Hot political topics were discussed during ‘Wellingborough Question Time’, which took place at the London Road site of Wrenn School on Tuesday, March 17.
A call for politics to “catch up with the times” was made, while opinions were traded on subjects including Islamic State, the televised leaders’ debates, tax evasion and the state of the economy.
It was organised by the Wellingborough Chamber of Commerce together with Wrenn School and saw a panel, including politicians and students, answering questions posed by members of the audience.
The panel included Rev Richard Coles, Parish Priest of Finedon, BBC Radio 4 presenter and former pop star with the Communards.
He said: “I took part in Wellingborough Chamber of Commerce’s Question Time because It was an opportunity to get people engaged in what promises to be a fantastic general election. I’m proud of Wellingborough because it’s a community doing well.”
The panel was chaired by Neil Pickford, editor of the Northamptonshire Telegraph, and included Tamer Sadek, 18, from Wellingborough School and Wrenn pupil Thomas Preece, 16.
Speaking about the political leaders’ debates, Thomas Preece said: “Young people aren’t going to be watching the House of Commons, but I think the leaders’ debates are going to get the information out. I think politics does need to catch up with the times, there should be online voting.”
Fellow panellist Simon Toseland, director of commercial property agents Prop-Search, which has an office in the town, commented on the borough’s strong economic base during a discussion about the recovery.
He said: “In Wellingborough we have a diverse industrial base, we don’t just have one big employer, which if they closed would have a dramatic impact. That’s one of the reasons why hundreds of millions of pounds are invested in property in Wellingborough. We are a safe place to invest in.”
The politicians consisted of Conservative councillor Robert Gough, who represents the Earls Barton ward, and Andrew Scarborough, deputy leader of the Labour group and Queensway councillor.
James Wilson, chamber president, said: “The event was a huge success, with opinions from business, politics, education, religion and journalism all contributing to what was a healthy and engaging debate.”