General election 2015: We take to the Hitchin and Stevenage streets to ask what you think are the most important issues at stake

Jonathan McAllister has been asking what would sway your vote ahead of the general election.

Jonathan McAllister has been asking what would sway your vote ahead of the general election. - Credit: Archant

What are the issues that matter to you the most? That’s the question we’ve been asking members of the public ahead of the general election.

Gareth Hughes, Stevenage.

Gareth Hughes, Stevenage. - Credit: Archant

Taking to the streets of Hitchin and Stevenage, the responses were often and varied.

Gareth Hughes, 39, from Stevenage, said: “Personally, I believe the NHS is the most important issue in this general election. Working in healthcare, and with a family working in healthcare, I feel it is a key part of politics in 2015.

“I genuinely don’t know who to vote for yet though. I’d never vote UKIP, the Liberals broke all their promises and, to be honest, all the parties break their promises at some point.

“If Ed Miliband’s brother had been Labour leader I would be more inclined to vote for them. But he is not.”

Dave Boag, Hitchin.

Dave Boag, Hitchin. - Credit: Archant

Dave Boag, 72, from Hitchin, said: “Issues, issues, issues. Well, there’s always room for improvement in all areas to be honest.

“I would like to see changes in the healthcare sector, such as strict controls over the involvement of private firms. Education could do with a shake up as well.

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“This immigration nonsense I don’t buy though. I worked in Romania for some years and they are lovely people who wouldn’t dream of coming here just for the benefits.”

Kerry Kitchener, 43, from Letchworth, said: “I have decided who I am voting for and the key issue for me was education. More needs to be done to improve it.

Kerry Kitchener, Letchworth.

Kerry Kitchener, Letchworth. - Credit: Archant

“As a teaching assistant I have seen the sector from the inside. It needs more money put into it, so that is what I hope will be done by the next government.

“As for the leaders, I do quite like David Cameron’s family man attitude, but I am not keen on the other leaders.”

Karen Crowhurst, 52, from Stevenage, said: “With the economy growing and starting to improve I think that’s the most important issue. It is vital we do not jeopardise the path the economy is on.

“I respect the leaders of the main parties, except UKIP of course. The integrity of their views is important for them to show. Personally, I won’t be changing parties from my vote in the 2010 election.”

Karen Crowhurst, Stevenage.

Karen Crowhurst, Stevenage. - Credit: Archant

Lucille Copleston, 60, from Pirton, said: “The Conservatives promised to change inheritance tax when they were campaigning in the last election. They never kept that promise and it is a big issue for me.

“Immigration is also an important issue. There are far too many people allowed into the country. I think they should prove they have a certain amount in their bank account before they’re allowed in, so they don’t just come over and go straight onto benefits.

“To be honest I think there is far too much squabbling in politics. The parties should just give us their manifestos and show their fundamental differences, and not waste so much money on debates, TV appearances and campaigning.”

Gareth Cooper, 30, from Stevenage, said: “With the economy so central to all other issues, I think it is the most important issue this election. It feeds into and helps boost everything else. The last few years it has been a bit rocky, but there are definitely signs of improvement.

Lucille Copleston, Pirton.

Lucille Copleston, Pirton. - Credit: Archant

“I think politics has become a bit of a personality contest, but we should see through this to the parties that stand behind the leaders. I mean Nigel Farage came over well in the televised debates, but I would definitely never vote for him.”