The Liberal Democrat candidate for the Batley & Spen constituency, Neil Bentley, believes that jobs for people in the area is a top priority as the country emerges from the harsh recession.

He pledges to support local businesses, and encourage investment in public transport, renewable energy and energy-efficient homes, so people can look forward to a fair future.

He will also work to ensure smaller class sizes and pump more money into schools, to give every child a fair start in life. He is also campaigning to save services at Dewsbury Hospital.

Janice Small, of the Conservatives, says the NHS is her number one priority, with a pledge to ringfence NHS spending and increase it in real terms – by cutting waste, not frontline services.

She promises to keep the A&E and maternity services and will campaign to get the urology and cancer unit opened.

The Conservatives will fund new state schools supported by faith groups, community groups and parents, she says, and she will fight for money from the regional development agency, Whitehall and Europe to bring regeneration to the constituency‘s towns.

Labour’s Mike Wood says that if re-elected he will continue to work as he has done for the last 13 years as MP. “I will be an honest and conscientious MP who works hard to represent local people and who puts their needs first,” he says.

Initially, people raised local issues that directly affected them, their families and their communities. But nearer the election, he believes national issues have taken over, particularly the economy.

Pensions, care of the elderly and immigration are now key themes, as are local issues on the environment.