Action Zones 

Great Yarmouth residents quiz local parliamentary candidates 

HUSTINGS 2 2015Tuesday 5th May 2015

Over 170 local residents gathered last week to meet Great Yarmouth’s perspective parliamentary candidates for the upcoming General Election and to ask them questions about the issues they cared most about


The event was organised by a number of local churches and was open to all residents of Great Yarmouth. The event was held at the Kings Centre, home of Kingsgate Community Church and was hosted by retired BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Tony Mallion who is a member of Cliff Park Community Church.  Ben Selfe from The Salvation Army shared words of welcome on the evening explaining that it is important for the people of Great Yarmouth to have their say and get involved in politics and that the churches wanted to host this event because we care just as much about what goes on in our town as we do about what goes on in our churches. He then opened in prayer, after which the candidates were given an opportunity to introduce themselves


HUSTINGS 1 2015Alan Grey (UKIP) went first and in his introduction said “I am a proud resident of Great Yarmouth. Regardless of the outcome of the election I will live in Great Yarmouth and be a part of the community.” James Joyce (Liberal Democrat) was next to explain why he is involved in politics: “I’m a liberal democrat because I believe in a fair society and without fairness society breaks up.” Lara Norris (Labour) then shared what she would do as Great Yarmouth’s MP “what I would like to bring to Great Yarmouth and to you is democracy, experience and a leather chair in Westminster that doesn’t belong to me but to you.” Harry Webb (Green) then explained his goal stating “what I want to bring to this role is to give young people a stepping stone to getting involved in leadership.” Finally Brandon Lewis (Conservative) introduced himself and his reason for standing saying “the job most of the time is in Westminster, fighting for the people of Great Yarmouth to get the services they need”


The candidates then answered questions that had been submitted by the audience, most of which focused on issues around housing, employment, the economy, welfare, tourism and community support. Other questions included issues around the lifestyle of politicians, fox hunting, public services such as fire & rescue and local infrastructure. With so many people representing so many different communities and lifestyles within Great Yarmouth the debate could have gone on much longer than the 2 hours we were there, but the event was excellently facilitated by Tony Mallion and there was a very good response from all who attended and the event was very informative and worthwhile


Tony Mallion closed the event by reiterating that it was organised by the churches because they care for the Great Yarmouth community and that whoever people were most impressed with on the night, or throughout the election campaign, the most important thing is that we all vote. All five of the candidates thanked the churches for organising this event and recognised the good work they are already doing within the town