VOTE 2010: Opinions from the streets of Worthing

NOW the general election battle has started, Herald reporter Alex Therrien hit the streets to findout what Worthing people would like to see changed by the next government and its MPs.

Retired nurse Mary Saddington, 68, of London Street, Worthing, said: "I want MPs to fight for a decent local government grant for the area.

"It could mean better and more frequent bus services, better paths and roads."

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Mary would also like to see her MP fight for greater regulation of rent prices, which often hit the poor the hardest.

She added: "My rent rocketed from 450 to 600 and that is something that could get out of control in a free property market."

Mary is also one of many who feel that Worthing could do more for its youngsters by providing a "decent playground" and other facilities.

Something for the children and disabled

Warren Milton, 39, of Gordon Road, Worthing, also felt playgrounds needed to be improved and potholes on the road were a "dangerous hazard" that need fixing.

Jean St John, 63, from Wenban Road, Worthing. who cares for her wheelchair-bound husband Algernon, 72, agreed that more could be done for children.

She said: "The skating rink in the town centre is good, but isn't enough. Many of the facilities children use, like Peter Pan's paddling pool, are being closed but not replaced."

Jean also felt there should be greater access in the area for disabled people.

She said: "I think there should be more disabled toilets. The one by the pier always seems to be shut, which can make things difficult for Algernon."

As well as improving conditions for youngsters and the disabled, the controversial West Durrington development has emphasised the significance of green space to many of Worthing's residents.

Green spaces

Leah Moyes, 20, a student from West Durrington, said: "I think there should be more green space in and around Worthing.

"The council needs to think about something other than housing."

Audrey Stewart, 50, from Speedwell Close, Durrington, said she felt "jaded" by modern politics and saw little point voting in the upcoming election.

Ms Stewart, a mother-of-four and grandmother-of-three, said: "I don't see the point in voting. No matter who you vote for, it's always the same really. I love politics but I'm fed up with the politicians we have."

Life into Worthing

Asked about what she would like to see improved, Ms Stewart said: "I would like to see the schools improve because the children are going to have a really tough time finding and maintaining employment in the future."

Finance assistant Jane Christodoulou, 52, of Garrick Road, wants the area as a whole to improve but is sceptical about the possibility of real change.

She said: "I would love my next MP to make Worthing a better place.

"Let's not knock the place, but there are a lot of improvements needed and I would like to see the next MP put some life into Worthing.

"Unfortunately, I feel the political parties are all the same and whatever you ask for, they're never going to do it."

Ask the candidates

The Herald wants to know what issues matter to you in the local election.

What are your top three priorities and what questions would you ask the parliamentary candidates?

The Herald will be putting the candidates in the hot-seat and giving them all the opportunity to answer the top questions put forward by our readers.

Email [email protected] or write to Worthing Herald, Cannon House, Chatsworth Road, Worthing, BN11 1NA.

All submissions should include a full name, address and contact telephone number.

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