Candidates vying for Waveney seat answer your questions at Lowestoft hustings

Waveney candidates at the Lowestoft hustings at Christ Church. Picture: Amy Smith

Waveney candidates at the Lowestoft hustings at Christ Church. Picture: Amy Smith - Credit: Archant

The growing need for foodbanks and revitalising the fishing industry were among the topics debated by the six candidates vying to become Waveney's next MP at a hustings in Lowestoft.

Allyson Barron, Independent, speaking at the hustings in Lowestoft. Picture: Amy Smith

Allyson Barron, Independent, speaking at the hustings in Lowestoft. Picture: Amy Smith - Credit: Archant

Peter Aldous (Conservative), Sonia Barker (Labour), Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw (Green), Jacky Howe (Liberal Democrat), Bert Poole (UKIP) and Allyson Barron (Independent) were all given a few minutes to introduce themselves before questions were taken from the audience.

The event was held at Christ Church in Whapload Road, chaired by Revd Matthew Payne.

Conservative's Peter Aldous speaking at the hustings in Lowestoft. Picture: Amy Smith

Conservative's Peter Aldous speaking at the hustings in Lowestoft. Picture: Amy Smith - Credit: Archant

Topics ranged from the state of funding for social services and mental health services and the need for more police officers and prison staff, to issues such as the long-awaited Lowestoft third crossing and what candidates would do to bring back the area's fishing industry.

The first question of the evening raised concerns over the growing need for foodbanks.

Waveney candidates at the Lowestoft hustings with Labour's Sonia Barker on the microphone. Picture:

Waveney candidates at the Lowestoft hustings with Labour's Sonia Barker on the microphone. Picture: Amy Smith. - Credit: Archant


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Mr Aldous said the solution was to have a 'secure national economy' to bring more jobs and income into the area. Mrs Barker said to have foodbanks in the fifth richest country in the world is 'appalling' and that people are in work but they are not earning enough to feed their children.

Ms Barron said everyone needed to work together to help people in need, while Mrs Brambley-Crawshaw said one of the biggest symptoms was the cost of living for working people.

Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw for the Green Party speaking at the hustings in Lowestoft. Picture: Amy Sm

Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw for the Green Party speaking at the hustings in Lowestoft. Picture: Amy Smith - Credit: Archant

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Ms Howe said was 'ashamed' that we still have foodbanks and Mr Poole said people were suffering with zero-hour contracts and the cost of housing.

Candidates were asked how they would vote in a free vote on hunting with dogs, which they were all against accept Mr Aldous.

Liberal Democrat Jacky Howe, pictured centre, at the hustings in Lowestoft. Picture: Amy Smith

Liberal Democrat Jacky Howe, pictured centre, at the hustings in Lowestoft. Picture: Amy Smith - Credit: Archant

Another big topic for debate was whether candidates would bring railways back into public ownership.

Mrs Barker said Eurpoean companies are using our railway system and taxpayers money to fund their own railway system.

Waveney candidates at the Lowestoft hustings with UKIP's Bert Poole on the microphone. Picture: Amy

Waveney candidates at the Lowestoft hustings with UKIP's Bert Poole on the microphone. Picture: Amy Smith. - Credit: Archant

Mrs Brambley-Crawshaw echoed her thoughts and said: 'We need to bring our railways back into public ownership so the money we pay for our trains is going back to our local economy.'

Mr Aldous said over the past five years there had been a significant investment in East Anglia and that is set to continue.

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