‘Stop the council cuts’ is the overriding message from the Accrington public, according to our exclusive online poll.
The people of Hyndburn have spoken and we’ve produced a manifesto of your top policy demands.
And ‘it’s the economy, stupid’ is the overriding message, with three of your top six priorities reaching a consensus over economic policy.
An overwhelming 85 per cent of respondents told us that council cuts had either gone too far or had been implemented unfairly, with just nine per cent feeling that the economy’s belt needs further tightening.
There were also fears over jobs, with the manifesto supporting guaranteed positions for the long-term unemployed.
Forty-two per cent of you said the spare room subsidy - ‘known as the bedroom tax’ - was unfair and wrong, while a further 36 per cent agreed that while it was fair in principle, it was not practicable.
The Observer has been campaigning for the public to back our high streets following our exclusive report earlier this year into the future of the town centre.
And your fourth policy priority reflected public concern over the issue, with our survey calling for independent shops and our markets to be protected and promoted.
The politically ‘explosive’ issue of fracking also made the top six policy priorities, with the nearly half of the public (47 per cent) favouring a cautious approach of no fracking until we know for sure that it is safe.
One in four of you (27 per cent) felt that fracking for shale gas is a good way of ensuring our energy security.
The majority of the people of Hyndburn have also resisted an extension of the voting franchise, with 63 per cent of you saying the voting age should remain at 18.
Other issues which produced a degree of consensus included immigration, with 42 per cent of respondents feeling it should be controlled more strongly and 23 per cent arguing it is “a major problem”.Nine per cent felt the issue was not a problem for the borough and was a positive.
The survey, which received 104 responses, has provided an interesting snapshot of public opinion ahead of May 7’s general election poll in the Hyndburn parliamentary seat. Twelve Hyndburn council seats will be up for grabs on the same day. Currently the council is comprised: Labour 23, Conservative 8, Independent 2, UKIP 2.