Over 40 people attended Age UK Sutton’s hustings event on Friday 26 May at St. Patrick’s Church in Wallington. The audience did not seem to mind trading the bright sunshine for the cool interior of the church to hear from all of the prospective parliamentary candidates for Carshalton & Wallington.

Tom Brake (Lib Dem), Ashley Dickenson (Christian Peoples Alliance), Emina Ibrahim (Labour), Shasha Khan (Green Party), Nick Mattey (Independent) and Matthew Maxwell Scott (Conservatives) all took part in the hustings which was chaired by Age UK Sutton CEO Nicola Upton.

The event began with a brief statement from each of the candidates, after which candidates were asked questions by audience members on identified later life themes including social care, income and loneliness.

Key themes that emerged from questions asked were the cost of paying for care and the ‘dementia tax’, the future of the pension triple-lock as well as the value of winter fuel payments. On a local level, issues to do with St.Helier hospital were raised by audience members and discussed by candidates.

A final Q&A session saw audience members quiz candidates about their views on foreign policy as well as housing for older people. Before the end of the event, in response to a question from an audience member, all candidates made a pledge to become Age UK Age Champions.

Nicola Upton, CEO of Age UK Sutton said:

“Age UK Sutton are very proud to host the only hustings in Carshalton & Wallington. We had a great turnout despite the narrow time frame we had to promote the event, which demonstrates the desire people have to hear from and engage with their local candidates.

Our thanks go to the prospective parliamentary candidates, all of whom made the time to attend the hustings, as well as our guests for being there and drawing attention to the issues faced by older people in later life.

We are heartened by each candidate’s pledge to be an Age Champion, and hope this translates into lives lived with dignity for Sutton’s older people.”

For more information about Age UK’s General Election manifesto, visit www.ageuk.org.uk