• What do you think?

    Mid Devon Advertiser
    08 April 2016

    My latest constituency survey is in full swing. Right across the 550 sq miles ofour vast constituency a veritable army of volunteers is padding up and downdriveways, flipping letter boxes and fending off dogs to deliver 40,000 copies.I have asked about our relationship with the EU – should we remain or leave?Currently views are evenly split. On the benefit cap (set at £20,000 perfamily) - a strong majority are in favour of retaining this with only one in ahundred believing it should be abolished. Nationally we spend around £160billion a year on benefits – that’s around 50% more than we spend on the NHS soit is an area of expenditure that can not be ignored. A strong majority are infavour of a 7 day NHS in which weekend cover is improved. Similarly, a clearmajority think that we should retain our nuclear deterrent. There is hugesupport for a new rail service north of Dartmoor from Exeter through Okehampton– an issue on which I have lobbied hard in Westminster having brought theTransport Secretary to Okehampton to walk the tracks with me. There werepositive views about our police. Given the budget constraints that ourconstabulary are facing I am always impressed with the fact that crime has beenfalling so significantly. Nationally, Migration, the NHS and Benefits featureas significant issues. On local issues, there is much comment on the importanceof rural bus services, internet speeds (75% rate their download speeds as‘average to good’ with 25% dissatisfied). Also often raised is the importanceof affordable housing and retaining services at our hospitals.