Frome Town Council in association with Frome FM and FACT (Frome Area Christians Together) hosted a Democracy Day in anticipation of the May Elections on Sunday 12 April at the Cheese and Grain. It included a range of activities that aimed to inform and excite, during the lead-up to the local and wider elections on 7 May.
One of the prominent events that took place on Democracy Day was the Hustings. Prospective parliamentary candidates Ian Angell, Alan Dimmick, David Oakensen, David Rendel, Theo Simon and David Warburton participated in a ‘Question Time’ style event, where members of the local community had the opportunity to submit their questions to the candidates. These questions were selected on the basis of greatest relevance to the people of Frome; chosen by independent Chair Lisa Millard; and were unseen by the candidates in advance.
The recording below consists of the full 2 hour hustings event with only minor editing for clarity and to remove long pauses.
Candidates (left to right in panel image above):
- David Rendel. Liberal Democrat. www.davidrendel.org.uk
- Ian Angell. Independent. www.ianangell.org
- David Oakensen. Labour. www.somersetlabour.co.uk/candidates/david-oakensen
- David Warburton. Conservative. www.davidwarburton.org
- Theo Simon. Green Party. www.theosimon.org.uk
- Alan Dimmick. UK Independence Party. www.ukipsouthwest.org.uk/our-parliamentary-candidates/
Questions and approx times:
- I am a trustee of Fair Frome. In a rich country and in a constituency where unemployment is low, why do you think it is that our foodbank is such an essential service? Linda Wynne, Trustee of Fair Frome (17:14)
- Young people are our future, how will you help young people to become more employable? Hannah Pannicia, Apprentice in Frome (24:39)
- What value is there in labelling children at the age of 5 as failures or successes? Question from the floor. (31:56)
- Question from floor about apprenticeships, vocational qualifications and performance tables. (37:15)
- Housing for the most young people and other economically vulnerable groups in Frome is limited, difficult to obtain and often puts them at the mercy of rogue landlords. What would you do to support the youngest and most in need of help to obtain housing in their town. Peter Beech, from Frome. (44:18)
- Question about housing policies encouraging speculation on land and property pricing and help to buy subsidising. (54:35)
- Question from floor about the number of houses to be built in Frome. Nick White (1:02:12)
- The ongoing demand for more housing and commercial development is resulting our beautiful countryside in and around the town being lost under concrete. I would like to ask the panel, what, if anything , you will do to protect our countryside if you are elected. Sarah Coombe, from Rode. (1:08:16)
- Question from the floor about building simple housing but the cost of land being too high for eco housing. (1:15:03)
- With the population rising you get more cars and lorries and more congestion, what would you do to encourage more walking and cycling in Frome? Simon Carpenter, Frome. (1:21:27)
- Frome is very much on the up and attracting many visitors and new businesses. But it is a mess. There is household and business waste, fly tipping, litter and dog poo everywhere. It’s not any where near as clean as Bath or Wells. What will you do to help make Frome clean? Vicki Burke, Frome (1:29:23)
- In your vision for building a “good society” what place would faith communities have and how would you encourage them to play their part? Tony Perry, Frome Area Christians together. (1:37:07)
- Question from the floor regarding illegal settlements on land and fly-grazing of horses. (1:42:47)
- If you were elected, and you got an early opportunity to introduce a Private Member’s Bill, what would it be and why? Rachel Bodle, Frome. (1:49:20)
- Matt Sims
- Suzi Holland
- Peter Beard
- Terry Stewart
- Fi Lively
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