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East Midlands Chamber News

Challenge candidates at hustings event

As the General Election draws ever closer, East Midlands Chamber has arranged a series of hustings events to give prospective Parliamentary candidates or their representatives a chance to tell business leaders what they or their party will do for the regional economy.

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

The events start on 16 April in Derby. There are five planned and the last one takes place on 30 April in Leicester, just a week before voters go to the polls.

At each of the events, parliamentary candidates will be introduced by a Chamber compere and will then get just three minutes to introduce themselves and put their case for election to a business audience.

That will be followed by an open questions session with the business audience after which each candidate will be given a further two minutes to make concluding comments.

Uptake by the various political parties has been good.

Labour, Conservatives, Liberal-Democrats, UKIP and the Green Party will all be taking part in one or more of the events.

The hustings are being organised by East Midlands Chamber but are being hosted by members in the five locations.

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.

“Business 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.”

The decision to stage the hustings events followed the launch of the Chamber’s Business Manifesto at Westminster last November.

The Manifesto is based on what businesses told the Chamber they want from the next Government.

The events are:

Thursday 16 April
Geldards, No1 Pride Place, Pride Park, Derby.
Confirmed panellists -
Chris Williamson (Labour, Derby North)
Amanda Solloway (Conservative Party candidate, Derby North)
Lucy Care (Liberal Democrat candidate, Derby North)
Sue McFarlane (Green Party)

Thursday 23 April
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
Tuesday 28 April
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
Wednesday 29 April
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)

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

For full details of each event and to book your place click this link.