URN Presents: The Big Debate

31st March 2015

URN Presents: The Big Debate

On Thursday 26th March, URN and the Politics Society invited all of the candidate standing to be the next Member of Parliament of Nottingham South, which includes the Lenton and Dunkirk areas, onto campus to answer all the questions University of Nottingham student’s want answered before the May 7th election.

In attendance was the incumbent, Lilian Greenwood MP (Labour), Jane Hunt (Conservative), Adam McGregor (Green Party) and David Hollas (UKIP).

YOUTH APATHY IN POLITICS

The evening began with a question surrounding how each of the parties would seek to tackle youth apathy in Politics. Lilian Greenwood said some young people don’t engage in politics as ‘they don’t think it has anything to do with them’, whilst Adam McGregor argued ‘it’s not so much apathy, as disillusionment’.

Current MP Lilian Greenwood attended the debate

Voices: Lilian Greenwood speaks first, followed by Jane Hunt then David Hollas and Adam McGregor.

DO WE DISTRUST POLIICIANS?

The question was then posed of whether their is a lack of trust in politicians in the local area, with Adam McGregor and Jane Hunt each bringing up examples from the local area which led David Hollas to argue that the Labour-majority Nottingham Council led to a one-party system which embodied a ‘Soviet style’.

David Hollas is the UKIP candidate for Nottingham South

STUDENT FINANCE: WHAT WILL YOU DO?

A question from Tegan then asked the candidates what they would seek to do about the Maintenance loan, with it sometimes not being enough to cover student’s rent. David Hollas said he doesn’t think it should be increased, but a more means-tested based approach could be adopted whilst Adam McGregor told the students his party would be the only to scrap tuition fees.

Adam McGregor said The Greens would scrap tuition fees

WHAT WOULD YOU DO ABOUT ROGUE LANDLORDS?

Highlighting a poor record that the Labour Party have had on ‘rogue landlords’, Elliot asked the candidates what they would do. Jane Hunt agreed, saying ‘these are things that can be dealt with and that must stop’, whilst Lilian Greenwood highlighted some of the council’s work including how it had ensured tenants were in ‘safe and secure’ housing.

Jane Hunt is campaigning to be the next MP

DOES THE VOTING SYSTEM NEED CHANGING?

The debate then turned to a national concern, the voting system. Highlighting the lack of proportionality in the system, both Adam McGregor and David Hollas argued for change, whilst Jane Hunt and Lilian Greenwood noted the issue had already been dealt with in this Parliament – through the AV Referendum in 2011.

A change to AV was rejected in a 2011 referendum

ARE WE HEADING FOR MIGRATION CRISIS?

The issue of immigration caused firm divides in the room, as Jane Hunt argued there would be ‘no repatriation’ though the immigration rules need looking at and ‘tighter restrictions’. Lilian Greenwood said that many companies only existed in the UK because of the European Union, and that the issue extended beyond just immigration.

The event was organised by URN and The Politics Society

HOW WOULD THE PARTIES TACKLE WEALTH INEQUALITY?

One student sent in a question highlighting the UK’s increased problem with wealth inequality, which led to each of the candidates highlighting their own parities policies on the issue. David Hollas noted that neither the Labour or Conservatives had sought to address wealth inequality whilst in office, as Jane Hunt described what the Conservatives had aimed to do over the past 5 years.

Each candidate told us how they would tackle wealth inequality

WHAT DID YOU THINK?

It was a lively evening full of debate and a variety of opinions from each of the candidates, however not all students were sure if they were going to vote when we spoke to them earlier on in the afternoon:

Following the event, URN’s presenters for the evening, Elliott Chaplin and Annabel Rackham, discussed what each of the candidates had said and who they felt had come out on top:

You can stay tuned to The Pulse and The Big Picture for all of your latest elections news, where we’ll be sure to bring you all of the results from Nottingham South when polling closes on the 7th May. Follow our Twitter Page, or like us on Facebook, to keep across all of the campus events that matter to you.

Annabel and Elliott react to The Big Debate!