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Every Vote Counts Election Event

You can’t complain about who wins if you don’t vote, it’s like the X Factor. Just because you voted for someone doesn’t mean they are going to win but it gives a better chance of it happening.

The words of a female patient from Milton Park's Ashwood unit after the 'Every Vote Counts' election event at the Star Centre on Wednesday 29th April. 

The aim on the day was for everyone at Milton Park Therapeutic Campus to get a better understanding of the election, the voting process and ensuring that all of our patients are provided with information to make informed choices on May 7th. 

We invited everyone standing for election in the local Mayor, MP and Borough Councillor roles to speak to our residents and staff. We would like to thank the following candidates for attending:
  • Mayor of Bedford, Dave Hodgson (Lib Dem)
  • Tim Douglas, Mayoral candidate (Lab)
  • Jas Palmer, Mayoral candidate (Con)
  • Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP (Con), Parliamentary candidate
  • Saqhib Ali, Parliamentary candidate (Lab)
  • Tom Wootton, Bedford Borough Councillor (Con)
Victoria Hulström-Allen, Deputy Manager of Milton Park and Mayor of Royston, assisted by Speech and Language Therapist Caragh Allbright explained the election process. The residents heard how you could vote for your local MP and that all of the MP’s would be added up leading to deciding who would be the new Prime Minister and leader of the UK. 
The Mayor of Bedford, Dave Hodgson was then invited to explain the Mayoral role. Mr Mayor then put forward in brief his manifesto followed in turn by the other Mayoral candidates. Next the candidates for MP of North East Bedfordshire gave an outline of who they are and what that means.

Residents then asked the candidates some excellent questions, which included:
  • What are you going to do to promote mental health support & intervention?
  • Acute mental health beds are being closed and funding restricted – how can this be justified?
  • Is the minimum wage fair?
Once all the candidates had presented we ran a practice poll for residents to vote for their favourite candidate. This was great fun and allowed the residents to gain an even better understanding of how the voting system works.

The winner on the day was Tim Douglas. After the event he said ''I’ve had a fabulous morning here with the service users and had some terrific questions from them, and it’s great to know they voted for me!''

Our residents had a fantastic time at the event and really gained a better understanding of the voting system.
We really appreciate the Mayoral and MP candidates and Councillors taking time out of their busy schedules to come and talk to our staff and residents. It was a fantastic event and one which serves great purpose as it helped educate our clients on voting and what it means to vote.

To hear what Conservative MP Alistair Burt had to say about the event please click here.

Below are the interviews with Jas Palmer and Tim Douglas on how they found the event.