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Chippenham’s candidates for the upcoming General Election have faced Sixth Form pupils at Kingsbury Green Academy to explore the issues our young people see as key for the future.

The 2024 General Election will be the first time that the 18-year-old pupils of the Sixth Form are able to vote and have a real say in the future of the country. Conservative candidate Nic Puntis, Labour candidate Ravi Venkatesh, Ross Henning on behalf of Liberal Democrat candidate Sarah Gibson and Independent candidate Ed Deedigan took to the floor for the Kingsbury Green Academy Election Hustings.

Pupils posed questions to the candidates on issues to hear about the parties’ policies. Lowering the voting age, national service and tuition fees were hot topics, provoking much debate with candidates explaining their parties’ policies and approaches to both. 

How candidates would look to tackle local anti-social behaviour and their thoughts on how to build trust with politicians were also questions that provoked much talk on the floor.

Other issues including healthcare, education, youth funding and support for young people were also debated.

Year 12 pupil Dillon attended the hustings, quizzing the candidates over their thoughts of whether 16- and 17-year-olds are mature enough to vote and so make decisions about their country. He said of the event, “I thought it was really good to help build trust and transparency with younger people. I’m not 18 yet but I would love to vote; I’ve got a big interest in politics and have been following the national election debates, as well as the ones in the US, very closely.”

Jason Tudor, Principal at Kingsbury Green Academy, said, “We’re very grateful for the candidates coming into the school to show our sixth form pupils how politics works in action and to answer questions about the issues our pupils see as the most important to our community.

“Our pupils, including those who can vote and those who aren’t yet of age, have been very engaged with the General Election. Hearing the policies and approaches by each of our local parties has really helped them understand exactly what the different parties offer and so they can make their mind up on who they vote for in an informed way. 

“It’s imperative that our young people are actively engaged with politics and understand the impact that different parties will have on their futures.”

The hustings event was organised by Andy Mitchell of Calne-based Mitchell Digital Media. 

Kingsbury Green Academy is part of the Ascend Learning Trust. For more information visit