The candidates hoping to be elected next week at the new MP for Cardiff South and Penarth have at least managed to side-step one of the potential bear-traps of the campaign; there is to be no public debate held in Penarth.
Penarth’s Stanwell School was the venue for the ITV Wales “Leader Debate” on May 16th 2017 – but this was not an event open to the general public (it was by invitation only) and did not include any of the local candidates.
The Cardiff South and Penarth constituency candidates – who have yet to be seen together on one platform, anywhere, are – in alphabetical order :-
- Andrew Bevan – UKIP
- Anthony Slaughter – Green
- Bill Rees – Conservative
- Emma Sands – Lib Dem
- Ian Titherington – Plaid Cymru
- Jeb Hedges – Pirate Party
- Stephen Doughty – Labour
At the last general election in 2015 there were 3 public debates held in the constituency . Two – in Penarth itself – were held by the now-defuct organisation the Penarth Woodcraft Folk and the other by the religious umbrella body “Cytun” [ Churches Together in Wales] at Trinity Methodist Church.
Party campaigners said that there had been some early enquiries made about the possibility of holding public debates – but the idea appeared to have withered on the vine for this election at least .
In the past some political activists have had reservations about putting their candidates on stage at hustings organised by bodies like Cytun, where organisers try to impose their own own agenda on the discussion, limit the questions to “faith” matters and tend to lace such events with irrelevant and unnecessary ingredients like hymns and prayers which tend to exclude most ordinary members of the public.
Cytun – which has a public hustings tonight in the Cardiff North constituency [at 19:30 at Whitchurch Methodist Church, Penlline Road, Cardiff CF14 2AA] has no hustings event organised anywhere in Cardiff South and Penarth.