First I should apologise for the late return of this column after the summer. It is for the very straightforward reason that I have had Covid.
Other people’s symptoms are always boring, so I will restrict myself to saying that I am glad I am fully vaccinated, which meant that despite an unpleasant three weeks I did not suffer any breathing issues. My conclusion is that if you have been offered a jab, please take it for your own sake as well as everyone else’s.
Meanwhile I have been able to conduct one of my regular surveys on Facebook to find out what people are thinking about both national and local issues. Nearly three hundred people took part and as ever the results are an interesting snapshot of what is in the front of people’s minds. Very often it is not the issues that are dominating the news agenda.
In this case, starting with the national issues, respondents were asked to pick three issues they cared about most. It is perhaps not surprising that the NHS, immigration and the economy were chosen most often, with the NHS the overall “winner”. One policy area which is clearly growing in importance is the environment, which was more or less level with the economy as the third most important issue.
As for local issues, the William Harvey hospital was mentioned as the most important by more than a third of all respondents. Second in this category was Green Spaces, reinforcing the answer to the national questions. Third was traffic, which I suspect has a lot to do with events in and around the M20 recently. This is the first time housing has not featured in the top three local issues.
Asking for one individual wish reveals a big divide. Many people want development stopped. Many others say we need to build more houses for young people. This is permanently a difficult balancing act for Governments and Councils, and it clearly still is. Thanks to all who took part.