THE ANNOUNCEMENT of a general election has been welcomed by some voters on the streets of Tavistock.

According to a snapshot of public opinion after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s surprise announcement yesterday of a July 4 election, most people questioned said they would vote and that it was time for a change of government.

Diane Williams, 74, of Tavistock, said: “We definitely need an election because nothing is changing for the good. Everything is getting worse. I occasionally vote, but this time I’m more likely to vote this time. But it’s not easy to decide because I don’t believe anything the politicians say. They’re only in it for their own good. There’s not a good enough enough choice as far as I can make out at the moment. They always say they’ll help pensioners, like me, but never do anything when they get into power.”

Colin, who did not want his full name in, said: “We badly need a general election because we’ve had too many unelected prime ministers since Boris Johnson. Not having a public vote on your country’s leader undermines the democratic process. I will vote because I believe in the democratic process. There are far too many populist leaders coming into power worldwide and I want to have my say in guarding against that trend in this country.”

Wendy Granger is visiting a relative in Tavistock and taking a short break to shop and see the sights. She welcomed the general election: “It’s a good idea to have an election. We need fresh blood in government and new people in power with new ideas. I always vote Tory, but they can’t count on my vote this time. There’s no obvious alternative, so I don’t know who to voter for if I don’t vote for the Tories. I’ll have to look into what they’re saying they will do in power.”

She lives in Brighton and has been deterred from voting Green because of the policies in her home town: “We have a Green MP and Greens in power on the council, so they’ve gone mad with putting cycle lanes everywhere, far too many. And they’ve put up parking charges higher than anywhere else to deter drivers, and reduce pollution, but that’s not good for the businesses and tourism. It’s. warning really about what the Greens might do nationally.”

Zoltan Sipos, self-employed knife sharpener who has a pitch in the town centre, said: “The Conservatives have been too long in power. It is time for a change, lots of things need changing. I have children and think there are too many pressures on them and staff from the expectations of exams and standards which are not good for mental health. The priorities in schools may be have gone too far one way to achieve standards above all other considerations. Also, pollution is bad in the sea and the rivers, so swimmers an surfers are raising those concerns when they get ill.”

Zoltan, Tavistock knife sharpener, says water pollution and education are issues a new Government would have to address.
Zoltan, Tavistock knife sharpener, says water pollution and education are issues a new government would have to address. (Tindle)

Adrian Pitcher, a retired MOD worker, said: “It’s vital that we all vote and take part in a general election, then at least we can legitimately complain or praise issues and services. Issues that matter to me are defence and education. The issue of how well the utilities are working and are being run is very important wherever you live. But the water companies don’t seem to be working for us all in the way they should. But I’m afraid it’s probably too late to reverse privatisation because of the way pension and the funds are reliant on the investors in the water companies, for instance. Dental services also need improving with access too restricted and costs too high.”

Adrian Pitcher is concerned about the way public utilities are letting down people.
Adrian Pitcher is concerned about the way public utilities are letting people down (Tindle)

Tina Lacey, of Gunnislake, said: “ It’s a really good thing to have a general election. We ned a change at the top. The Conservatives have been at it for a long time now and I did vote for them. In the past I have voted for other parties. But now I’d think about voting for Reform, having worked for the NHS for 15 years. We do need to cut down on immigration. We’re a small island and are overcrowded, so it makes sense to stop so many people coming in.

“Also, the NHS is broken. It was so good and worked so well. But now it’s too top heavy with an overpaid bureaucracy – too many managers, not enough health staff. I’d also like to see more done for the farmers in this area.”

Tina Lacey is considering voting Reform.
Tina Lacey, right, is considering voting Reform. (Tindle)

Kenneth Kendall, said: “The General Election is a good thing because we need a change with someone new in to change the way things are going, which is either getting worse or stagnating. But it’s not obvious who is a good alternative. I’ll have to check their manifestos.”

Kenneth Kendall says we need a change of Government.
Kenneth Kendall says we need a change of Government. (Tindle)

Chris Smerdon, of Tavistock Royal British Legion, said: “I always vote. It’s very important to vote even though the election has been called by the Prime Minister as a knee-jerk reaction to inflation falling. But I will only make my mind up who deserves my after I’ve listened to what they all have to say and I have read the manifestos.”

Wendy Granger will definitely not vote Green.
Wendy Granger will definitely not vote Green. (Tindle)