Could apathy win the local elections?

This Is Wiltshire: People would like to see more bobbies on the beat People would like to see more bobbies on the beat

IT seems voter apathy has engulfed the town just 10 days before residents are due to go to the polls for the local elections.

None of the 30 people questioned by the Adver knew who their current councillor was or who else was standing for election. In the straw poll it was found that just under a third surveyed said they would be voting.

To gauge public opinion we also asked what was bothering people.

Although these are local elections, national issues also cropped up.

Policing and the environment were on top of people's lists.

Many residents would like to see more police on the beat as a further deterrent to prevent crime.

Tony Pridden, 49, from Lyneham, who works at Honda, said: "Yes, I will be voting. It is part of my democratic right so why shouldn't I exercise it?

"I would like to see a more high-profile police network. Even unoccupied parked police cars would make a difference to crime on the streets.

He was dubious about the merits of introducing talking CCTV cameras in Swindon where the controller can speak directly to an offender.

"I'm not sure about these talking cameras, though. Who's to tell someone what to do. I really can't see it working," he said.

The environment was another hot topic around the town. Many people believe pollution levels were probably increasing as the town develops rapidly.

Simon Peters, 33, from Old Town, said: "The environment is a hotly debated issue at the moment. I think the council should do more to get people to take public transport rather than their car, also promote walking and cycling on a daily basis. It might help out the obesity crisis too."

Unemployment benefits handed out to people in a nanny state was another contentious issue to emerge.

Ron Rudkins, 59, from Freshbrook, said: "Why should these people have unemployment benefits? People should earn them by working in the community. Why should we be made to support them?

"It is annoying they know how to play the system, with their rights and responsibilities. They should be made to support themselves."

One third of Swindon Council is up for election.

There are 92 candidates standing for 21 seats in the Swindon Council elections.

Internet, telephone and postal voting starts on Thursday and will run until the votes close on polling day on Thursday, May 3 at 10pm.

Voting at the polls will get under way at 7am until 10pm on the Thursday.

The Swindon Advertiser will be publishing details of all the candidates standing in the elections right up until when the votes are counted next Thursday.

All the latest election news can be viewed by logging onto www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/election/ Full results and comprehensive coverage of election results will be published in the Swindon Advertiser on Friday May 4 and results will be put on our website as they come in.

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