“The gentleman at the back with the flowery shirt and the moustache. No, not you Sir, the person to your left. Ah, I see, my sincerest apologies Madam!”
Have you ever wanted to have Sir David of Dimbleby fix you with his steely gaze as you direct your incisive, finely honed question to the Question Time panel with the primary aim of securing an ego-boosting round of applause from your fellow audience members? You have? Great! Well, now you’ll get the chance to do that right here in Twickenham. Sort of. In our case it’s going to be Council Leader Lord True and some ‘senior cabinet colleagues’ who’ll be the stars of the show in El Brute’s “all things Twickenham” Question Time event on 17th September.
With some of the regeneration work now underway as part of the TWAP (aka the Twickenham Area Action Plan) and a bunch of other local issues generating strong feelings – both for and against – it could make for a lively evening. And if that’s not enough for you, on the following day the Blue Baron himself will be taking to Twitter to answer questions fired at him using the hashtag #twickenhamrediscovered.
It’s all about connecting with the community. A kind of panel-based Q&A and followed by a virtual group hug, if you will. Of course on the real Question Time, Chairman Dimbly Dave makes the point about the questions not being known to the panel before the show but in Twickenham’s case residents are asked to submit their questions in advance. We’re told this is “to ensure that the event isn’t dominated by only one or two topics”. By that we assume this means that El Brute doesn’t want the Twickenham station approval to hijack the agenda. Any resident whose question get prior approval will then get the chance to put it to the panel at the event. There will also be the opportunity for others to chip in at that point.
With the panel composed of members of the same political party, we’re expecting to see a lot more unity in the responses than on ‘official’ television version but the event will at least put a selection of our elected Council representatives in front of a live audience and so it could prove to be an interesting experiment.
So, is this a good thing? Are we seeing a Council reach out to local residents and businesses in new ways? Or is it a PR gimmick designed to soothe this turbulent town? Will you be taking part? Why not add your thoughts below or, better still, give us the questions that you’d like to put to the Council right now. Don’t worry, nobody in authority reads this so no one will know what you’re really thinking (apart from the nice folks at GCHQ and the NSA of course).
* Q&A Event – Tue 17th Sept, 7.00-9.00pm, Clarendon Hall, Twickenham.
* Twitter Q&A – Wed 18th Sept, 6.00-7.00pm on Twitter with @lbrut using the hashtag #twickenhamrediscovered
* El Brute link