Tony Arbour: People's Question Time
We speak to Deputy Chairman of the London Assembly, Tony Arbour, about chairing People’s Question Time (PQT).
Tony Arbour AM is the Deputy Chairman of the London Assembly and the Assembly Member for Hounslow, Kingston and Richmond. He is chairing the next PQT event on 1 March at Hounslow Civic Centre.
How long have you been attending PQT events?
Since 2000, this will be my 18th year. I’ve been to every single one. I believe they are vitally important as they give Londoners an unfettered opportunity to question the Mayor and Assembly.
Are there any PQTs that you particularly remember?
The most interesting one was the first one I chaired at the Richmond Theatre. For me it stood out, because it was a real fusion of politics and showbiz. A meeting at the town hall isn’t quite the same!
What are you most looking forward to at this PQT?
It’s on my own patch. I believe also it’s the first time PQT has visited Hounslow. It will be nice for me to complete the hat trick of all the boroughs I’ve represented.
What’s it like chairing a PQT?
As chair, it’s basically my job to hold the ring. I love the buzz and the spontaneity. One thing is quite clear however that nobody has come to see you. They’ve come to see the Mayor.
What do you think will be the big issues on the night?
Well CS9 gets the Twitterati going, but I don’t think the things affecting Hounslow will get so much attention. I think the big issues will be the everyday bread and butter, things like policing numbers, transport, the London Plan and housing.
What would you say to someone thinking of coming along?
Do it. It will be informative, free and it’s often fun too, so bring a friend. Hounslow Civic Centre is a pretty big space and it will be a fantastic atmosphere if the venue’s full on the night. I can’t wait.