New College Pontefract recently hosted a hustings for candidates to become Pontefract’s next MP. Participants joined in a question and answer session with students, followed by a debate on current political affairs. Taking place in the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) on Friday 29th November, representatives of all the major parties standing in the election were invited to the event, hosted by Robbie MacPherson of the charity Hope for the Future.
Attendees included Yvette Cooper MP from the Labour Party, Tom Gordon from the Liberal Democrats and Archie Craven from the Yorkshire Party, along with a large number of New College students.
Some of the students are studying Geography, and earlier on in the day they had attended a climate change workshop. As a result, the initial part of the husting focused on climate change issues, giving student a great opportunity to discuss this issue with local politicians, pressing them on what steps their parties were taking to tackle the issue.
New College teacher Claire Smith, organiser of the event, said: “It could not be more relevant, as we near towards the tipping point for climate change.”
As well as the focus on the environment, questions were also raised on Brexit, the economy, youth services, austerity and how candidates plan on convincing the electorate to vote for them. Students felt more informed about this election than any previous.
“Today’s climate change husting has given students an excellent platform to share their views”, said Claire Smith. “We were very proud of our students today!’