Sunday, 16 November 2008
The Big Question?
On Friday evening I attended the Big Question at Plymouth University's Sherwell Centre. The event was a question and answer session featuring local leaders who would be open to questions from the audience, anyone was welcome although the attendance was a little disappointing. I reckon there were only about 50 people in total! On the panel were Alison Seabeck, Labour MP, Tudor Evans, Labour councillor, Wendy Purcell, Vice-chancellor and Chief Executive of Plymouth University, Richard Smith, owner of Plymouth gin distillery and Deputy Vice Chair of the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, Councillor Ian Bowyer, Conservative councillor for Eggbuckland and Oliver Colville, MP for. The event was chaired by Bill Martin, editor of the Herald pictured left.
On arriving I was greeted by Keith Rossiter, political correspondent for the Herald, we chatted briefly before he moved onto to introduce himself to others. I was thrilled to see Councilor Linda Bowyer who informed me that she had raised some points for me at a recent council meeting, firstly my desire to allow fitness pole performances at certain council events and secondly my concern about new lap dancing legislation and the wording of any such legislation. Any moves to categorise performance pole dancing as a sexual act could lead to real problems within the fitness pole dancing and performing arts industries.
Linda and I grabbed some seats whilst waiting for the meeting to commence, There was a very lovely slide show going on behind the panel which featured beautiful images of Plymouth - all very impressive. I won't go into all the questions posed but will give you a little personal feedback: In my opinion the majority of the audience do not see the Life Centre to be as important as some other projects which have been postponed due to the current financial climate. I am of course somewhat biased as I do not think the life centre is really going to give Plymouth what is being promised. Oliver Colville argued that the Life Centre would deal with obesity but I have to disagree, it is proven that those who are obese and fear exercise would rather go to a smaller group than a large centre. I just worry that the Life centre will never set out to achieve its aims and think that projects such as the bus station should have greater precedence.
Click here for the herald coverage of the event. I must congratulate Bill martin from the herald for organising this event and hope it will be the start of more public meetings to enable the people of Plymouth to make their voices heard. I am already looking forward to the next Big question!