Voters in Lincoln will go to the polls tomorrow (Thursday, May 5) to choose their local ward councillors.
There are 11 seats up for grabs, one in each ward and a third of the 33 councillors on the authority.
Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Jaines visited the shopping park on Wolsey Way in Glebe Ward – the tightest race in last year’s elections with just 28 votes separating Labour Council Leader Ric Metcalfe from his opponent – to ask for people’s priorities.
During interviews some key topics emerged.
The cost of living was among the high priority items, along with a desire for more engagement from councillors and more being done to tackle local issues such as youth anti-social behaviour and transport.
However, there was also a sense that voters wanted to send a message to the national leaderships.
Elaine Wright, who lives on Outer Circle, always votes adding: “If you don’t you can’t complain.”
“This year more than anything it’s got to be energy bills and stuff like that,” she said.
“Over the years they’ve taken so much away like youth clubs and now you’ve got kids lounging round the streets. They’re going to do that because there’s nothing else to do.”
She said it often felt like councillors didn’t listen to residents.
“I know it’s hard on them because they only get so much money, but sometimes you get the feeling that councillors just dismiss what people want,” she said.
“They don’t go on the estate and ask what people want.”
Michelle Travers won’t be voting this year, having not had her polling card through, however, she backed what Elaine was saying.
“It’s about time they started listening to people that live here. Everything is for the students, not for us,” she said.
“They’re changing the town centre without asking our opinion.
“We’ve not been as involved as we’d like in the decision making.”
She said she voted Tory last time, but this time was a floating voter between the two main parties.
Paul Chave, who said he was “strictly Labour” said his main focus was on protecting healthcare services from being privatised, particularly as a Lincoln Hospital worker.
He said his vote would mostly be a message to the higher ups that there needed to be changes, adding: “There are Conservatives that could be strong leaders but Boris Johnson isn’t one.”
And he wasn’t the only one.
One usually staunch Conservative Ermine Estate voter, who did not give his name, told the LDR that it was the second time he hadn’t voted for his mainstay party.
“I want to get rid of Johnson, he’s completely useless,” he said, accusing the Prime Minister of “waffle and stall”.
“I’m an absolute Tory but I’m voting a different team this year, Haven’t quite made up my mind but I want to slap him on the nose,” he said.
However, he was just as tough on Kier Starmer saying he “can’t speak well”.
His main priorities were the rising bills, and increasing costs of projects said to help the nation, while he was critical of the parties actions on the triple lock pension.
Several others made their feelings very clear, as they dashed past the reporter, with one saying he was “sick of them all now” while another said the Lib Dems would “do what I would like” without explaining further.
For the latest Local Election 2022 news, including candidate lists and party priorities, visit here.