Shrewsbury Colleges Group was proud to host a dynamic hustings event on Friday 21 June 2024, providing an invaluable opportunity for our students to engage directly with four parliamentary candidates standing in the upcoming UK general election. The event, held at the college’s London Road Campus, was attended by 200 students and staff.

The candidates, representing the major political parties, included:

Daniel Kawczynski - Conservative Party,

Julia Buckley - Labour Party,

Alex Wagner - Liberal Democrats Party, 

Julian Dean - Green Party,

Victor Applegate – Reform UK,

James Gollins – Independent,

The other candidate standing in the election was invited but did not respond to our invite:

Chris Bovill – English Democrats

Each candidate presented their party's vision and policies before opening the floor to a lively Q&A session with our students. The students asked insightful and challenging questions on a wide range of topics, including candidates plans for local action in Shrewsbury, public transport issues in the region, flood defences for Shrewsbury, defunding of certain vocational courses, the proposed National Service policy and voting age being lowered to 16.

Principal James Staniforth said, "This election is critical for the future of education in the country and particularly for colleges. We are delighted to have hosted this hustings event, which provided our students with a unique opportunity to engage in the democratic process and gain a deeper understanding of the issues at stake in the upcoming election, which was particularly important given the main parties are offering very different seismic changes to young people’s lives. The questions posed by our students were thoughtful and demonstrated their keen interest in the future of our country."

James continued:, "It was inspiring to see students engage so actively with the parliamentary candidates. There is an important campaign to encourage young people to register to vote and therefore this hustings was really important to help our students be more informed voters. I appreciate the candidates taking the time to listen to our concerns and answer our questions."

The event concluded with a round of applause for the candidates and a reminder of the importance of voting in the upcoming election.

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