On Tuesday the 25th of April we held a Hustings event in advance of the Scottish Local Election taking place on Thursday 4 May 2017. The event was held to support our Manifesto for Change and provide Glasgow’s Third Sector with an opportunity to put their questions to candidates from the 5 main political parties.

We were delighted to welcome over 40 Third Sector representatives to The Albany Centre, a panel who understood the Third Sector and the challenges we face and our very own Liz McEntee, Director of External Affairs, who chaired the event.

Candidates in attendance were:

Martha Wardrop, Scottish Green PartyMatt Kerr, Scottish Labour PartySusan Aitken, Scottish National PartyAde Aibinu, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party and Daniel Donaldson, Scottish Liberal Democrats

L-R: Ade Aibinu, Susan Aitken, Liz McEntee, Martha Wardrop, Daniel Donaldson and Matt Kerr

Our audience were highly engaged from the outset and didn’t shy away from asking difficult questions, questions we know are relevant to large number of the groups and organisations we support. We managed to cover 8 questions on the night, we’ve listed these below and a full report on the evening will follow.

 Q1. What would candidates and their parties do to address the issues of short-term funding which not only impacts on services’ ability to recruit and retain staff but on the lives of the people who rely on these services.

Q2. How will you and your party ensure that the voices of children and young people are heard and taken into consideration in a meaningful way when making decisions? 

Q3. What does the panel think of the Third Sector and what it contributes to the city?

Q4. It has been said that Community Planning Partnerships are devoid of community, planning and partnerships – what plans does your party have to reform Community Planning Partnerships in Glasgow?

Q5. Universal Credit does not fit homelessness, people affected by homelessness cannot afford to pay for homelessness accommodation and Universal Credit does not meet these costs. What will you and your party do to address this and halt the rise in rough sleeping?

Q6. There is often a sense that the Council is run by Officers, not Elected Representatives, this seems to have created a culture whereby Arms Length Executive Organisations get the largest slice of the pie when it comes to funding decisions. This is a culture that will need strong leadership to transform, how will you personally demonstrate the leadership Glasgow needs? 

Q7. Glasgow has an aging population, some older people are being left behind and are not always considered as assets. What will you and your party do to address the needs of our aging population? 

Q8. Do you, personally, support the development of a Safe Consumption Room for Glasgow? 

We’ve created a Storify where you can find out more about the questions asked and the answers given, as reported by our Twitter Army!

In their closing remarks, each candidate acknowledged that partnership working was key to delivering change, that there is more to be done in tackling inequality and gave a commitment to working more closely with the Third Sector to make sure we are included more prominently in planning and decision making.

For our part, we’re very pleased with the event and were delighted to receive positive feedback from both participants and candidates – we’d like to extend our warmest thanks to everyone who took part and wish each candidate well as we approach the last week of campaigning.

Thanks also to Clare Mills of Listen Think Draw who created a graphic report of proceedings. Click the image to see more detail.