Hustings at the Birley Centre

Friday 8 May 2015

no tagno tagno tagno tagSixth Form
Boston House

Written by Jasmina Manville

Last Wednesday evening, a dozen students from Years 9 to Year 13 attended the Hustings at the Birley Centre. The first part of the evening was a discussion between the Conservative and Liberal Democrat candidates for leader of the Eastbourne Borough Council. This was of particular interest to the Business Studies students amongst us as it centred around local businesses. Afterwards, the candidates for Eastbourne MP debated. Representatives from the main 5 English political parties were present as well as Paul Howard, a local independent candidate. The discussion spanned a wide variety of local and national issues from the A27 to tuition fees, the Wish Tower to zero-hours contracts and local food bank usage to mental health. Though the discussion became heated at times, both amongst the panel and audience, some of the arguments made and points raised were excellent examples of democracy in action.

In the audience were many students who gained greatly from being able to pose questions themselves. Due to this, significant attention was paid to the value of qualifications. I was lucky enough to be able to ask the panel on the value of the arts and humanities.

All of us came away from the Hustings more informed than when we arrived. For the few of us students who can vote this year, the evening made us reconsider who we will vote for. The main thing I gained is this: despite how politics can seem distant, particularly to the young, going to the ballot box is as important as ever, if not more so in such a close election. So, if you have the right to vote this election, please do so.