Prospective Parliamentary Candidates for the constituency of Camborne and Redruth joined Cornwall College Camborne students and staff this week (Thursday 29th April) to debate the forthcoming election.
David Parker from the UK Independence Party, Euan McPhee for the Green Party, George Eustice for the Conservative Party, Jude Robinson for the Labour Party, Julia Goldsworthy MP for the Liberal Democrats, Loveday Jenkin for Mebyon Kernow and Robert Hawkins for the Socialist Labour Party were all invited to come along and discuss their policies.
The debate kicked off with questions about education funding and tuition fees followed by lowering the voting age, farming, Trident, immigration and ended with graduate job opportunities and housing in Cornwall.
BSc (Hons) Environmental Resource Management student Karl Mersh, 26 from Camborne, explained why he attended the debate: “I have never been interested in politics but have got into it recently due to all the media coverage. I was impressed with the candidates and it has helped me decide on which party I am going to vote for. It was great to have this opportunity to come along, listen and get involved, the College should definitely do more of this kind of thing as young people often feel as though they aren’t that involved.”
A-level student Jessica Fewkes, 17 from Camborne, said: “I won’t be able to vote in this election but it has definitely been beneficial in explaining issues and has opened my eyes to who has a good representation in the area.”
Before the debate the candidates were all looking forward to discussing topics with the students. George, Jude and Julia, who got involved with a similar debate at the College in March, reiterated how impressed they were with the turn out last time and how important it is for young people to feel involved.
John Rowe, 23 from Camborne, who is also studying for a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Resource Management course is thoroughly captivated with the election race and is currently working with Mebyon Kernow candidate, Loveday Jenkin, as her campaign manager.
“I’m really enjoying it. It’s a great experience and a brilliant learning curve. I’ve been organising all the media communications - from ‘tweeting’ to leaflet design and find it so rewarding, it’s something that I would like to continue with.”
All of the candidates agreed that the students really got into the seminar and raised some good points about issues central to their lives.
David, Euan and Robert also commented that it was a great chance to represent their parties and stir an interest in politics amongst young people.
Dave Linnell OBE, Principal of Cornwall College, said: “This proved an excellent insight for the students, many of them will be voting for the first time and it’s great that the candidates are taking the opportunity to come into the College and debate with our students.”
All undergraduate courses at Cornwall College are approved by the University of Plymouth. For further information on the courses available at Cornwall College Camborne, please contact the College on 0845 22 32 567.
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