Last night there was a slightly unusual – but highly successful – event to meet the candidates for South Cambridgeshire’s next MP, held at the wonderful Royal Oak pub, out in Barrington. It was unusual in that unlike most “village hall” hustings events, it was held outside, in front of the pub on the edge of the village green.
The weather was kind, and people could come and go, as well as enjoying a drink while listening to the candidates. One Queen Edith’s couple who had driven out to the pub for the event (and to have dinner!) said to me: “This has absolutely restored my faith in democracy”. It was a lovely evening.
Below is a flavour of what went on, as filmed by Antony Carpen. In order, you’ll see Heidi Allen (Conservative), Dan Greef (Labour), Susan van de Ven (Lib Dem) and Simon Saggers (Green). They’re all worth listening to, as you’ll find out:
Afterwards, the four candidates retired to a back room in the pub, where we tried an experiment of live-broadcasting a chat between them (see photo, top). Unfortunately we were beaten on points by inadequate rural broadband, and I know that most people who watched online got a stuttering image, which probably wasn’t much competition for EastEnders on the other side. Our apologies! We learned a lesson.
However, the informal round-table format was excellent. I’m not sure it would work as well if South Cambridgeshire didn’t have four such pleasant, grown-up candidates. But as you’ll see below, in our case, this way of doing things really is a great way to get to know them. The chat lasts around 45 minutes, and I think you’ll really enjoy it. If you’d like to download it as an MP3 and just listen, you can get it here. Otherwise, play the video and click the small square symbol in the bottom right corner to fill your screen.
- The candidates discuss Brexit at 8mins 55s
- Education: 15mins 40s
- Transport: 26mins 00s
- The future of the constituency: 35mins 45s
Thanks to Julian Clover of Cambridge 105 for hosting the evening and keeping the chat going so well.