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How Will You Vote? Don't Miss the Wincanton Hustings, Thurs 22nd April

Wednesday 14 April 2010, 14:45
By John Baxter

Organised by Wincanton Churches Together the Wincanton Hustings should provide us all with a real opportunity to hear, see and question the candidates standing for this constituency in the General Election.

All the candidates standing have been invited and Baptist minister Andrew Ireland who has been given the task of organising the evening by WCT, tells me that the candidates of all the main parties have agreed to be there, together with Independent Niall Warrey. This means we can expect to hear:

  • David Heath (Liberal Democrat)
    David Heath, Liberal Democrat MP
  • Annunciata Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
    Annunciata Rees-Mogg, Prosective Conservative MP
  • David Oakensen (Labour)
    David Oakensen, Labour candidate
  • Barry Harding (United Kingdom Independence Party)

Members of other parties are welcome if registered as candidates by 20th April.

Format for the Election Hustings

The Chairman will introduce the candidates who will each have two minutes to introduce themselves and put their main points.

The chairman will then put to them three question drawn up by WCT, for which the candidates will be prepared.

Question 1: Our families are falling apart, increasing numbers of children grow up fatherless, children are leaving school functionally illiterate and becoming parents themselves (at a higher rate than anywhere in Western Europe). In terms of youth justice, the number of children sentenced to custody in England and Wales more than tripled between 1991 and 2006, despite little change in crime statistics. Eleven times more is spent on youth incarceration than crime prevention. The system is becoming increasingly punitive, although evidence suggests that where sentences are community-based, the rate of re-offending is far lower. How would you see your party, if elected, tackling this tragic issue.

Question 2: Given the concerns about Climate Change and its potential effects on some of the poorest communities in the world, how would you and your party tackle this? Please give consideration to the effects increased petrol charges would have on those living in small towns like Wincanton.

Question 3: Recent Parliamentary legislation seems to be making it more difficult for faith communities to hold to their beliefs and serve the community. There also seem to have been an increasing number of cases in which legal action has been taken against Christians for not compromising their beliefs. How do you and your party see the place and integrity of faith communities in this country?

The Hustings will then be open to questions from the floor. These can be directed to a particular candidate, but each will have the opportunity to comment in turn and the questioner will be allowed one follow-up. This is so that as many questions can be taken as possible.

The meeting will end with a prayer and formal thanks to candidates and audience.

Refreshments (candidates are welcome to stay and chat if they wish).


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