Six able to join the debate

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Community website Hebweb has called an election hustings in Hebden Bridge as, it says, no-one else has done so in the town.

HebWeb’s Chris Ratcliffe says: “It’s not something we thought we would be doing.

“However, at the end of last week, the HebWeb was approached by local resident, Sara Robinson. She pointed out that there didn’t appear to be any election hustings taking place in our town.

“After some discussion, the HebWeb agreed to try and organise one, and it will be on April 29 at the Hope Baptist Church.”

Six of the seven General Election candidates in the Calder Valley have accepted the invitation to take part, said Chris.

They are Josh Fenton Glynn, Labour; Alisdair Calder McGregor, Lib Dem; Paul Rogan, UKIP; Jenny Shepherd, Green; Joe Stead, World Peace Through Song; and Rod Sutcliffe, Yorkshire First. The hustings will be chaired by Dave Boardman, who many will know as a music and events organiser.

Chris said: “We tried to be flexible and changed the date once to fit in one of the candidates who couldn’t make the original proposed date. However, it was never going to be easy trying to get a date available to seven candidates and a large venue at such short notice.”

He added that the one candidate who is unable to attend is Craig Whittaker. He has a long-standing commitment with his charity on that evening.

Chris said: “We made representations to the Conservative Party in the hope that they will provide a speaker who could represent his views on the evening. However, Coun Scott Benton wrote to us on Wednesday to say ‘although we appreciate your offer of receiving a representative of the party, we do not feel that it would be appropriate for somebody other than Craig to represent the party as this would not give the audience a true reflection of the Conservative Party and our chosen candidate’.”

A poster has been designed by Mike Barrett, of Frogs Design, which will appear round Hebden Bridge and the surrounding area soon. More details will be posted on the HebWeb where a downloadable version of the poster will be available.

An Eventbrite page has been set up for people to book their places. People can send questions to HebWeb. Chris said: “We will choose the first questions from those we have received by email. Questions should be sent to questions@hebdenbridge.co.uk.”