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Sheffield College students quiz South Yorkshire Mayoral Election candidates

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Students got the chance to quiz South Yorkshire Mayoral Election candidates at a hustings hosted by The Sheffield College this week.

Led by The Star, Doncaster Free Press and the Local Democracy Reporting Service, all six election candidates were invited to the event held at City Campus on April 26th, 2022.

A hustings is a meeting where election candidates address potential voters. Four of the six South Yorkshire Mayoral candidates attended:

  • David Bettney, Social Democrat Party
  • Simon Biltcliffe, Yorkshire Party
  • Oliver Coppard, Labour Party
  • Joe Otten, Liberal Democrats Party

Angela Foulkes, Chief Executive and Principal, The Sheffield College, said: “We are committed to ensuring that students participate in the democratic process. Our audience thoroughly enjoyed the hustings. I would like to thank The Star for organising it and the candidates for taking part.”

Candidates were quizzed on a range of policies including climate change, the cost of living and energy crisis, immigration and public transport. Other topics discussed included devolved government, the local economy and issues around trust in politicians.

A Level politics students and representatives from The Sheffield College Students’ Union were amongst those who took part.

Mosab Mohammed, 17, said: “The event was great. You could see that all of the candidates were passionate about their policies. Seeing that is motivating, it makes you want to go out and vote. It’s really important to use our vote once we have it.”

Lucy Slater-Purcell, 16, added: “I thought the hustings were really great, particularly for those of us who are studying politics. It’s so important to take part. For democracy to work, we all need to be involved.”

Mohammad Ahmad, 17, commented: “These events are good for getting more young people interested in politics.”

Alfie Whitehouse, 17, said: “I think it’s important for candidates to engage with the next generation of voters and to be challenged on any outdated ideas.”

Peter Korn-Morris, A Level Lecturer, The Sheffield College, explained: “Seeing democracy in action has been a very valuable learning experience for our politics students who have studied regional and national political systems as part of their course. As the next generation of voters, they also had the opportunity to discuss the issues that matter to them.”

Novaya Bedwood-Makanjuola, President of The Sheffield College Students’ Union, commented: “The hustings event was a fantastic opportunity to get to know the candidates on an interpersonal level.

“Whoever is successful will have the responsibility of moulding the future of many lives and their choices will greatly impact the youth and future generations of South Yorkshire. Students deserve to hear first-hand the mayoral promises. Without students being present, thousands of voices will go unheard.” 

The hustings event was live-streamed by The Star and is available to watch online.

The South Yorkshire Mayor is directly elected by the electorate in the four South Yorkshire districts of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield to serve a four-year term. 

Voters head to the polls to elect a new mayor on May 5th, 2022.

The Sheffield College Sixth Form is a dedicated learning facility for A Level students that sits within the College’s City Campus on Granville Road.

The College offers 21 A Level subjects: biology, business studies, chemistry, computer science, criminology, economics, English language, English literature, film studies, fine art, forensic science, geography, history, law, mathematics, media studies, photography, physical education, physics, politics, psychology and sociology.

Visit www.sheffcol.ac.uk.

Pictured: Students and South Yorkshire Mayoral Election candidates at a hustings event hosted by The Sheffield College. Photo credit: The Star

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