In the wake of the EU referendum vote for Brexit, the Dispatch took to the streets of Hucknall on Tuesday morning to gauge opinion and get a snapshot of local views about the contest.
People were asked why they voted the way they did and what hopes and fears they have for the future of the country now.
Reactions ranged from despair and fears for the country’s future stability, to satisfaction and the hope that, if nothing else, the wheels of long-overdue change have begun to turn.
Jill Earwaker, 57, of North Hill Avenue, Hucknall, voted OUT.
She said: “I want our country back. When I was younger people cared about each other. But now we live in a very selfish society.
“We have to come together and make this country great like it used to be. We were really well-off at one time. Everything has been spent abroad but we have people in this country that need help.
“It’s OK for the MPs in Westminster but ordinary people don’t have any money. I am an ordinary working class person and I am proud to be working class. We have got to think about the people that aren’t well off.
“We have got a voice and they have got to listen. Nobody seems to be listening to the country. We want the old Labour back who were fighting for ordinary Labour people.
“Modern politicians don’t understand how we live in Hucknall. They have got to realise how people live and connect more. They need to get down to the grass roots.
“My vote was a protest vote. Every time you vote it’s a protest vote!
“We have got nothing in Hucknall. When I was younger this town was filled with shops. If you came out of a job the following Monday you could walk into a new one. All the factories have shut down and there is nowt for the kids to do either. What do they have now?
“London is more important than anywhere up here. If everyone works together and stops bickering we can make this country great again and it can happen. If they pull their fingers out!”
James Taylor, 71, Auckland Road, Hucknall, voted IN.
He said: “The money they promised for the NHS will never go there - not with this government.
“To me there is no valid reason why we should be out. Now we are just a blemish on Europe.
“It’s not so much about immigration as it is people being disgruntled by austerity. Why are we still suffering it eight years after the banking crisis? People are fed up with social services being cut. Mental health services are being eroded to nothing.
“We will bounce back or we will make the best of it, but now we will miss out on so much.
“It was so difficult to make an informed choice because of the lack of coherent information. It was popularised rhetoric.
It’s what we live by in this country - you have only got to watch the television.
“Some kid came on the TV and said the reason for the Out vote was that older people voted for themselves. But that’s not the case. The young people ignored it. The young people just go along with X Factor and Big Brother.
“There was hysteria in the campaigning - but nobody said anything about agricultural subsidies which protect the environment. “It’s like England losing to Iceland - subconsciously everyone thought we were going to win. People voted against all the downsides.
“The worst threat of all to this country is that Boris Johnson may come to some sort of power. He epitomises everyone’s fear of clowns - deep down they are nasty, duplicitous and Machiavellian.”
Steven Clarke, 30, from Strelley was working on a refurbishment job on Hucknall High Street, voted OUT.
He said: “I am just sick of the way the country has been run for the last few years. People say it’s not about immigration. I am fed up with it - mainly because we can’t make our own laws. We’re not Great Britain anymore, we’re just Britain.
“I feel like the average Englishman has been pushed to the back of the queue for far too long. If you can’t look after yourself, how can you look after others?
“We are being lied to constantly. I felt like they were pressuring people into voting Remain by using scare tactics.
“We were good before we joined the EU so there’s no reason why we can’t be good again.
“A big part of it is to do with immigration. If we get out of the EU we can control our own borders.
“All the people around my age have no chance of getting a house. It’s about time we looked after our own. We have got far too many (immigrants). It’s about time we said ‘We are full.’”
Lindsey Cotterill, 34, of Hucknall, voted IN.
She said: “It would have been better for the economy and it gives greater chances for my children - they can travel and be educated abroad.
“I think we will be in trouble financially with regard to mortgages and pensions and the general cost of living will go up. I think when prices go up people will be shocked.
“I think the anti-immigration stuff was propaganda. The older generation voted out for independence. But we won’t get extra independence - now we won’t have any control but we will still have to abide by EU regulations if we want to trade, which we will.
“I think in this day and age we should have free movement of people and be open. In the world as it is now, we can’t succeed by being a tiny little island.
“It’s a bit depressing. I voted to stay in for my son.”
Lucas Jackson, 43, of Acacia Avenue in Annesley, voted OUT.
He said: “Not for any reason against race or religion. The money we are putting into Europe - I wanted to see that money being invested into our own country and our own workers. I wanted to see more British businesses starting up and succeeding and more money to the NHS.
“Britain has always been a stepping stone for other nations from the Vikings onwards. We have always had other people coming here to make it better.
“But since World War II people have taken Britain for granted. We started losing a lot of trade overseas.
“We should put a bit of money back and get a good work ethic. Invest in the people here and invest in business. We can still be a country that gets on with everyone else. It’s not a separation. It’s just a change of priorities.
“I have got no doubts about what we should do. But all over, the people who should be leading by example - like Cameron - are walking away.
“I think a new political party will happen. But let’s hope it’s for the right reasons and with the right priorities.
“It was an important vote and the majority have spoken - but some possibly not for the right reasons.
“We are trying something different just to see what will happen. We won’t know what will happen for the next five years.
“The main priority is work together and be united.”
Jason Drury, 33, of Farleys Lane in Hucknall, didn’t vote at all.
He said: “I just got sick of hearing about it. If we’re out we have no money. If we’re in we have no money...
“I am not concerned about immigration and I don’t have any concerns about the EU. If I had I would have voted.
“I think I could do a better job of being a politician myself.
“I was born and bred in Hucknall. It has definitely gone downhill. But I think that was more to do with the pits closing and Tesco arriving to close most of the High Street shops.”
Amy Fletcher, 26, of Turner Street, Hucknall, didn’t vote either.
She said: “I didn’t vote because I don’t know enough about politics. I have looked at all the commotion about it. I didn’t feel I had enough information from either side to make a choice.
“It might be all doom and gloom at the moment, but I think eventually things will balance themselves out.
“Politicians have said a lot about what they’re going to do to make this country better but none of them seem able to stand up their promises.”
In a statement Sherwood MP Mark Spencer, who was a remain campaigner, described the results as ‘an historic moment and the country has made a huge decision that will have a massive impact on our country, and on Europe.’
He said: “I made no secret of my view that we should remain in the EU, however we live in a democracy and the people have spoken. I look forward to working with my fellow MPs, regardless of which side they campaigned on, to get the very best possible deal for Britain.
“I’m saddened that the Prime Minister has decided to step down, but understand his view that he cannot now manage a ‘Brexit’ negotiation that he campaigned against.
“His record speaks for itself and the government under his leadership has rebuilt our economy, created 2 million jobs, dealt effectively through legislation with huge issues like modern slavery and people trafficking, made it legal for any two people who love each other to get married, and delivered the referendum that he promised amongst hundreds of achievements. He has lead our country well, and the nature of his victory in last year’s election confirms that.
“We have said all along that Britain would survive outside of the EU, of course it will, and what is important now is that the people and the government are united in trying to achieve the best we can for everyone. That’s what I will continue to do for my constituents in Sherwood.”
The East Midlands Chamber of Commerce said it was the government’s responsibility to provide ‘facts and clarity about the UK’s withdrawal from the EU’.
Scott Knowles, chief executive, said: “The immediate priorities for UK business in the wake of this historic referendum result are market stability, economic security and political clarity. Business thrives on certainty, but the nation has been mired in uncertainty since the date of the ballot was announced.
“From a business perspective, the referendum debate was a shouting match, heavy on bombast and hyperbole but light on the sort of cool-headed information and mature argument that local business leaders required.
“Companies will expect swift, decisive and coordinated action from the Government and the Bank of England to stabilise markets if trading conditions or the availability of capital change dramatically. They will also want an immediate and unambiguous statement from the Prime Minister on next steps, along with a clear timeline for the UK’s exit from the European Union.
“Not having a clear direction stifles growth. Businesses struggle to invest or create jobs when they have no clear understanding of what lies ahead. Now that we have a decision, we can begin to plan for the future.
“One of the biggest fears expressed during the campaign was that we would have no international trade deals in place once we leave the EU. It is essential that Government begins negotiations immediately to establish trade deals which are in the best interests of UK plc.
“There will be many hurdles along the way and we need to know that the Government not only recognises what they are but also has policies in place to ensure they can be overcome.
“Whatever happens during the withdrawal process, it is vital that Government listens to business as the creators of jobs and wealth and takes steps to ensure that investment and growth can continue in the East Midlands and across the UK.
“Now is the time for clear heads, strong leadership and decisive action. Firms want help to get Britain back to business at a time of great uncertainty. The health of the economy must be the number one priority.”