DEMOCRACY comes to Alresford on Wednesday November 27 when all four candidates for the Winchester & Chandler's Ford Parliamentary constituency come face to face at Perins School.

At the hustings will be George Baker (Labour), Steve Brine (Conservative), Paula Ferguson (Liberal Democrats) and Teresa Skelton (Justice & Anti-Corruption).

Purdah rules on impartiality meant that Andy Sprott, an independent town councillor in Alresford, could not organise the hustings through the council so he did it himself.

Mr Sprott said: “The nominations were only announced on November 14, so it has been a busy week pulling this together. I am very grateful to Perins for allowing the use of their main hall for this community event.

“This election is likely to determine the path our country is set on for perhaps a generation. Whichever way people vote, it's so important that they have a chance to know who they are voting for and what that candidate actually believes in.”

Audience members will be invited to submit questions in writing as they arrive. After brief opening statements, a representative selection of questions will be put to each of the candidates in turn.

Mr Sprott added: “Politics has changed a great deal in recent years. Targeted advertising on social media is very clever in itself, but means that party campaign teams can now send messages tailored to an individual voter. The message sent to other voters by the same party on the same issue could be quite different. But in hustings debate, a candidate's answers must be relevant to everyone and they are not written by the campaign team. So the audience gets to see how a candidate thinks on their feet about a whole range of issues.”

“I was in the public gallery of the Commons the day the tributes were made to Jo Cox. That left a mark. Incredibly, since then the threats and abuse that politicians have to put up with seem to have increased. By coming together in the same room as the candidates, voters will be reminded that these are good people putting themselves forward to serve our community.”

Doors open at 7.15pm, debate starts at 7.45. Entry is free.