Glasgow Voluntary Sector Election Hustings – Reflections

General Election 2024

On Thursday 20 June we hosted an Election Hustings for leading political parties to engage with colleagues from the voluntary sector.  This provided an opportunity for politicians to outline their policies. It also meant our members could share the challenges they face, and their knowledge of the impact of political decisions on citizens in the city.

We wanted parties have the opportunity to hear directly from charities, social enterprises, and voluntary organisations that play such a key role in our city. In our recent briefing, GCVS set out our priorities as we approach the upcoming General Election: Social Justice & Equality, Sustainable Funding, and Climate Action.

There are thousands of organisations that comprise Glasgow’s voluntary sector. These organisations offer crucial services, support, and advocacy for a vast range of causes. They bridge gaps in public services, pioneer innovation and drive change from the grassroots level.

We invited all parties who were elected to Glasgow City Council or the Scottish Parliament, or to a Scottish Westminster seat at the most recent election for each. We were delighted to be joined on the day by:

  • Jen Bell for the Scottish Green Party
  • Robert Connelly for the Scottish Conservative Party
  • Michael Shanks for the Scottish Labour Party
  • Chris Stephens for the Scottish National Party

Audience members were asked to offer questions in advance and candidates responded to a range of questions on the economy, wellbeing, climate change, third sector funding, immigration / asylum, public services, social security and volunteering.  The wide array of questions sent to us highlighted the scope of the sector’s work, the communities it represents, and the challenges we currently face.

We would like to thank all of the candidates for taking the time to join us and answer the questions from the sector. We’d also like to thank everyone present for ensuring that the Hustings were a success, with important issues addressed within an environment that allowed for constructive challenge and meaningful debate.

We reiterate our request that the voluntary sector’s vital role be recognised with policies and approaches that value and strengthen it. By addressing the priorities set out, the incoming UK Government can support the development of resilient, inclusive, and sustainable communities.

The deadline for registering to vote has now passed but it’s not too late to encourage those who have registered to make sure they vote. Remember this is the first election in Scotland to require voter identification. The most disadvantaged groups in society are often the least likely to participate in the democratic process. If your organisation wants to encourage people to vote then there are resources available:

Become a member of GCVS and help us build a strong voluntary sector in Glasgow. Our membership programme is open to voluntary organisations, social enterprises, and community groups across Glasgow and further afield. Becoming a member not only helps us support your work but also helps us be a strong voice for the sector.  Find out more here >>

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