THE EU returns to the local agenda this week with two events focusing on the in/out referendum to be hosted in Stratford.Both take place on Wednesday, 4th May.
The first is a business lunch organised by the Stratford Business Forum that takes place at the Welcombe Hills Hotel, while later in the day Holy Trinity Church will hold a public meeting on the subject.
The business lunch will take place from 12noon and see guest speakers, pro-EU Sir Peter Rigby and ‘out’ campaigner David Campbell-Bannerman, who will lead a discussion.
At Holy Trinity Church, from 7.30pm, a debate titled The EU: To Leave or Not to Leave, That is the Question, will be chaired by the Reverend Patrick Taylor.
Former Conservative MEP, Malcolm Harbour, will speak in favour of remaining in the union, while former Conservative MP for Wyre Forest, Anthony Coombs, will argue the case for leaving.
Rev Taylor said: “As Churches Together in Stratford, we believe it’s vital that our congregations, as well as anyone else in the community, is given help and advice concerning the EU referendum.
“We are bringing together two speakers — one for staying in and one for leaving the EU — in order to give people an opportunity to hear both sides of the argument before making up their own minds.
“I hope that people will vote not from just the inward-looking starting point of ‘what is best for me personally?’, but also in terms of what will be best for our local, national and international communities in the long run.
“As Christians we believe in the importance of healthy communities and so Holy Trinity Church, as the parish church for Stratford, would seem an appropriate venue for what we hope will be a lively, but thoughtful and measured debate on this crucial decision facing our nation.”
There will also be an extended opportunity for questions from the floor.
Tickets for the event at The Welcombe Hotel cost £30 online from www.theshakespearehospice.org.uk/Event/139/BusinessLunch, but the church debate is free to get into.