The Putney Society London Assembly Election Hustings - The 2012 Putney Debate

Putney Society Deputy Chairman reports on the evening


The Putney Society

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All seven candidates standing for the London Assembly’s Merton & Wandsworth constituency attended a hustings arranged in St Mary’s Church by the Putney Society together with the Wandsworth Society.  The event was filmed by Michael Wood’s Mayavision TV production company for a social history programme to be shown on BBC2 next month (exact timing to be confirmed).  Interviews with some of the candidates and some members of the audience were also filmed and prominence given to the historic significance of the original Putney Debates in 1647 and their relevance to today’s democratic process.

Each of the candidates was given three minutes to set out their stall and this was followed by an extensive and often lively Questions and Answers session which lasted nearly two hours.  All the candidates pronounced themselves satisfied with the opportunity to put their case to a packed house of Putney, Wandsworth and Merton residents.  Topics debated ranged from cyclist safety to concerns about over-development, to police manning levels, London Transport fares, economic policy and budgetary matters, air pollution (where the Putney Society’s ongoing campaign was commended by candidates), the role of the GLA, the housing Green Deal and much more.

All concerned felt that the event had been very well organised and deemed it a great success.

The seven candidates for Merton & Wandsworth are Bill Martin (Socialist Party of Great Britain), Cllr Leonie Cooper (Lab), Lisa Smart (LibDem), Mazhar Manzoor (UKIP), Richard Tracey (Con), Roy Vickery (Green) and Thamilini Kulendran (Independent).  Voters have the opportunity to vote twice in the London Assembly elections, once for the local candidate of their choice and once for one for the eleven London-wide Assembly members (on the so-called Party List).

Jonathan Callaway

Deputy Chairman, Putney Society


April 20, 2012