Election Party Candidates Grilled by College Students

Date: 21/04/2015

In the run up to Election Day, Dearne Valley College welcomed local party candidates to answer some hard-hitting questions from first-time voting students at its #YourChoice2015 Hustings election event.

An audience of 140 College students and staff grilled those who are vying for their votes, including Conservative’s Michael Naughton, UKIP’s Mike Hookem, Ann Roche of the Green Party, the Liberal Democrats’ Edwin Simpson and Labour’s John Healey at the election-themed event which was hosted by BBC Look North’s Political Reporter, James Vincent.

The students asked tough questions on education funding cuts, the voting age and tuition fees, with one student asking whether the parties would create more jobs for graduates, and another questioned the candidates on how they intended to prevent cuts being made to benefits for those with disabilities.

The candidates gave their views on the topics under debate, with some heated and passionate exchanges, whilst event host, James Vincent dubbed the forthcoming election as the first ‘social media election’ and students took advantage of this, tweeting their views of the event using the #YourChoice2015 hashtag.


Dearne Valley College’s Principal and Chief Executive, Martin Harrison added:

“Many of our students are first time voters, often with little understanding of which parties are standing in the election, their policies and the process for registering to vote in the General Election. The #YourChoice2015 Hustings event offered our students an opportunity to put their questions to local party candidates, covering issues that are important to young people today, and it was a fantastic success in getting our students engaged with the upcoming election and their potential to influence their own future.”


Public Services Student, Gemma Agnew put a question to the candidates, and said of the event: “I’m a first time voter so I was looking forward to finding out more about the parties who are standing in the election. It has definitely influenced me to think for myself and choose who I want to vote for, rather than not voting at all.”

If you are debating your next steps, and would like to take advantage of the courses and opportunities available at Dearne Valley College, contact the College on 01709 513355, or at learn@dearne-coll.ac.uk.

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