Wednesday: All Hallows' Catholic College, a voluntary Academy in Macclesfield, played host to the first Q&A of the 2017 General Election.
Candidates Richard Flowers for the Liberal Democrats, Labour’s Neil Puttick and – joining the panel later – Conservative David Rutley, along with representatives for the Green Party and UKIP, made their case to an audience of year 12 and 13 students, many of whom will be voting for the first time.
The spokespeople set out some of the history and philosophy of their parties before facing questions from the students on subjects ranging from North Korea, Equal Pay, nuclear power, and the House of Lords to tuition fees and same-sex marriage.
Richard said: “You have to respect these young people who are so engaged and invested in shaping their own future. This is such an important election to get involved in. I'd like to underline what Mr Martin said: MPs listen to the people who vote. So vote."
Liberal Democrats policy is for the voting age to be lowered to 16, and has been since our 2001 manifesto.
Liberal Democrats plans for future funding for education were announced earlier in the day. See here: http://www.libdems.org.uk/schools-bidgets-7-billion-liberal-democrats-plans
Further details of Liberal Democrats education policies here: http://www.libdems.org.uk/education
All Hallows' has an outstanding rating from Ofsted, and takes students from a widely diverse range of backgrounds from across Macclesfield and Cheshire.
Richard added: “On a personal note, I was so pleased to hear about the diversity training they've done with Stonewall. But more important was the genuine warmth and welcome from the students."
With thanks to Principal Mr AS Billings for wise words and welcoming us all into the school, Mr Tom Martin for organising, but most of all to the students for their respect.
Pictured: Liberal Democrat candidate Richard Flowers speaking to the All Hallows students, watched on by Labour candidate Neil Pittuck, and the Green and Ukip representatives. Conservative candidate David Rutley arrived later.