In partnership with One Church Brighton, YMCA DownsLink Group staged a hustings event on 26 May for young people and those from marginalised communities. The event was attended by local parliamentary candidates, young people from our housing projects and residents from the local community.
With an audience of around 60, all the main parties were invited. The candidates were Caroline Lucas (Green Party, Brighton Pavilion constituency), Solomon Curtis (Labour, Brighton Pavilion constituency), Charley Sabel (Independent, Hove) and Paul Chandler (representing the Liberal Democrats).
The event was staged in order to give young people and the marginalised an opportunity to ask questions directly to those seeking election in Brighton & Hove. It followed the recent publication of the national YMCA Manifesto, which provides more than 40 recommendations for the next government. The manifesto was created in consultation with YMCAs all over the country.
Questions asked by the audience included:
- “Brexit has been decided, what are your plans to manage it?”
- “What would you do about education in secondary schools such as Portslade Aldridge Community Academy and Brighton Aldridge Community Academy losing 19 teachers by the end of 2019?”
- “How will the Labour Party fund cutting tuition fees?”
- “What are your views on immigration?”
- “If you were to legalise cannabis which is damaging for mental health, how would you manage it?”
- “What would be the first three issues the Green Party would address if elected?”
Chas Walker said, “It is essential that young people’s voices are front and centre of any election debate and this year is no different. YMCA and One Church Brighton trust the hustings event has raised important issues around fairness and opportunity for all in our society. We hope it has provided insight into how the policies of each of the parties will support the views of young people and those currently on the margins of society. Only 43% of young people voted in the last General Election despite the fact this age group is often the most affected by policies that are introduced.”
Thanks to One Church for hosting the event and Duncan Purvis for coordinating the arrangements.