Youngsters Find Their Voice at Hustings

April 24, 2015

YOUNG people from North East Lincolnshire, including those from our Peaks Lane Housing Project in Grimsby, received the chance to quiz local parliamentary candidates on a variety of issues at a Youth Hustings event held at Grimsby Institute on Wednesday 22nd April.

The debate featured all seven Grimsby hopefuls, from the Conservative, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat, TUSC and UKIP parties, as well as an independent candidate, being tackled on a variety of issues, from climate change to zero-hour contracts, ahead of the General Election on 7th May.

Held in conjunction with Grimsby Institute and Voluntary Action North East Lincolnshire (VANEL), the Youth Hustings attracted over 50 young people and they engaged in some fantastic interaction with the election candidates.

Questions asked on the night by students and young people from YMCA Humber were:

  • Despite the current government creating two million more jobs, unemployment in Grimsby remains high, will that increase start filtering through locally?
  • How would parties tackle climate issues, particularly around global warming and renewable energy?
  • How would parties ensure that Grimsby becomes a living wage town?
  • How would parties try and win back lapsed voters or voters who are eligible for the first time and do not wish to vote?
  • How would parties look at social housing solutions?

But the debate was not just restricted to the above questions, attendees debated with candidates on a series of other issues, including zero-hour contracts, immigration, EU restrictions and whether the YouGov online polling is a fair representation of the feelings of those in the town.

Shannon, 18, lives at the Peaks Lane Housing Project and attended the event. She said it gave her a better insight into party policies ahead of the election.

She said: “I thought it got quite exciting near the end when everyone was debating backwards and forwards.

“I am eligible to vote for the first time, so this gave me an opportunity to listen to each candidate and understand better their respective party policies.

“I have been doing some research online but it has been better to come and listen to the candidates themselves – I would really recommend it.”

Foyer Project Manager Andrew Hornsby hosted the event, alongside former YMCA resident Dean Langley.

Andrew was impressed with the contributions from young people.

He said: “I think tonight has reminded our prospective candidates that young people are our future and that they have views and opinions that can shape the future.”

There will be more coverage on the Youth Hustings in the May issue of YMCA Humber Magazine.