Housing, jobs, cost-of-living and health service dominate as public share thoughts in Foyle constituency

Housing, jobs for Derry, the cost-of-living and the health service were the main issues for potential voters in the Foyle constituency when Belfast Live took to the streets of Derry city centre ahead of the General Election.

There was pessimism about the prospect of meaningful change following the election, with the government in Westminster set to be decided largely by voters elsewhere in the UK.

We visited the city this week as part of our UK-wide 5,000 Voices project to meet the people voting in the constituency, held by SDLP leader Colum Eastwood since 2019 when he won a majority of more than 17,000.

Read more: Colum Eastwood says Foyle contest a 'two horse race'

Read more: 'A change is needed': Lack of investment in NI and health waiting lists key issues for North Belfast voters

Ruairi McLaughlin, a joiner who stopped to chat with Belfast Live, summed up the feelings of many when he said "the underfunding of public services is a disgrace".

Aaron Deery, meanwhile, said "housing, rents for young people, and jobs for Derry" are the key issues for him in the election.

Social issues, including immigration and gender identity were also hot-button topics for some of the public who stopped to chat.

Kieron Mellon said the key issue for him in this election is "trans youth" as he criticised the leaders of both the Labour and Conservative parties for their stance on the issue.

"I'm not holding out much hope for either of them."

Philomena Cooke, meanwhile, said local issues are foremost in her mind.

"My key issues are to do with Northern Ireland to be quite honest and frank it's not to do with Britain", she said. "A lot of our problems are to do with Brexit. We stand back and look at Britain and say 'did they bring it on themselves', but not only did they bring it on themselves, we are paying the price here in Northern Ireland."

Paul Seely, who is originally from England but now lives in Derry, said: "I think there's a mixture of issues for Derry particularly because of the historic imbalance and the lack of investment in our city and our city region."

He added: "I think, as always, we're an afterthought. We are ultimately a spectator as far as what happens at Westminster."

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