Jesmond election debate – replay!

JesmondLocal gave the people of Jesmond an opportunity this week to quiz the candidates hoping to represent them on Newcastle City Council.

On Thursday evening, JesmondLocal hosted a “Vote Jesmond” live debate between candidates in front of an audience of around 100 local people at Cafe 1901 on St George’s Terrace, Jesmond.

If you weren’t able to make it to the event, you can read our blow-by-blow account by clicking here. Despite some wi-fi difficulties at Cafe 1901, our commentators Catherine Symonds and Stu Bradley kept our online coverage moving via iPhone.

Anastasia Tschepreassow was our photographer for the event:

The event was run along the same lines as the TV debates between the national party leaders. We didn’t have 74 rules (!), but we had strict guidelines to ensure that all candidates know in advance the questions being asked; every candidate was given the same opportunity and time to answer those questions; and the questions were focused on local issues that impact directly on people living and working in Jesmond, rather than national politics. In the interests of fairness, an impartial panel met in advance of the event to select which questions were asked on the evening.

Each of the candidates standing at next month’s local elections was invited to attend. Catherine Pagan and Tom Woodwark of the Liberal Democrats, Tom Hardwick of the Labour Party, James Marwick of the Conservatives and Tim Dowson and Tony Waterston of the Green Party all accepted our invitation to meet with, and take questions from voters. Alison Orlandi of the Labour Party and Joanne Lavender of the Conservatives declined our invitation. Sheila Gregory of the BNP did not reply to our invitation.

10 thoughts on “Jesmond election debate – replay!”

  1. jesmond1 says:

    Tom Hardwick, Labour candidate in South Jesmond, is the first to sign up to our Vote Jesmond debate on April 28th. Thanks Tom.

  2. jesmond1 says:

    Tony Waterston, Green Party candidate in South Jesmond, is the next to accept our invitation. Looking forward to it, Tony.

  3. jesmond1 says:

    Catherine Pagan of the Liberal Democrats and Tim Downson of the Green Party are the latest Jesmond candidates to agree to come along to our Vote Jesmond event on April 28th. Than you Catherine and Tim

  4. jesmond1 says:

    James Marwick, standing for election in North Jesmond, is the first Conservative candidate to agree to come along to our debate – nice one, James

  5. AnneMcLeish says:

    A decade ago we were told, by the then Labour councillors, that we would have to wait years but when West Jesmond school was rebuilt the residents would have their evening classes back and that this was then not possible because of the way the school was funded…..Now, the Liberal council is telling us that this was not true and that because of the way that it is now funded we can’t use it!!!? What are they playing at ?

  6. jesmond1 says:

    Tom Woodwark, defending his seat in South Jesmond for the Liberal Democrats, will also be joining us on Wednesday evening. Thanks Tom

  7. Fiona Clarke says:

    I’vetried several times to book West Jesmond School for events, and everyone has been friendly and helpful, but told me the school hasn’t worked out the arrangements for insurance and security yet. They do seem to be taking their time!

  8. Pete Woodward says:

    Has Sheila Gregory from the BNP, standing for South Jesmond, been invited to attend?

  9. jesmond1 says:

    All the candidates were invited a week ago, Pete, but we haven’t had a reply yet from Sheila Gregory.

  10. Helen Murrell says:

    I was pleased to see so many young people at the meeting. The average age at ward meetings is being about 70. However I would like to say that politics even local politics is about society not individuals demands. Whilst I am sorry that Peter the first questionner said that he had had to move out of Jesmond as a young professional as the house did not have sufficient parking permits (3), one needs to consider the overall situation of Jesmond. Already there is a serious problem of congestion for residents, it is very unpleasant to drive around the area due to double parking. It is very hard to park at local doctors and shops, which does not matter for fit young people but for the many elderly in the area, it can make it hard for them to go to their General Practitioners. Many university towns, Cambridge for example do not allow students to take their cars to university. Most students could walk from Jesmond to the University, it is only a mile away to nearly all the departments.
    People have to use their imagination. There is a lot of parking at the bottom of Reid park Road and also Rosebery Crescent. Again many fit young people could live anywhere in Jesmond and walk from these spots to their homes.
    What about car shares, getting the metro to somewhere it is easy to park, riding a bike to work? There is a scheme run by the government where people can have a bike for use to ride to work and the money is taken out of their salary over 2 years. Recykyourbyke a charity in Byker also sells reconditioned bikes cheapy which might allow people to ride to another area and leave their bike all day.
    Even the Liberal Democrats who have overseen the parking permit scheme forgot to mention that there has been consultation, the scheme has taken so long to bring in partly because so many people objected and it has been rejigged several times.
    Finally what is Jesmondlocal doing about the disastrous development in Jesmond Dene’s Colemans fields? This is one of the best used parks in the area, young people playing football, picknicking and barbecuing, and all ages enjoying the lovely environment. Somehow with apparently no consulation the whole field is out of bounds and people are looking wistfully over Armstrong bridge to where they can no longer go and sunbathe. Many residents of Jesmond do not have gardens so this is where they go.
    Apparently the plan is to build a foot bridge and 10 metre wide path across the park for pedestrians with a parking space on the road down into the Dene. It is hard looking at the current building site not to imagine that it is a road. The building is another cafe, although I have never known Millfield House to be full!

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