Havering’s candidates answer your questions at the Recorder’s online hustings

PUBLISHED: 12:27 29 April 2015 | UPDATED: 12:40 29 April 2015

Romford Recorder Election Social Media Evening at the Archant office in Ilford

Romford Recorder Election Social Media Evening at the Archant office in Ilford


It’s a familiar sight at election time – candidates packing into community halls to fend off questions from fired-up voters.

But on Monday, Romford, Hornchurch and Upminster and Dagenham and Rainham politicians arrived at Recorder HQ for the paper’s first social media hustings.

Questions flooded in to the live web chat, as well as via Twitter, Facebook and email, with candidates logging on at our office to respond to the electorate directly.

The candidates across the constituencies were asked about a diverse range of topics including air quality, care in the community. refuse collection and the NHS

Marilyn Edwards asked Romford’s candidates what they thought of the Right-to-Buy scheme and how it would affect a housing shortage in Havering.

Liberal Democrat Ian Sanderson was straight off the mark to express his scepticism reflecting back to the problems of the policy in the 1980s.

Labour’s Sam Gould and Ukip’s Gerard Batten were quick to follow with their disagreement of the policy while the Green Party’s Lorna Tooley called it “ridiculous”.

Andrew Rosindell, the Conservative candidate, pulled out of the event last minute due to a local engagement and was unable to defend the policy.

In a separate live thread unfolding on the Recorder website, Hornchurch and Upminster candidates were answering 59-year-old John Hull’s question about foreign aid.

Lawrence Webb, for Ukip, said: “We are the only party that is committed to cutting foreign aid.

“We will slash the foreign aid budget by £9bn each year and £3bn of this will go into the NHS each and every year.”

Melanie Collins disagreed by pointing out the UK is the 6th richest economy in the world and the money we spend on foreign aid is “not a great deal to spend in the grand scheme of things”.

Dame Angela Watkinson (Con), Paul McGeary (Lab) and Jonathan Mitchell (LibDem) all agreed with the Green Party’s view that foreign aid should not be cut.

In the Dagenham and Rainham live stream the candidates were asked “what, if anything, are you planning to do for disabled children in the borough” by Lia Louise Burns.

Everyone was agreed it was an important issue with Kim Gandy for the English Democrats pledging to take a close interest in local facilities with Kate Simpson (Green) adding she would help organisations in the borough.

Ukip’s Peter Harris vowed to increase funding for disabled people, John Cruddas (Lab) would fight to abolish the bedroom tax and Julie Marson (Con) said the best way to help the community was to keep the momentum of the Conservative government going.

Finally Terry London, whose sister was born disabled, said: “I think the best way to help disabled people is to treat them the same as everyone else.”

To see the full range of questions and answers visit the election page on our website.

Click here for Romford

Click here for Hornchurch and Upminster

Click here for Dagenham and Rainham

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