Do voters care about local issues or Brexit?

Picture: Dulwich Highstreet

Whilst many politicians are avoiding the topic of Brexit throughout their campaigns and are focusing on local problems such as bin collections, housing and council tax it seems that the voters have differing priorities. 

Elections and voting seem to be of high priority on everyones agenda lately and it doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon with the English local elections taking place on Thursday 3rd May 2018. All seats which are currently held by London Boroughs are up for election meaning that the public could see a huge change in the dynamics of their local politicians. 

During the local election periods it is common to see politicians asking the public what they really want and care about in order to fulfil everyone’s community desires. Although this is still happening, a lot of local MP’s have come to the realisation that local issues have not been of high priority with the dreaded Brexit deal being the main topic on everyone’s mind. This has resulted in a divide of priorities between those campaigning and voters. 

Mary Parkinson, a resident in the London borough of Southwark said, “We cannot ignore Brexit, it’s all we hear about every day and it’s the main story in the news constantly, so of course when it comes to voting my choice is going to reflect my views on Brexit and what I want when the deal is finalised. Whilst I understand that local MP’s should also focus on local issues, I do believe that this can be focused on once Brexit has been dealt with, it is a lesser problem which does not affect as many people. Brexit has a more impactful effect on my financial stability than a local election will.”

However, Dulwich based MP, James Barber has a high focus of the surrounding environment, housing issues and many other local issues throughout his campaign. Speaking of his prime concerns in the upcoming elections he said, “London crime statistics are soaring at this moment in time so we should be focusing on how to target this, local communities are all part of the final bigger picture… if nothing is done about the problems our city is facing soon, we will end up in a bad situation. We need people to have the same mindset as they did in 2012, we are again living in a vicious crime crisis and the statistics prove just that.”

Furthering this he explains the main priorities in his parties campaign, “First things first, police funding needs to be addressed, but that is only a small part of the problem. Others include transport, youth services, public safety, affordable housing and much more.” 

Only 27.2% of Dulwich voters chose to leave the EU, meaning that the majority remain unhappy with the final vote. With this in mind, it is of no shock that locals are highly concerned about what outcome will be a result of the deal. However, local MP’s have stressed the importance of focusing on local matters.