Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Election Hustings Meeting

We have an election hustings meeting at:

Poulton-le-Sands War Memorial Hall,
Church Street,
on 2 May at 3pm,

organised by local churches.

Questions must be submitted in advance, and to avoid rush on the day we're asking for them 48hrs beforehand, so we can circulate them to the candidates who are attending.


Michael Gradwell said...

I am pleased that a hustings meeting has been organised. Thanks for informing us and if you had any part in organising it then thanks for that too. I wrote in my politics blog about the need for hustings meetings on 29th March. I am looking forward to attending.

Anonymous said...

Not seen this public event advertised in the local press!

Could you inform us 1) which of the five candidates standing for the Morecambe seat have been invited to attend 2)those who will be in attendance and finally 3) those who will not and their excuse

Thank you

Mike Peatman said...

Hi there,

We tried to get it in the press, but missed out.

1) All candidates have been invited.

2) LD, Green and Con are definitely attending.

3) The UKIP candidate had another election commitment, and has sent apologies to me. I haven't had direct contact with the others.

Mike Peatman said...

PS. Greg Beaman was originally standing and has withdrawn. I don't know why Geraldine Smith isn't going to attend. My Methodist colleague liaised with her.

Steve said...

My question on behalf of the Hollie Greig for justice campaign:-

Would the candidates pledge their support to this:-


Fred said...

Have any of the candidates submitted an objection to the planning application (07/01810/OUT) for the redevelopment of the central promenade in 2008 and to the recent amended plans submitted in March this year?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for arranging the meeting which sadly Mike you did not ensure questions were answered
and the audience had very little opportunity to speak.

It was clearly "establishment" controlled which perhaps explains why it was kept low profile and not publicised.

Pity the UKIP candidate did not turn up.

Based on what I heard and saw I would not vote for any of the candidates who attended. Two of the candidates do not even live in Morecambe- the Lib Dem and Green party candidate. The best of the three was the Green Party candidate. At least you could hear him, the other two you couldnt hear clearly even with the mic!

I've checked out the Hollie Greig links and feel whoever censored the question on this issue, which shows how rotten and corrupt government and the authorities have become, was disgraceful.

Looks like I'll be joining the growing "none of the above" brigade and continue not to support the church.

Mike Peatman said...

Dear Anonymous (the second one),

I am sorry to hear you felt so negative about the meeting. We were certainly disappointed that all 5 candidates were unable to be there.

I agree with you that I would have preferred more audience participation, and I actually permitted more than had been agreed beforehand between the candidates attending and Paul Beard who did the negotiations.

The Hollie Greig question wasn't 'censored', any more than a whole range of other similar election pledge websites could have been. It also came in late. Personally I think specific issues like that are better dealt with by direct correspondence with the candidates, as they involve a lot of specific information.

As a very different example, I asked every candidate to sign the Sanctuary Pledge but didn't feel it fitted into the forum that well.

I am sorry to hear it also left you feeling negative about the churches. Given noone else in the local area had organised such an event, Paul Beard and I felt we were addressing a need, and had hoped it would have been helpful to the whole community.

The only thing I can suggest is that you aim to organise a meeting yourself next time. I would certainly welcome more political engagement by the whole community.

If you want to talk more to me about this meeting, do get in touch.

Mike Peatman said...

Probably also worth saying.

1) that it was a hustings with church people in mind - hence the publicity went through church networks. However, it was also sent to 3 newspapers, Diversity FM and the Bay, so it wasn't exactly a secret!

2) It was an election hustings - ie a chance for the candidates to speak, rather than a open discussion.

Steve said...

"It also came in late"

Misinforming your congreagation Mike it went in well before the 48 hour deadline and you know it.

The above timeline clearly shows that your not being truthful and the first question raised was the promenade question.

Shame on you Mike - ever thought about going into politics its much better paid.

Mike Peatman said...

Hi Steve

The truth is I didn't get it in time to pass on for submission to the candidates, as it came in via the blog, rather than the email address provided on the publicity.

You are correct that post here about the Urban Splash development also came in late (although it had been raised beforehand) but the candidates all agreed it should be addressed as it was a local issue which would be familiar to most people present, as it would be good to start with something highly topical.

Lots of other good questions didn't get included either, so I understand people's disappointment. It points to the need for more of these meetings to be organised in future elections so we can widen the coverage.

Steve said...

I'd certainly agree that open public meetings are needed with all the candidates present not hustings which clearly are CONtrolled political public meetings by the parties present.

Not surprised the Labour or UKIP candidate never turned up as it was quite obvious those who were instrumental in creating the meeting.

No support from the church Mike for Holly Greig then - shame on you all.

Mike Peatman said...

Ok, Steve

I'll respond to this, but then I'll call it a day. I don't think this is going anywhere helpful to anyone. Most people seemed grateful that we tried to do something.

So before I sign off, I'd like you to note:

1) Paul and I organised the meeting as we thought the community deserved to meet their candidates. It was something we could do as we had the premises. No other agenda.

2) Paul and I did the organisational work in our own time in what turned out to be a very busy week for both of us. We could have stayed at home, had a quiet afternoon and watched the football. Tempting in retrospect.

3) It didn't cost anyone anything.

4) All candidates were invited and all were welcome to attend. Mark Knight wanted to come, but couldn't.

5) Of course it wasn't perfect, I'm certainly not a perfect chair and we're not pros at this. However we thought something would be better than nothing.

6) You make the bizarre suggestion we kept the meeting quiet. I emailed it through to the papers, radio, put it on Virtual Lancaster (and this blog), Twitter and emailed all the churches with the poster. Hardly a cover-up. After all we wanted people there, not an empty hall! Despite our failings we still got a full hall.

7) You overestimate my ability if you think it was a conspiracy - I don't have the time or skills to be that clever.

As for what I or other people in churches think about the Hollie Greig situation, I don't think you should be criticising people when you don't know their opinions. Have you asked anyone? I would anticipate that most local people just don't know anything about this particular case.

When I looked into it I had a lot of sympathy with the questions being asked. Perhaps you could have checked that before you wrote about me so negatively on one of the sites.

I think I'll leave it there.

Anonymous said...


I am a supporter of the Justice for Holly Greig campaign and have been following this website blog as it is on the global information super highway.

I'm intrigued by your comment "When I looked into it I had a lot of sympathy with the questions being asked"

It says "organised by local churches" on the website blog.

This really does not look good for the local churches of Morecambe but I would like to raise this question for you and your associates to consider and address-

(i) based on the evidence above its clear that the question raised by Steve was well within the time limit and that you regular monitor your website blog.

So please could you inform us whether or not you did provide the candidates with the question and the website links or was it you and your associates who pulled the question/information?

(ii) a very serious crime has been committed and those responsible for the sexual abuse of Holly Greig are still free. How would you feel if any of your children or grandchildren came into the hands of these people?

Spare a thought for Madeleine McCanns parents for instance.

I certainly would not want to be part of covering up any such crime
as this would you Mike?

Anonymous said...

No cover-up. I emailed the questions to the candidates on Friday morning because I had other things to do. I did not read this blog, either.

If you want a platform for your particular interests, organise your own. Don't crticicise us for not letting you hijack ours!

There are very few conspiuracies, and almost all fail. What there are a lot of is cock-ups. There are also a lot of people who yell "cover-up" when they are not getting the attention they crave. If you want to publicise the Holly Grieg campaign, fine - do it. Hustings are there to naddress the issues most of interest to the majority of the expected audience, not to cater to the desires of one or two individuals.


Justin Walker said...

Paul and Mike

I can't believe you both profess to be christians - just one look at, and the compelling evidence that proves there are organised paedophile rings within the establishment harming innocent children, should have you both going to the barricades joining us. Instead we find you disinterested and not willing to be pro-active on this issue. I'm absolutely appalled! You should both be thoroughly ashamed of yourselves - little wonder people are walking away from organised religion if we can't look to you in the church to protect children. And what about the Catholic Church and their record? Enough said! Oh, and by the way, other dreadful cases are coming to light including in Liverpool, Bolton and the Isle of Wight where people in trusted positions of authority are harming little children and breaking up innocent families. Still want to sit on the fence?

Anonymous said...

OK, this is my last word on the subject.

I am not indifferent to the suffering of children who are victims of sexual abuse. Nor am I indifferent to the suffering of children who are hungry, poor, ill, exploited, or abused in ways other than sexually. In fact, I am not indifferent to any suffering endured by any person of any age.

However, whether you are a Christian, pagan, atheist, agnostic or anything else, you cannot get involved in every case of suffering. You have to make choices.

I choose to try and do something about each personal contact I make, and I choose to support certain causes, as do you.

Are you indifferent to the children dying of malaria in Mozambique?

If not, why didn't you ask questions about that? What kind of egotism demands that everyone else must make the same choices as you?

I don't berate you for not joining me in raising money for Mozambique and going there to support the projects the Church is running in that country, so what gives you the right to demand I get involved in the campaign you choose to support.

I have actual experience of helping victims and their families and of dealing with offenders and
I do plenty to make sure every possible step is taken to prevent child abuse in my churches.

And I do my best to avoid being self-righteous or arrogant about it.


Steve said...

Paul there certainly is alot of man made suffering in the world- I'd agree with you there

I spent a considerable amount of time researching the Holly Greig case and believe everything that Holly and her mum have revealed to be true.

What this case shows to me is the corruption and how rotten at the core the government, the authorities icluding the church and the corporatised main stream media is. I thought they were there to protect us and uphold the law- not cover up serious crimes.

The majority of UK have lost faith and dont wish to be associated with such a corrupt system - thats why today the number of people who will not vote will set a new record.

Yours and Mike actions speak louder than words. I hope that your congregation have followed this.

Peace, truth & respect to you all.

Steve said...

Paul an impressive mission statement.

Have you forgotten it? as on the Hollie Greig case you dont appear to practice what you preach.


~~ Being a united, welcoming family who love, care for and support everyone

~~ Seeking to meet the needs of the local, national and international communities

Paul (and Mike) - actions speak louder than words.

Anonymous said...

I also help children in Africa through a charity called the Mango Tree - this isn't a competition! The Hollie case has lifted the veil on the appalling abuse of children by people in positions of trust. If everyone who hears about Hollie then joins the campaign, something will be done about it as eventually millions will be clamouring for the truth. But if people like yourself just carry on doing what you were doing before, leaving it to just a few people to campaign for Hollie, then we will not succeed. This is simply common sense my friend. So are you up for joing in?

Anonymous said...

I have come to this from the link on “Hollie demands justice” website and trying to make sense of what happened at Poulton-le-Sands War Memorial Hall, Morecambe on Sunday 2 May 2010.

Hustings is defined in my dictionary as a political campaign trail/a place where campaign speeches are made, so

I’m surprised the church have got involved as I was told at school that the church was a non-political organisation.

I can understand the church organising a public meeting in their premises and allowing the audience to freely question the political candidates but not a hustings.

It would be interesting to hear from the two candidates who did not turn up: (Labour and UKIP) to see if they were invited, and if so the reason they declined the invitation.

Its interesting to see that the first person on this blog is a Michael Gradwell and there is a link on his name. An internet search I made led me to this site:- which clearly is the same person.

Michael is a liberal democrat supporter. A significant fact which enable you to join up the dots and make sense of it- maybe?

Paul and Mike- may I suggest that you leave your egos at home, re-read the above blog from Justin Walker, and join us all in the support for justice for Hollie as a start to cut out the cancer of corruption in our UK society.

Maybe then the UK people will be able to elect a UK political party that everyone can be proud of.

Anonymous said...

FYI - All candidates were invited.

Mark Knight (UKIP) was very hard to get hold ofso we had to set a date without his input. Unfortunately, he had a prior engagement.

Geraldine Smith (Labour) declined the invitation. I don't feel comfortable saying why, so you'll have to ask her.

I have always been a Labour supporter and (at times, but not now) a member of the Labour Party. I don't know Mike Peatman's politics.

Michael Gradwell was not involced in organising the event.

If you think the Church is non-political you would do well to read a Gospel or four, and some history books, and reflect on the fact that the Church of England is part of the State and has representatives ex officio in the House of Lords!

It is currently fashionable for Churches (and most ministers) to refrain from obvious party-political activities. I don't understand that, myself.

Anyway, the Methodist Church was heavily involved in the setting up of the Trade Unions (and thus the birth of the Labour Party), campaigned hard against slavery and child labour and championed education for all.

We are currently in the forefront of the "Making Safer Spaces" initiatives which is training Church people in the basics of detecting and preventing the abuse of children and vulnerable adults.

See for more.


Mike Peatman said...

Hi there. I just want to confirm what Paul said that Mark Knight (UKIP) phoned me to give his apologies. There had been a problem with the UKIP email system. He had a prior engagement.

Churches have held hustings at several previous elections - I chaired one at the last election at St Martin's College with all candidates present.

Like Paul, I think safeguarding children and vulnerable adults is vital. I shall continue to work for that as the new procedures relating to the Independent Safeguarding Authority come into force.

Steve said...

Paul if Mark Knight, the UKIP candidate did phone you to give his apologies why did you announce at the meeting that the UKIP candidate NIGEL BROWN was unable to attend?

Mike Peatman said...


I don't think any useful purpose is served in going through all the details at this stage. You've made your point.

If you recall, I accidentally referred to Mark as Mark Smith, which was the misprint in the Lancashire Evening Post profile page I had with me. I was corrected from the floor and apologised at the time.

Anonymous said...


I agree with you - I did hear you announce that the UKIP candidate was Mark Smith as well as someone in the audience who corrected you and shouted out that it was Mark Knight.

As you spoke to Mark Knight on the phone I'm surprised that you had to refer to the LEP publication dated Friday April 30, page 67.

The name in the LEP under the UKIP mugshot does indeed incorrectly state "Mark Smith", however in the write up it mentions Mark's surname twice. The second time it refers to Mark's correct surname Knight. How very strange that occured as well as how you never noticed it when you read the article!

I take it then Mike and Paul that you wont be supporting the Justice for Hollie campaign and instead will continue to support the cover up of the unsolved crime against children and vulnerable people.

Perhaps you could both explain your reasons for doing so to your congregation tomorrow at church.

It promises to be an interesting sermon. I hope that the congregation will give it the attention it deserves.