VOTERS will get the chance to grill Mansfield’s mayoral candidates next week - and the special hustings event is to be broadcast on BBC Radio Nottingham.
Chad has teamed up with the station to host the public debate at Samworth Church Academy on Thursday 14th April.
The event will give Chad readers and BBC Radio Nottingham listeners an opportunity to quiz the candidates on issues which face the district ahead of the election on 5th May.
Chad editor Tracy Powell will chair the hustings, with BBC Radio Nottingham’s Mid-Morning Show host, Frances Finn, presenting it.
Said Tracy: “This is an excellent opportunity for the people of Mansfield to have their say and get involved in the mayoral debate.
“I’m pleased BBC Radio Nottingham have come on board to work with the Chad in delivering the hustings.
“It’s important that local democracy is kept alive, and that people have the chance to quiz those who ultimately could hold the reins to the future prospects of our town.”
And Mike Bettison, editor at BBC Radio Nottingham, backed her comments and said the event provided an ideal platform for residents to pose questions on topics which matter to them.
He said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Chad on the Mansfield mayoral debate.
“It is important that the people of Mansfield have an opportunity to hear what all the mayoral candidates have to say on current issues.”
The debate will be recorded and broadcast on BBC Radio Nottingham and full reaction will be published in the following week’s Chad, while a video report will be online at www.chad.co.uk.
Mark Roberts, Samworth Church Academy finance director, said his establishment was delighted to be hosting the hustings.
“We are happy at Samworth Church Academy to host this event in conjunction with the Chad and BBC Radio Nottingham,” he said.
“We hope that the community will get involved in the debate and we welcome the opportunity to open our building to host what we hope will be a successful and lively discussion.”
Meanwhile, a fifth candidate has thrown his hat into the ring to become mayor.
UK Independence Party’s David Hamilton announced he was to stand shortly before the deadline for nominations closed at noon on Monday.
But Mr Hamilton, who came fifth in last year’s General Election in Mansfield, is unable to take part in the public debate due to work commitments.
The other candidates standing in the district’s third mayoral election are sitting independent incumbent Tony Egginton, Labour’s Steve Yemm, Conservative Victor Bobo and Liberal Democrat Anna Ellis.
Mansfield is one of only 13 towns or cities in England to have a US-style, directly-elected mayor after residents voted for a mayoral cabinet system at a referendum in May 2002.
The mayoral election is on the same day as voters go to polls in the Mansfield District Council local elections and take part in the AV referendum.
Householders in Warsop will also be voting for a new parish council.
l Admission to the Chad/BBC Radio Nottingham ‘Mansfield Mayoral Debate’ will be via a ballot system and application forms are available by contacting Chad news editor Ashley Booker on Mansfield 450309 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forms will be sent out via email and should be returned to email@example.com by lunchtime on Monday.
Successful applicants will be notified by Tuesday.
Doors on the night will open at 5.30pm, with the debate starting at 6pm.