Patrick Hall answers four questions from the Bedfordshire on Sunday for their 'Meet the Candidates' article:
What is the key thing that's need to transform our high street?
Pedestrianisation -- because it would create a safer, more pleasant environment for shoppers in the heart of our county town. It would help to attract more equality and specialist shops, boost investment in restoring and making better use of buildings, giving people good reasons to shop in Bedford.
What will be the biggest issue facing Bedford and Kempston over the next four years?
We need to develop a sustainable economy in Bedford, with increased quality training and employment opportunities. That must be balanced by a supply of good affordable housing, served by a transport system that works.
What is the best way to safeguard our hospital and NHS services?
I want to end the uncertainty over the future of Bedford Hospital by supporting Labour's plans to recruit more staff and stop the break-up and privatisation of the NHS. I want to see the hospital to work more closely with other centres of excellence.
What is your favourite way to spend a Friday night?
I love relaxing over an Italian meal with my wife -- who cooks great tortellini. Sometimes we'll watch a film. I'm looking forward to the light summer evenings when I can do some gardening and spend more time walking in our parks and along the riverside.