise it.  Revd Stephen Normanton (right in the picture above)  chaired the meeting. He is minister at St John's Church Settle, and is also Vice Chair of Churches Together in Settle and District.

He had a stop watch function on his phone which he kept to rigorously and good humouredly which worked well. There were 5 candidates. Each candidate had 90 seconds to give an introduction at the beginning. Then for each question they were allowed either 90 seconds or 60 seconds to answer according to the importance/complexity of the question.

THe questions had been grouped in topics so for each topic ony the first one or two quesitons were asked. The questions were show on the overhead projector and read by the Chairman. After the five candidates had answered, the original proposer was allowed c.20seconds response

This meant we got through a lot of questions.

I did video several of the answers... but have not yet had time to relisten to them, never mind load them.

Sally Waterson, The Secretary of Churches Together in Settle and District
greets one of the candidates - Julian Smith

Our church is next to the Settle Carlisle Line

The church is beginning to fill up. There were eventually over 140 people

It was interesting and we learned a lot.

I wish more of the questions had said "How do you / does your party propose to deal with.....

rather than rather than just "What are your views on.." .. because for many of the social issues brought up all/ or nearly all could express concern.. e.g. about poverty, about housing.

One question asked by Althea (a Mothers Union question) was - what were their opinions on the way children and young people are exposed to adult issues through the press and internet.

(It was interesting that this point came up again at Churches Together Big Breakfast the following morning, when the headmaster of Giggleswick School talked  about his school and pressures on young people - he showed a mobile phone/table and pointed out that young people don't have a private life... and this can in some cases cause mental stress...

And here am I blogging far more than usual.)


I shall add a little more to this post later.. must do some practical work now.  Thanks for reading

And a big thank you to ALL the candidates for coming and for putting the work into standing for election.

Videos coming shortly

1 comment:

Sam Lewis said...

Well written and informative! I just wish I'd known it was happening as would have loved to attend! Thankyou for making me welcome at the Blogging Group yesterday. xxSAMxx