With Apologies from Rob Punton who was unwell, all candidates were present to face the potential electorate in a part of the Perry Barr Constituency where a hustings of this nature have never been held, was found to be a refreshing concept.
We started off with Stop n Search, following the experiences of my son and indeed all candidates and also the audience all admitted that there are issues especially when it comes to black youth and there is alot of work to be done and the disappointment at the slow pace of progress was clear, especially taking into account that this constituency has a 57% BME Population.
Issues such as the Library of Birmingham, The Cuts, Austerity, Health and Social Care and the NHS were raised and concerns in some quarters of the policies between all parties being similar to the extent that no one wants to commit to reviewing the Cuts.
Ben Cheney the man who tackled the Bus Lane Fiasco with Birmingham City Council was there asking for a commitment from whoever is elected MP to support the Campaign for Birmingham City Council to cancel and refund all tickets issued to motorists when the signs in Birmingham City Centre were deemed to be non complaint, by the Traffic Commissioner.
Support for this was overhwelming.
There were memorable exchanges between all, candidates but the main ding dong was between Kahlid Mahmood who has been the MP for the past 14 years and harjinder (waving man) Singh of UKIP.
I must commend Charlotte Hodivala and Arjun Singh for tackling the critics of the outgoing government in a dignified manner.
James Lovatt did point out that the arguing at times is a big turn off.
The importance of the night was that people could engage directly with those asking for their votes, hence realising that there are no cardboard cut outs.
19th April 2015