The Alston Moor community last night held the first general election hustings for the Penrith and The Border seat, with all five parliamentary candidates in attendance. Over 100 local residents of all ages packed out the Alston Town Hall to hear from; Rory Stewart (Conservatives), Neil Hughes (Liberal Democrats), Lee Rushworth (Labour), John Stanyer (UKIP) and Bryan Burrow (Green). Most questions focused on the commitments each candidate would make on rural issues, such as the funding deal for rural councils and public transport provision. But candidates also fielded questions on the electoral voting system and commitments to renewable energy and tackling climate change.

Speaking afterwards, Rory Stewart said:

“It comes as no surprise that a community as passionate and dynamic as Alston, has been the first to organise a general hustings with all five parliamentary candidates. It was also a fantastic turn-out with nearly a hundred people attending. Alston is a symbol of community action – be it the community snow plough, the community ambulance, or the community’s successful efforts to save Alston hospital. I hope – whoever wins – Alston is able to continue to take more power at a local level. I have been immensely proud to stand alongside Alston community over the past five years as the local MP, fighting for those issues that matter most to the local community. If I am lucky enough to again earn their vote, I hope we can go even further to ensure Alston remains somewhere both wonderful and distinctive.”

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