On Wednesday evening local group Barkingside 21 arranged a hustings for the Assembly candidates. I'm grateful that we had this opportunity to make our cases and to hear from residents - at one time hustings were a common part of the election process but in recent years they have become very rare.
The debate was ably chaired by Ilford Recorder Editor, Chris Carter and featured myself, Mandy Richards for Labour, Haroon Saad for the Greens and Liberal Democrat Farrukh Islam, a former Redbridge councillor.
The other five candidates were not present but for the sake of completeness they are Malvin Brown of the Residents Association, Lawrence Webb of UKIP who is also their Mayoral candidate, Richard Edmunds of the National Front, Robert Taylor of the BNP and Mark Twiddy of the English Democrats.
We had a decent sized audience - around 40 people. Questions about planning, youth unemployment, education, policing and Olympic transport predominated.
The whole thing was filmed and can be seen over at www.barkingside21.blogspot.co.uk .