Students quiz Norwich South candidates on Brexit, tuition fees and voting age at hustings
PUBLISHED: 18:16 17 May 2017 | UPDATED: 18:16 17 May 2017
Copyright: Archant 2017
Students at a city school have quizzed candidates hoping to be the next MP for Norwich South tackling issues from tuition fees to zero hour contracts.
Pupils from the City of Norwich School Sixth Form spent an hour listening to the four candidates; Labour’s Clive Lewis, the Conservative’s Lana Hempsall, the Green’s Richard Bearman and the Liberal Democrat’s James Wright, respond to the questions they wanted answered.
Questions varied from how to deal with the aftermath of Brexit to the future of the NHS. But with the majority of the people in the room aged between 16 and 18 one of the most pressing concerns was tuition fees.
Mr Lewis reiterated the Labour manifesto which states that they want to abolish tuition fees and said the policy was about ‘collectivity”.
Addressing the students he said: “You are the glue of society, you make society what it is and you pay your taxes and that is how you fund an education system. Abolish tuition fees, put it back on taxation, collectively funded, and I think that is the way to go for the 21st century.”
The Green candidate Mr Bearman also said his party do not want tuition fees for higher education. He added: “I subscribe to the idea universities should be for those who want to achieve well and do well and we should have much better and stronger apprenticeships.”
Mr Wright said that tuition fees are likely to stay but he said his party would like to see repayment thresholds raised and interest rates lowered. He added: “Life is about choices and at the moment I am comfortable with the notion that I would like to see money go into schools to support those at the earliest stages of life.”
The Conservative party are also pledging to keep tuition fees. Mrs Hempsall admitted the fees are “scary” but stated they have helped the country “be cutting edge in terms of science, technology and research”.
The candidates were also quizzed on their stance on the voting age being lowered to 16 as a number of pupils felt they were being excluded from making pivotal decisions about their country.
Mr Lewis and Mr Bearman supported lowering the voting age but both wanted to see political education. Mr Wright also supports voting at 16 but Mrs Hempsall said the issue is “fluid” and she “didn’t mind either way”.