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Learners quiz prospective MP’s ahead of General Election

Stoke on Trent College hosted a Hustings event on Monday 20 May 2024 with the two prospective MPs for Stoke Central. The event aimed to promote democratic engagement and awareness.

The event took place at the College’s Cauldon campus and was chaired by Dave Hopley, Assistant Principal Student Experience. Two candidates, Dr. Chandra Kanneganti of the Conservative Party and Gareth Snell, representing the Labour & Co-Operative Party, participated in a candid ‘question time’ discussion with a selection of learners from a variety of subjects as well as representatives from the student council.

Both candidates will be vying for the Stoke Central seat at the next General Election.

The afternoon commenced with each representative delivering a brief introduction, outlining their party’s plans and offering insights on the pressing issues affecting the Stoke-on-Trent community. These introductory segments allowed attendees to gain valuable insights into the candidates’ views and priorities.

Learners had worked together to produce a series of questions and the prospective candidates were then quizzed on various topics including anti-social behaviour and crime, education, health care and the cost-of-living crisis.

Lisa Capper MBE, CEO & Principal at Stoke on Trent College said:

“With the forthcoming General Election, we are working hard to ensure our learners are fully aware of the options available to them so they can better understand the importance of voting. We want them to be equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to register to vote and to have an understanding of the framework in place. It is exciting to give our learners the opportunity to meet candidates who could become the MP for where they both live and study.

We are delighted that a wide variety of our learners actively engaged with the candidates, they have shown a keen interest in local politics and thoroughly enjoyed meeting with the two prospective candidates.”

Dr. Chandra Kanneganti CBE, parliamentary candidate for the Conservative Party said:

“I’d like to thank Stoke on Trent College for inviting me for this hustings. It’s very important for teenagers, particularly age groups 16-18 to understand our democratic process and what our future leaders want to do for Stoke-on-Trent.

“I’m proud Stoke on Trent College is offering a number of courses that will help the students achieve their maximum potential. I’m so glad to have been here to share my vision.”

Gareth Snell, parliamentary candidate for the Labour & Co-Operative Party said:

“It’s great to be at the College supporting the hustings, getting young people actively involved in our democratic process. This is only a good thing for the future of our country; for us as candidates, that we are held to account and questioned about what we want to do the country and the city. I hope to do many of these in the future.”

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