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Question Time-style debate gets politicians thinking

ALL five candidates standing in Faversham and Mid-Kent at the General Election have appeared at a Question Time-style event. The evening was held by Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School and offered an opportunity for students and members of the public to ask the candidates questions. After more than an hour of discussing national and general issues there was time for two questions on a local theme. Caroline Lamoon asked if the candidates thought it important that an MP should live in the area. Four of the five candidates do not come from the town. Anni Bales then asked what the candidates thought Faversham would look like in ten years time. David Naghi, Liberal Democrat, said:

“Obviously I don’t live here but I’ve got friends who live in Faversham. I can remember the creek when it had boats. Faversham is still a town, that’s where it should be in the next five years. Not spread one way or another. It has to keep fighting for it. What’s wrong with planning is that they don’t look at the whole of Faversham they just look at that application.”

Helen Whately, Conservative, said:

“The first thing is to look after what we’ve got here. It’s got a huge amount of history but it’s also a living, vibrant town. I think in ten years time, keep that history keep that heritage, but more successful businesses sort out high street shopping. It could be more thriving than it is now. I’ve already started working with local businesses to see how I should help. Absolutely, an MP should live in a constituency and a candidate should live in constituency and that’s why I’ve moved down the road.”

Peter Edwards-Daem, Ukip, said:

“I believe that MPs should give 100 per cent of their time to represent you. I think it’s big job. This is one of the most beautiful towns in the whole of the country I’ve tasted your carrot cake in your bakeries, I’ve used the swimming pools and really it’s just a jewel in Kent’s crown. Overdevelopment can ruin what you have here.”

Michael Desmond, Labour, said:

“I think it’s something to be proud of. We need more small businesses, we need to deal with business rates. I love the town and I would definitely live in the constituency. Any MP should live in their constituency.”

The one MP to live near Faversham, the Green party’s Tim Valentine, said:

“I think MPs should represent their area. I wouldn’t want to represent any other area. Faversham in ten years’ time — do you think that’s too soon to hope for that swing bridge? My vision would be to see the centre of Faversham opening up for the creek. Cafe culture, but not too much. A thriving boat culture. Of course modern, world-class healthcare.”

Herne Bay Times, April 8th 2015

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