Candidates get set for lively hustings

March 28 2014

A QUESTION Time-style debate is being held for Bishopston candidates, who are standing in the next local elections, to introduce themselves and answer questions from voters.

A QUESTION Time-style debate is being held for Bishopston candidates, who are standing in the next local elections, to introduce themselves and answer questions from voters.
A lively debate is expected on local, as well as city-wide issues.
Bishopston is represented by two councillors, who are elected in alternate years and serve for four years. This May, the position held by Liberal Democrat councillor David Willingham will be up for election.
The event will be hosted by Sustainable Bishopston, and supported by the Bishopston Society. 
According to organisers, most people do not vote in local elections and many of those who do will decide based on party allegiance, leaflet campaigns or the local press. However, there is no substitute for meeting the candidates and hearing what they have to say.
The Bishopston hustings, which was first held last year, will run from a "neutral stand-point". Questions from voters can be submitted in advance or on the evening.
The event is expected to run similarly to last year: all candidates were given three minutes to introduce themselves to the audience, and candidates not present were given the opportunity to have a statement read on their behalf; candidates who had confirmed their participation were not announced in advanced; and sets of three questions at a time were addressed by each candidate. Candidates not present were not offered the opportunity to have a substitute answer on their behalf.
Last year, the voter turnout for Bishopston was almost 34 percent - higher than the average turnout from across the city, which was 27.5 percent.
Daniella Radice, Green party councillor, won by obtaining 36.10 percent of the votes. The second, third and fourth placed candidates - Labour, Independent and Lib Dem respectively - all achieved very similar numbers of votes.
It is thought by organisers that the European elections, which will be held on the same day, will help bring more voters out than last year.
Nominations are still open, and the list of candidates will be announced on April 25. Elections will take place on May 22. 
Residents can double-check which ward they belong to by visiting: www.bristol.gov.uk/WardFinder.
The event will be held on May 19 at St Michael's Church Hall in Gloucester Road, starting 7.30pm. For further information about the hustings, visit: www.sustainablebishopston.org.uk or email: hustings@sustainablebishopston.org.uk