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Your voice your vote: What do Scots want from this election? – BBC News

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Image caption, Liam Valentine, pictured with baby Ellie, worries about his the future for his children

Before the country heads to the polls on 4 July, BBC Scotland News has been asking voters what matters to them.

As part of our Your Voice, Your Vote series, we have been listening to the issues causing the most concern in communities up and down the country.

This week, our reporters ventured to Orkney, Aberdeenshire, Tayside, North Lanarkshire and Fife to ask people what was going to influence their vote.

The journey started at Kirkwall Harbour, the UK’s busiest cruise destination, where 232 cruise liners will dock this year.

Tourism is important but the big ticket items on people’s minds were transport, cost of living and energy.

They said everything on an island was more expensive.

Liam Valentine, 33, and his daughter Ellie, who has just turned one, were enjoying the competition at a junior athletics weekend.

Liam told BBC Scotland News his major concern for his growing family was the cost of living.

He said: “I think for future generations, especially having two young children that are going to go through it as well – then I feel we need to have more affordable housing and to be able to afford food.”

Broughty Ferry – Economy, NHS, crime

Image caption, Ian Ashton

Back on the mainland, the next stop was Broughty Ferry.

It now forms a new constituency with Arbroath and Angus.

People there said they wanted to see more economic help for young people.

The subject of the NHS came up, as did crime, with calls for more police officers.

Ian Ashton operates SaltDog Marine – which runs boat trips on the River Tay to see Dundee’s dolphins.

He said 80% of his customers were local to the city with the rest coming from countries like Japan and the USA.

Ian told BBC Scotland News he would like to see regeneration in the area.

He added: “Having investment in things that draw people into your towns, I think, is really important.

“There’s a real sense of community in Broughty Ferry, it has evaded the empty shops of the high street and, anything that can sustain that or promote that would be the big thing for most of the shop holders.

“I would say a look at rates would help.”

Coatbridge – NHS, housing and bills

Image caption, Adele Doolan with Harry and Lucie.

Heading south to Coatbridge, traditionally an industrial town, the issue that kept coming up was the health service.

Although a devolved matter and not therefore a general election issue as such, people were worried about its sustainability.

At the Summerlee Mining Museum, locals said the NHS should be a “number one” priority for politicians.

Younger voters worried about getting on the property ladder and the cost of living was on many minds.

Anna Butterfield runs a Jo Jingles baby group. She has seen her business become less of a priority for parents.

“People’s priorities are paying food bills. Once that’s all paid we are seeing a decline in class numbers because they can’t afford to come to classes.”

Mother-of-two Adele Doolan attends the class.

She said: “I would like to hear more about the cost of living.

“You know having a young family and trying to support them is quite a challenge these days – especially if you’re trying to maintain family life, running a house and going out and doing activities and classes that are beneficial to children.”

Adele said her average shopping bill had gone up by about £30 per week.

She added: “That then eats into family activities – socialising at the weekends when we’re all off together, coming to classes and things like that.

“Child benefit doesn’t really go that far. You’ve got nappies to buy, clothes to get them.

“The cost of fuel as well is absolutely ridiculous.

“So to go anywhere, it can be quite a challenge.”

Peterhead – oil and gas, and fishing

Image caption, Graham Barron

In Aberdeenshire, Graham Barron is director of Coast Radio, Peterhead’s new community radio station.

He said that oil and gas were major employers in the North East.

But despite there being wealth in the region, there were also pockets of deprivation.

He said: “I think generally the issues, particularly in Peterhead, are pretty much the issues affecting the rest of the country.

“We’ve got deprivation and our town centres are looking in a bit of a sorry state.

“We have got to make sure that whoever is coming in after 4 July are going to look after those industries.”

North East skipper John Clark said the fishing industry was important to Peterhead.

”Our biggest issue is the lack of quota,” he said.

“We’re seeing lots of fish in the grounds but we haven’t got the quota to actually land it.

“So we actually have to move areas.

“We actually thought with Brexit we would get a fairer share of the quota but with Brexit, it didn’t happen.”

Leven – Economy, young people and local investment

Image caption, Rebecca Moncrieff says business in her home story has been challenging

At Leven Bowling Club, in Fife, the clubhouse gives members a chance to reflect on the town’s past and future.

Members say their thoughts for the election are turning to the economy and a lack of opportunities for young people.

Local people believe the closure of the train line in the 1960s contributed to the area’s decline but the newly restored Levenmouth rail link is a source of optimism.

Rebecca Moncrieff opened her homeware business a year ago because she wanted to invest her own town.

“Business at the moment in Leven is challenging,” she admitted.

“But the train line opened up last week and things seem to be on the up.”

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