London Assembly candidates field questions at Barkingside 21 hustings

Transport, policing and planning were the key topics at a hustings for the London Assembly elections organised by Barkingside 21 last night.

Four Redbridge and Havering constituency candidates fielded questions from a packed audience at Fullwell Cross Library, High Street, Barkingside and helped to shed light on the role of the assembly.

The candidates, Roger Evans, (Con), Mandy Richards (Lab), Farrukh Islam (Lib Dem) and Haroon Saad (Green), spoke for five minutes at the beginning of the meeting, before questions were opened up to the floor by hustings chairman Recorder editor Chris Carter.

Mr Islam issued a “get tough on criminals” message adding: “We need to equip the police with technology so less time is spent in the office with frivolous form filling.”

Mr Evans outlined the savings carried out in the past four years, which included scrapping previous mayor Ken Livingstone’s Londoner newspaper. He stressed that the key role of assembly members was to amend the mayor’s budget.

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The audience was asked by Mr Saad to think about the candidates as “cogs in the machine”, adding: “Sixty four per cent of people have no confidence in any party being able to fix the economic situation we are in.”

Ms Richards said Redbridge was the fourth most entrepreneurial borough in London, but she criticised Redbridge Council for failing to work with small businesses. “We have to fight with, and on behalf of, small businesses,” she added.

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The other candidates for the Redbridge and Havering constituency are: Malvin Brown (Residents’ Association of London); Richard Edmonds (National Front); Robert Taylor (BNP); Mark Twiddy (English Democrats); Lawrence Webb (UKIP).

More later on the debate from the audience.

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