On Thursday 5th December, Accrington business leaders had the opportunity to put their questions to three election candidates for the constituency seat of Hyndburn.

In attendance were Graham Jones (Labour), Sara Britcliffe (Conservative) and Gregory Butt (Brexit Party). Representatives from the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party were invited but sadly could not attend.

The venue was provided courtesy of North Lancs Training Group Ltd, Vocational Centre of Excellence, at the Old Bakery on Grange Lane, Accrington.

Murray Dawson, Managing Director of Scott Dawson Advertising, in his role as chairperson of #AmazingAccrington business leaders group called the meeting in reply to business leaders’ queries in what they were doing for business in Hyndburn. In spite of strong opinions from the floor he managed to keep order and each candidate had ample opportunity to address the audience and respond to their questions.

Mr Stuart Rogan of HML Recycling opened the debate by asking the candidates to elaborate on their plans for rejuvenating the borough of Hyndburn. This question provoked various responses from the candidates, but two key themes which came to the surface were those of civic pride and regional identity.

These two ideas became central to the discussion and other points seemed to arise from them: the opportunities for young people in the area; the potential sources of investment for rejuvenation projects including the town centre.

Brexit was another hotly contested topic discussed by the candidates, when one canny business leader asked the trio about their understanding of what local business wants with regard to this issue. All three responded that business needs greater clarity and detail in order to make effective plans.

A burning question at the end of the debate was renaming the borough to Accrington and District Townships. Watch the full video online to hear the candidates’ responses.