General election debate coming up at Uckfield college

An election debate is due to be held at Uckfield Community Technology College next week with candidates from five political parties invited to take part.

The debate will take place on Friday, May 1, and be followed by a “mock” election aimed at raising interest and awareness of contemporary political, social and economic issues where local, national or international.UCTC logo 1

It will take place just six days before the “real” 2015 General Election. Just under half of the UCTC sixth form students are eligible to vote this year and most have registered to vote after an in-school drive to do so.

Candidates agreeing to take part in the debate and vying to be elected as the honorary representative of the 320 sixth form seat at UCTC are Giles Goodall (Liberal Democrat, parliamentary constituency candidate for Wealden); Nus Ghani (Conservative, PCC for Wealden); Peter Griffiths (UKIP, PCC for Wealden); Alfie Stirling (Green, PCC for Lewes); and Solomon Curtis (Labour, PCC for Wealden).

Last year’s runner-up Charles Hendry who is stepping down as Wealden MP after the election will not be taking part. He has made five previous appearances at the debate and wishes those taking part “the very best”.

Students will be asking questions on a wide range of subjects which could include youth employment, foreign policy, nuclear energy, austerity, the budget and inequality.

In addition to electing a UCTC representative from among the five candidates, the college’s politics students have also chosen a referendum question to be put to the student audience as a whole.

It is: “Following the reign of Elizabeth II, should the monarchy be abolished?”

Last year’s referendum question on whether the UK should withdraw from the EU was decided by a resounding “no” vote (86%).

Interested members of the local community would be welcome to attend the debate but would need to contact Dan Buschle, head of politics and philosophy at the college. His email address is uccdbuschle@uctc.org.uk.

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