LEADER readers are calling for parliamentary candidates to focus on local issues in the run-up to polling day.

As the General Election campaign nears its halfway point party canvassers have become a familiar sight across the region.

After what many commentators feel was a quiet start to the campaign the fight for votes has been gaining in intensity on the back of the first televised party leaders’ debate.

But with tomorrow’s second debate based around foreign affairs voters are appealing for more discussion of issues closer to home.

Dave Neal, of Garden Village, Wrexham, said he wanted to see candidates focus on Wrexham and matters that were relevant to the constituency.

He said: “I feel that local issues can sometimes become forgotten, but they are important.

“There are plenty of subjects, such as employment and prisons, which the people seeking election should concentrate on for Wrexham.”

Local matters are also vital for Lesley O’Neill of Rhosddu, who said candidates should always remember they are there to represent the people.

“There have been plenty of examples recently where we can see that some MPs have been right out of touch. They need to keep in contact with the grassroots.”

Small businesses are the key local issue for Georgina Bennett, 32, from Pentre Halkyn.

She said: “My husband has a cabinet making business in Chester and I think more support is needed for small businesses like his.”

Patricia Wynne, 69, from Pontblyddyn, told the Leader: “Local hospitals and care for the elderly is really important for me.

“It worries me that old people may not be well looked after in the years to come.”

Full-time mother Emma Morgan, 38, from Flint, said: “Transport is an important local issue. There are not enough buses in Flintshire.”

And Dave Davies, of Pentre Broughton, said it was important successful candidates kept promises made during the campaign.

He said: “Too often the pledges fall by the wayside. When a politician becomes an MP they should work for the policies they have been put into power to carry out.”

Which local issues matter most to you in the run-up to May 6? Have your say here.