As the General Election campaign got under way this week, four Parliamentary candidates for Bury St Edmunds took their first grilling from the town’s teenagers.
Jo Churchill (Conservative), William Edwards (Labour), Dr Helen Geake (Green) and John Howlett (UKIP) debated with audience members, and each other, at the first hustings of the campaign at the Southgate Community Centre on Wednesday night.
David Chappell, Liberal Democrat candidate, was unable to attend.
Organised by the Bury St Edmunds Youth Forum, the audience ranged in age from young to old. Questions included cuts to welfare, immigration, the NHS, housing and lowering the voting age to 16.
Mrs Churchill said: “I want a country that lives within its means, that is not permanently beholden to others.
Addressing younger listeners, she said: “You are the generation where our decisions will really make a difference.”
Mr Edwards said: “I believe in a better life for ordinary people. We shall put down a sound economic foundation.
“We want to move to a situation where this generation can do better than the last.”
Dr Geake said: “The Greens stand for the common good.
“We believe in fairness, in the NHS, jobs and the environment. We want a political system that puts people and the environment first.”
John Howlett said: “We are standing for change. Voting for Labour, the Conservatives or the Lib Dems gets you something out of control.
“It is fundamental we get on top of the national debt.”