Big issues aired at key hustings
ELECTORS were urged to make their vote count by a 300-year-old industrialist who came back from the dead for a dramatic election debate.
Residents filled St Michael’s Church during the Treacle Market on Sunday for a hustings with the five candidates hoping to become Macclesfield’s next MP.
It completed a busy week of hustings for the candidates who had been part of events at Poynton, Bollington and another in Macclesfield. But there was an interesting element to the Treacle event – with 300-year-old industrialist Charles Roe presiding over the debate.
The man credited with bringing the silk industry to Macclesfield – played by actor David Wilkinson – introduced the candidates before leading them through questions on the big issues.
It’s the 300th anniversary of his birth on election day next Thursday, May 7, so hustings organisers decided he would bring an unusual twist to the proceedings.
He left the audience with a rousing call to vote in next week’s elections, saying: “The only certainty in this election is that certainty is but an illusion unless you make it so. “Speak and be heard.” Charles Roe read five pre-written questions on town centre redevelopment, the NHS, immigration, voting age and food banks and there were five questions from the audience.
Organisers said the hustings was a great success and tweeted updates from the event. Jude D’Souza, who runs Entropy Events, said: “As audience members entered, they were each given a token and asked to place it in a labelled jar that corresponded to their current voting intention.
“We did the same thing as people were exiting, to get a rough impression of whether the candidates changed any opinions.
“The results were thoroughly informal but do show some clear trends.”
Earlier in the week, former BBC newsreader Peter Sissons oversaw a busy hustings in Bollington. There was standing room only at Bollington Civic Hall when around 170 people attended the event, which had a Question Time format.
The week started with a hustings at Poynton Baptist Church on Monday and there was a hustings on Friday at Macclesfield Methodist Church, organised by Hope for North East Cheshire. See @ entropyevents on Twitter for updates from the Treacle Market hustings.