This is a list of publicly owned (that means we the public own them) venues which are made available by statute free of charge by the city council for people to hold hustings in. Venues for Hustings – for Candidates 2015
Peterborough’s best hustings are often held in churches or schools. These can be public or closed events. Hustings they can be held anywhere and by any organisation. A school event is particularly interesting: because children often see politics as something which only happens on the television or on the radio. You are never too young to vote. You are never too young to debate a issue.
The person hosting the hustings will probably need a candidate to apply for one of these venues. The legislation (statute) governing this provision is the Representation of the People Act.
This hustings will happen later this week and there are rules (below the picture) about how to ask a question. The organisation of the hustings is up to the host.
I have never attended a hustings which got out of hand (close, but the well behaved sixth formers and their teachers worked hard to persuade candidates perhaps not to resort to fisticuffs). A calm, friendly and firm person in the chair will help ensure a hustings keeps its hair on. However the history of violence and intimidation within and working against the British democratic process is substantial and centuries old. This is well understood by parliament itself. So to help keep things peaceful and calm, legislation makes a police presence available to hustings organisers if they feel they need one. A very important, but perhaps not well understood statutory duty of the police is to uphold the democratic process, of which the hustings form a very important important part.
You see, our Park Ward councillor team (two Labour, one Conservative) went for what they describe as “aggressive pavement cyclists” recently and tasked the police with talking to shocked children and middle aged women cycling along gently as well as people who couldn’t speak English. (My sample was tiny: but I did one.) They fined about a third of the people they stopped: most of them probably incapable of being polite and apologising nicely to a policeman. (Some offenders just got warned, although whether or not cycling on a pavement is an offence in all circumstances is a moot point.) So I think it only fair to point out that cycling on the pavement can be a perfectly logical and reasonable response to dangerous junctions, roads and cycle lanes and is a better place to cycle if your lights have just packed up.
Cars which park in the Park Road cycle lane, or across it or on the pavement are a regular feature of life at this end of Park Road and I for one don’t think it is safe. I think badly behaved drivers are one of a number of contributory factors encouraging “pavement cycling”.
I didn’t paint in the double yellow lines (which most people don’t even believe are there any more: they are virtually worn out). The Conservative council did. So I think elected Conservative members of all people should be able to show us how we can all live happily with their decisions.