THE public will be able to quiz the candidates standing to be the MP for Newbury at a hustings on Thursday, November 28. 

The event will be held at St Bartholomew’s School, on Andover Road in Newbury. It will start at 7:30pm and is expected to last for about two hours. 

Each of the five candidates have said they will attend the hustings, and will each have two minutes at the start to introduce themselves.

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The event is being organised by West Berkshire Green Exchange. Richard Foster, from the group, said: “It’s really important each candidate is questioned about their attitudes to climate change and beliefs on what action should be taken.” 

The Newbury constituency covers most of West Berkshire, including Thatcham and Hungerford. 

Mr Foster said: “This is a way of increasing the knowledge that people can have, with which to make their decision on who to vote for. It’s about making people as informed as possible.”

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Members of the public can submit questions in advance, by contacting West Berkshire Green Exchange, or filling in a question card on the night and handing it in before 7:15pm.  

The organisers will sort the questions beforehand to ensure a broad range of topics. Mr Foster said they prefer questions submitted in advance, rather than on the night, to allow time to sort them.

It will be chaired by Paul Dick, former headteacher of Kennet School. Mr Foster said he wanted a ‘heavyweight chair’ and someone ‘who people will respect’. “I’m very pleased that he has agreed to do it.” 

The candidates are: Laura Farris, Conservative; Lee Dillon, Liberal Democrat; Steve Masters, Green; James Wilder, Labour; and Ben Holden-Crowther, Independent. 

Mr Foster said holding hustings is a very old idea which has been ‘rejuvenated in recent elections’, over the last 10 to 15 years. He said: “We’re also much more aware what’s happening in Westminster than we ever used to be.”

Another separate hustings will be held on December 2, at Thatcham Baptist Church. It will be organised by David Taylor, the church minister.