Sheffield Festival of Debate to ignite election discussion

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Sheffield’s first Festival of Debate launches today – in a bid to provoke discussion ahead of the general election in May.

The festival will run during March and April. It will feature panel discussions, question and answer sessions, debates and speaker events.

The first event, a screening of climate change documentary Chasing Ice, kicks things off at 18-22 Union Street tonight, from 6pm.

Future events are set to cover a variety of subjects – from pioneering female MPs to the private rented sector, immigration and austerity.

People taking part include former Home Secretary David Blunkett, Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough MP, who will chair a discussion on what it is like to report on Parliament, and Shami Chakrabarti, from civil rights organisation Liberty, who is leading a talk.

Election candidates and Sheffield charity Roundabout are also part of the festival.

Sara Hill, operations director for not-for-profit organiser Opus Independents, said: “We wanted to find a way to re-engage people with politics and the city as a whole.

“We are aware there is a sense of disenchantment and apathy with politics at the moment, so it would be good to have solution-focused discussions.”

Venues across Sheffield are hosting festival events, which also an eating seasonally discussion, as well as a themed Word Life literature night.

* Events are free to attend but guests are urged to register at Festival of Debate

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