You ask the questions

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The Star asked on Facebook for any questions readers would like to pose to the Westminster election candidates.

The candidates who responded to those questions all pledged support for pre-school provision, the hospital and business in Lisburn. However, there were some differences of opinionon same sex marriage.

The DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson said: “There are simply not enough pre-school places in some parts of Lisburn. We need an allocation of additional pre-school places in the Lisburn area as a matter of priority.

“The South Eastern Trust has confirmed a multi million pound investment in the Lagan Valley hospital. This investment, together with the new Health Centre will secure the future of the Lagan Valley hospital.

“I am convinced that we will be successful in having John Lewis located at Sprucefield. I believe the revised plan will be approved and this much needed investment will proceed.

“As a Christian I believe in the traditional concept of marriage as being between a man and a woman. As such I do not agree with same-sex marriage. I respect that other people hold a different opinion and I only ask that they respect mine.”

Ulster Unionist candidate Alexander Redpath said: “I support universal provision of pre-school education. There are clear issues with how places are allocated and this has been raised by my Ulster Unionist colleagues in the assembly.

“I’ve put protecting services at the Lagan Valley Hospital at the centre of my campaign. I believe that John Lewis will eventually be secured at Sprucefield. However a lot of work remains to be done to remove unfair planning restrictions at Spurcefield.

“I oppose the legalisation of same sex marriage. I appreciate that I may be disappointing a section of my electorate with this position however it is my deeply held conviction.”

Conservative Helen Osbourne responded: “As a mum of a young family, pre-school education is critical. Learning by play is so important for young children and I will be supporting every initiative to help our young children and all families to get into good pre-schools. I am passionate about health care and I believe Lagan Valley has been let down over the years. John Lewis could be a great asset, creating new jobs and helping our local economy grow. “I believe in strong families and bringing up children with good values and morales. We are a modern society and all types of relationships should be now welcomed in our society.”

TUV candidate Samuel Morrison also responded to these four main questions. He said: “The core problem is while Stormont has promised a pre-school place for every child many parents have been offered a place situated in an area which is totally impractical for them. Additionally I do not believe that hardworking parents who are not in receipt of benefits should be discriminated against when it comes to this issue. If people want to send a clear message that the attack on core services provided by our local hospital needs to stop they need to reject the party which has held the Health Ministry in recent years and which is responsible for the cuts.

“John Lewis would be a great selling point for Lagan Valley, however, it is also important to remember that town and village centre business across Lagan Valley are under great pressure.

“As a committed Christian I am totally opposed to same sex marriage and would strenuously oppose any attempt to introduce it to Northern Ireland.”

The other candidates did not respond before the Star went to press.