The people of the Tavistock area were divided about what the outcome of the general election meant to them in a snapshot of views on the street today.

As Keir Starmer became prime minister, people who were asked for their views and opinions on the meaning of the election to them said they were largely optimistic, and that change for the better would result.

However, there was also scepticism about all politicians and that promises made on the campaign trail would not be kept.

Patsy Fisher, owner of Soft Touch Needlework in Tavistock Pannier Market, said: “I was hoping that during the election campaign we’d hear something from any of the candidates about support for small businesses.”

“Things aren’t looking too good on the high street here. It’s not looking good for anyone taking on existing businesses, they don’t seem to have the confidence to sell on and believe they can find a buyer. Tavistock is all about independent businesses, which is the lifeblood of the local economy.”

“Now is the chance for the MP and the government to show their support for us. A big question is what will they do with VAT. Its a tax that is likely to go up if they don’t put up other taxes, but it would hit small businesses hard and the last thing we and the town needs.”

Dot King, who runs Dot’s Teas and Wholefoods, in Tavistock and plays a big community role in the town and in Bere said: “We’ve had our say and there’s a new government, so now it’s their turn to live up to their promises. Is our MP going to step forward and do all the things he said he’d do years ago? Will anything change? I have to be optimistic, or no one would vote.”

Michael Honey, a full-time carer for his son M.J. said: “To be honest there wasn’t much choice when you looked at both of the main parties. But I voted for the future, for M.J. Maybe it wasn’t the best outcome, but I am optimistic that things will change for the future.”

Paul McKenzie, Bob’s Cafe manager in Tavistock, said: “To be honest I’m probably the least political person to ask. I don’t own my own home or a business and i don’t talk or think about politics much. But surely Labour can’t do worse than the last lot.”

Neil Campbell, games shop worker, said: “Overall I’d say the election result should be good for the future. I hope politics will now be kinder. There was too much fear before.”

Dan and Stephanie Field, who have two sons, aged four and nine, said their children and home are their priority.

Dan, a Waitrose employee, said: “Our children are the future and we want to know what the government will do for education and childcare. We’re also remortgaging, which is a big worry for us now.”

Stephanie said: “Rishi Sunak did good things, like funding for childcare. But now we’re concerned that the good things will remain and we won’t be penalised.”

Vox Pops
Dot King, a Tavistock trader, from Bere Alston, hopes the government and local MP will keep their promises. (Alex Smith)