Candidates from four of the political parties met to debate the issues in a last minute hustings in Brent North. The future of Northwick Park hospital and religious issues were debated at the event held on 1st May at the Brent Parish Centre. Reporter: Aimee Ren
In the event that lasted two hours candidates answered a wide range of questions including:
What is the first thing you will do if you enter British Parliament?
Paul Lorber (Lib Dem) and Luke Parker (Con, PPC) both delivered a special plan for how to improve Brent locally, while Elcena Jeffers (Independent) and Scott Bartle (Green) gave broader answers.
Lorber said first of all he would try to open an advisory office that runs at least five days per week. He said that people can come for advice with no huge time constraints.
Parker claimed he would focus on improving access to shopping in the high street and education improvements, especially for working class people. The Tory PPC said that Brent Council had been terrible at serving the local community.
The Independent candidate said she would work on the communication with the people.
Bartle said the Green Party would provide fair state funding system to reduce the barrier for ordinary people to stand for election as MP – everyone will have a chance to get into the position. Also job-sharing appears in the party’s agenda, so that a more diverse number of people can stand for Parliament. When it came to gender equality, Bartle said the party will work on a half-half share for the 2025 Parliament.
What do you think is the important issue for the public in Brent?
Jeffers said her main concern is the NHS. “Not many in the UK know what the NHS is doing,” she said.
Paul Lorber personally thought it was the European referendum.
Scott Bartle said his party would go further in funding the NHS.
The candidates discussing the service of A&E in Northwick Park Hospital:
Religious issues relating to the church were also discussed. The candidates spoke about the legalization of euthanasia and the protection of traditional Catholic family values.
According to the electorate who attended the former hustings in Brent Central, this event was even better, as the candidates were less prepared.
Candidates who participated:
- Scott Bartle, Green Party
- Paul Lorber, Liberal Democrats
- Elcena Jeffers, Independent
- Luke Parker, Conservative