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East Midlands Chamber News

Businesses to Challenge Candidates at Hustings Debate

As the General Election draws ever closer, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) is offering business leaders in Derby the opportunity to quiz the main political parties ahead of the vote.

The Chamber is working in partnership with law firm Geldards to deliver a business hustings event which will see candidates and party representatives set out their priorities and debate current business and economic issues. It takes place at Geldards’ Derby headquarters on Pride Park between 5pm and 6.30pm on Thursday 16 April.

Confirmed panellists include three candidates vying for the Derby North seat, Labour’s Chris Williamson, Lib Dem Lucy Care and Conservative Amanda Solloway, along with the Green Party’s Mid-Derbyshire candidate, Sue McFarlane.

Subjects expected to be covered include jobs, growth, the national debt, austerity, employability skills, red tape, the out-dated business rates system and more.

At the event, the panellists will be introduced by a Chamber compere and will then get just three minutes to introduce themselves and put their case for election to the business audience. That will be followed by an open questions session, after which each candidate will be given a further two minutes to make concluding comments.

Chris Hobson, the Chamber’s Head of Information and Representation, said: “While the row continued to rumble on about the party leaders’ televised debate, we did what we could to localise the issues and give regional candidates and parties a chance to put their case for election to the business community.

“Businesses themselves don’t have a vote, but the people who run them do and there are questions they will want answers to that are very different from those that the average man or woman in the street might ask.”

Places at the event are limited and can be booked online at http://bit.ly/1aT25Y3.

Further hustings are planned in other locations in the run-up to the election. They are:

Nottingham Hustings
Thursday 23 April, 5pm–6.30pm, Experian, John Peace Building, Experian Way, Nottingham.
Confirmed panellists – Chris Leslie (Labour, Nottingham East); Jane Hunt (Conservative Party candidate, Nottingham South); Cllr David Watts (Liberal Democrat candidate, Broxtowe); David Kirwan (Green Party representative); Stephen Crosby (UKIP candidate, Nottingham North)

North Nottinghamshire Hustings
Tuesday 28 April, 8am-9.30am, Mansfield Manor Hotel, Carr Bank Park, Windmill Lane, Mansfield.
Confirmed panellists – Mark Spencer (Sherwood); Kat Boettge (Green Party); Leon Duveen (Liberal Democrat Party)

North Derbyshire Hustings
Wednesday 29 April, 8am-9.30am, Chesterfield FC, Proact Stadium, Sheffield Rd, Chesterfield
Confirmed panellists - Toby Perkins (Labour, Chesterfield); Lee Rowley (Conservative PPC – N E Derbyshire); Julia Cambridge (LibDem PPC – Chesterfield); Ian Wood (Green Party representative)

Leicestershire Hustings
Thursday 30 April 2015, 6pm–7.30pm, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester.
Confirmed panellists – Alberto Costa (Conservative Party); Phil Knowles (Liberal Democrat Party); Matt Sisson (Green Party)