As the election draws near, Newsquest visited Sutton High Street to hear about what local residents wanted improving in their area and to hear more about what national issues mattered to them.

With the general election taking place on Thursday, Sutton’s future Member of Parliament (MP) will need to represent the residents along with their needs and concerns.

The responses highlighted a variety of pressing concerns, ranging from healthcare and high street decline to policing and the cost-of-living crisis.

Mr and Mr Terry, long-time residents, expressed deep concerns about the state of the National Health Service (NHS).

Mrs Terry explained: “Appointments are a problem.

"I was meant to have one in July and they have cancelled it until January next year.

"It is not the nurses, it is not even the doctors' fault.”

Mr Terry shared his own ordeal, describing a 14-hour wait in a hospital corridor while being treated for sepsis.

He said: "I spent 14 hours in a reclining chair being treated, then I was put in the corridor.

"I don’t blame them, they are just doing their best, they are firefighting."

The couple also highlighted the challenges faced by pensioners, feeling that the elderly are struggling more than ever.

Despite having voted by postal ballot, their dissatisfaction with the candidates and the campaigning process was evident.

Mr Terry said: "I feel like I can’t trust any of them. They are all in it for themselves.”

Mrs Terry added that no candidates had personally visited them, though they had received plenty of campaign leaflets through the letter box.

She said: "Nobody has actually been and spoken to us. We have had plenty through the door but nobody has come in person."

Reflecting on the changes over their 50 years in Sutton, Mr Terry pointed out the many empty shops and the overall decline of the high street.

He said: "This isn’t their fault because they are all going broke. Sutton has just gone downhill."

Alan Conteh, 40, echoed concerns about the high street and raised additional issues such as road safety and the cost-of-living crisis.

He pointed out the dangers posed by reckless drivers on motorbikes and electric bikes, especially when children are around.

"I felt that drivers on motorbikes or electric bikes were proving to be dangerous on the high street and felt unsettled when children are around," he explained.

Alan expressed a desire for more independent shops and entertainment venues on the high street.

He said: "I would like to see more independents on the high street, but I would also like to see more entertainment places, not just shops”.

Having skipped voting in previous elections, he expressed a strong intent to vote this time, driven by his desire to see the Conservatives outed.

Alan said: "I’m keen to vote this year. Last time I didn’t vote or the time before. I would like to see the Conservatives out.

“I watch PM Q’s every week and I’m well engaged with politics. I feel like I hear about Paul Scully discuss London as a whole but not specifically about Sutton."

Stefano Tubaldo, 43, who has lived in Sutton for three years, highlighted housing as a significant concern.

He also pointed out the high street's rundown state and the presence of homeless people.

Stefano noted the prevalence of nail bars and takeaways, and the antisocial behaviour of youths on bikes as issues needing attention.

He said: "Sometimes on an evening there are boys going around fast on bikes and being quite antisocial. It used to be quite safe but recently there have been some stabbing incidents including at the train stations."

Lee, another local, voiced his frustration with the lack of accountability in the major political parties.

He said: "There's no accountability and there's only two major parties at the moment, which is Labour and Conservative, and there's no accountability for their behaviours.

“There's no accountability to where all our taxpayers' money is going to."

He highlighted immigration, Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ), and 20mph speed zones as critical issues.

Speaking about the ULEZ he said: "It's just not sustainable and it's that's just another way of people making the government making money."

He also expressed his disillusionment with politicians, claiming that “they don’t speak for the people.”

Despite this, Lee was keen to vote in the election this year and added that he will be voting for Reform UK.

Steph, 41, a resident of 17 years, shared her observations on the decline of the high street, the high turnover of businesses, and the need for more services for disabled individuals.

She said: "Because I've lived in Sutton for 17 years now, I’ve seen a lot of shops become empty. You know, you walk around, whereas I remember it was rare to see an empty shop before.

“Now it feels like a lot of shops are empty and there are a lot of businesses that come in and go out very quickly. Maybe the rents are really high, cost of living situation.”

She is an advocate for tactical voting and plans to vote for the Liberal Democrats to unseat the Conservatives and explained that she would be voting Lib Dem rather than labour this time.

Steph explained: "When you compare the parties, Labour and Lib Dem aren’t that far apart in terms of what they’re doing to help disabled people and carers.

“We need more services for the disabled, particularly children but also young people and adults. There isn’t much that’s wheelchair accessible.

“I’d like to see more accessibility and inclusivity for all people. And that can be said about anywhere, not just Sutton.”

She acknowledged the community support available but stressed the need for more businesses and accessibility.

Steph said: "There's quite a lot for the community. There's a lot of non-profit organisations and things that help the local community, for example, play areas for disabled children, community dance programs, and there are a lot of local events, and it's advertised quite well."

Denise Terrier, 61, who often shops in Sutton despite living in New Malden, also emphasised the need to support the high street.

She added: "I think they should help the high street. I think the rents are too much, too high for these shops and they just can't if they're not, they're struggling. They're not being given the help to stay open."

Denise mentioned high rents and the presence of homeless people as problems that need addressing to revive the area's vibrancy.

She said: "I've never felt unsafe here, but I do feel they need to clean it up a bit like homeless people down there, that's terrible."