Many weeks of national as well as local focus on voters in the marginal constituency of Hastings & Rye (Conservative majority 346 in 2017) should come to a head next Thursday 5th December when all four candidates will enter an open debate in East Sussex College organised by ourselves – the Hastings Independent Press. Sally-Ann Hart for the Conservatives, Peter Chowney for Labour, Nick Perry for the Liberal Democrats and Independent Paul Crosland have all agreed to take part, giving short addresses to a public audience and taking questions.

The event will start at 6.30pm and is open to all who wish to attend. However, all attendees are required to register, and are encouraged to do so in advance to ensure a place – see the HIP Facebook page for full details. There will be a maximum of 250 seats available on the ground floor of the college’s atrium hall with up to a further 100 standing places only.

We are very keen that the candidates should be pressed to explain their own and, in the case of party contenders, their party’s ideas and practical policies on both national and local issues. However, we also expect the debate to be conducted in a positive and respectful spirit that shows all of us capable of airing differences democratically and peacefully.

Immediately following the hustings event we aim to provide full coverage online (facebook and website) of who said what and how it was received. We encourage our readers to tap into this, if they are able, without waiting for our next newsprint edition. Our Issue 142 may hit the streets while the polls are still open, but the political beauty parade will be over by then.

What would you ask the candidates – Forward your questions now to [email protected] or message us on Facebook

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