Published: 21/04/2016 17:12 - Updated: 22/04/2016 12:46

Where were young people at Clashmore hustings?

On the platform, from left: Jamie Stone (Lib Dem), Mark Sutherland Fisher (chairman), Gail Ross (SNP) and Struan Mackie (Cons).
On the platform, from left: Jamie Stone (Lib Dem), Mark Sutherland Fisher (chairman), Gail Ross (SNP) and Struan Mackie (Cons).

HUSTINGS in Clashmore last night attracted the largest audience of the local campaign so far.

Organised by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) around 55 people attended.

On the platform were Caithness, Sutherland and Ross Holyrood hopefuls Struan Mackie (Cons), Gail Ross (SNP) and Jamie Stone (Lib Dems).

The other constituency candidate, Leah Franchetti (Lab), was unable to attend and there was no representative in her place.

One of the evening’s organisers, David Richardson, FSB development manager, Highland and Islands, said he was sorry there was no fourth candidate but was even more disappointed by the audience demographic.

He said afterwards: “I was delighted at the number of people who came along, and the older members of the audience were obviously well-informed and there were some excellent questions.

“But being as this is the first Holyrood election in which 16-17 year olds can vote, I was really disappointed that there was only one younger person there."

Topics covered at the hustings included the necessity for high speed broadband; the panellists’ views on fracking; how to avoid the CAP payments shambles in the future; whether candidates supported the proposed new golf course near Embo; split loyalties – constituency or party; the need for whoever is elected to the seat to get out and about and meet and communicate with their constituents; large public sector construction works to employ local tradesmen; and did candidates support the suggestion of a tourist tax.

The meeting was chaired by Mark Sutherland Fisher who pointed out that it was refreshing that all four candidates were truly local.

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