Express & Star

'My vote makes no difference!' People of Wolverhampton on why they won't vote in local elections

What would you say are the major issues in Wolverhampton?

Peter and Doreen Cartwright are feeling disillusioned

"Everything," replies Doreen Cartwright, disparagingly. "The potholes are appalling, it's not safe when you are driving along."

She points to a loose paving stone, which is rocking from side to side beneath our photographer's foot.

"That's dangerous, particularly if you are old or not very mobile," she adds.

Despite her misgivings about the present administration, neither she nor her husband Peter have decided whether they will turn out to vote on May 2.

Indeed, apathy – or at least scepticism about whether voting will make any difference ­– seems to be the prevailing mood among the folk of the city. Some indicate a mild political preference, others just show indifference. But a sense of fatalism seems to be the order of the day.

"I have always voted Tory all my life, but at the moment I'm not sure they are any better than Labour," says Mr Cartwright, who is 80. He too thinks the state of the roads is a bugbear, although he is more sympathetic towards the council than his wife.

"They've got so many bigger priorities," he says. When pushed, Mrs Cartwright says she will probably vote Conservative, but has been disappointed by the lack of the party's visibility in the Ettingshall and Springvale ward.

"We have had nothing from our Conservative candidate, we have had from Labour. Then again, it's always Labour in our area."

Such is Labour's grip on Wolverhampton Council that the Conservatives cannot take control at this year's election. At the moment, Labour holds 47 of the 60 seats on the council, with just 20 seats up for grabs. Even if the Conservatives were to win all 20 seats, Labour would still be left with a comfortable working majority.

At Louise's Hair in Queen Street, hairdresser Jacqui Johnson, 43, has little interest in politics, and has no intention of voting at all.

"I quite liked what Boris was doing, but whether Rishi will do that I don't know," says the 43-year-old.

She is critical of the state of the roads and the lack of shops and nightspots in Wolverhampton city centre, but doesn't think a change in control of the local council would make any difference.

"Have you seen the potholes? It's like a Third World country. Jamaica has better roads than we have here," she says.

"Where are our shops? We are supposed to be a city, but how is that when you have to go out to the outskirts, to Wednesfield or Wednesbury if you want to buy anything?

"I think my vote makes no difference, they all have the same concepts. Labour and the Conservatives are all the same."

Alf Morgan, 92 from Pendeford, is a lifelong Labour supporter, but doesn't think he will be voting this time.

"I've lived in Wolverhampton all my life, but this isn't the town I grew up in," he says.