Tanya Jones, Green Party.

Q: “How will you improve broadband and mobile telephone infrastructure here?”

A: “The reasons why it is difficult to supply internet and mobile phone services to people in rural areas are the same as the reasons why, last century, it was difficult to supply them with electricity and running water. The difference is that our governments used to think it their duty to provide essential services to everyone, regardless of where they lived, rather than to assist corporations in making ever-larger profits.

A related problem, which shockingly is rarely mentioned, is that of the many people in Fermanagh who do not have access to the internet, not because of a lack of infrastructure but because they cannot afford it. This leaves them severely disadvantaged when looking for or applying for jobs, accessing services, finding out vital information and playing a full part in community and cultural life. It is even worse for their children, whose education is damaged and held back in comparison to their better-off classmates. The restriction of library opening hours has of course made this even more unfair.

The Green Party is committed to ending the waste of money and resources which we have seen from Stormont and to using our budget wisely for the benefit of all, no matter where they live or how little they earn. First-class internet access for all would benefit us all, especially our children and those who are housebound, would allow our innovative and creative businesses to thrive and would help us to build a prosperous, skilled, sustainable and cohesive community.”

Q: How will you stop the shutters from coming down on our local businesses?

A: “We have fantastic local businesses here in Fermanagh, especially the wonderful independent shops along our high streets, which are envied by visitors from across the world. How tragic it was that during the G8, instead of these being celebrated, the impression was given to the world that Enniskillen was some kind of ghost town. We need to learn lessons from that debacle and promote local businesses as part of a joined-up tourism strategy.

We have award-winning enterprises that make the most of our unique assets: our landscape, loughs, food and drink and the warmth and welcome of Fermanagh folk. We need to cherish these businesses, recognising their enormous hard work and creativity, and supporting their growth and development. This means positive actions such as providing improved infrastructure and modest financial help when it is needed.

But it also means removing the obstacles to sustainable business development, such as the threat of fracking and other contaminating industries, and an unfair planning system which favours huge corporations at the expense of small firms and families.”

Q: “How will you ensure that there are more full time doctors at South West Acute Hospital?”

A: “The Green Party is committed to a national health service free at the point of use, and we oppose privatisation and cuts. For health trusts to be able to plan effectively and to recruit permanent, full time medical staff, they need funding that is adequate, secure and certain, rather than one-off payments which can only be used for temporary private sector fixes.

The South West Acute Hospital has wonderful state-of-the-art facilities, but there seems to be a reluctance by the Department of Health to allow us to make the most of these. The Green Party would spend our health budget wisely and fairly, meeting the needs of all our people in practical services, rather than entering into wasteful and disruptive restructuring or unnecessary capital projects. We believe that it should genuinely be a health service, not just a sickness service, and should start with keeping people healthy, co-operating with other departments to support community healthcare, illness prevention and health promotion and education.”

We would support health service staff and oppose the imposition of enforced contractual change for doctors. Many doctors from around the world have come to live and work in Fermanagh, enriching our communities immeasurably. To attract more, we need to deal with some of the issues which hold Northern Ireland back, such as our divided education system and our regressive marriage laws.”

Q: “How would you fund our education system if you scrap tuition fees?”

“Our manifesto commitment is to oppose plans to raise undergraduate tuition fees. In the long term, we would like to see a return to the fairer system by which students and their families are not burdened with the payment of tuition fees, so that capable young people from all backgrounds are able to access university education and benefit our society with their skills and study. Sadly, owing to the waste of money and opportunities in Stormont, this will not be possible in the short term.

The Green Party would like to see a fully integrated education system that enables all students and pupils to fulfil their potential. Our current system, with its divisions and duplications, is costly both in terms of finance and its impact on our community. As we move towards a more integrated system, and provided we do not waste hundreds of millions of pounds on a counterproductive and unfair corporation tax reduction, funds will become available to benefit all stages of education, from the vital early years to world-class universities.”

Q: “You say you want a return of the railways, so how will you rebuild a railway line in Fermanagh?”

“The Green Party's manifesto commitment is to explore the reopening of railway connections. I, like very many Fermanagh residents, would love to see the reopening of railway lines here and the enormous boost which they would give to our tourism and our attractiveness as a business location, as well as the vast improvement to the quality of our lives.

We would not, however, unlike previous Executives, spend millions of pounds on projects without fully planning and costing them. I believe that the economic case for reopening rail connections is potentially strong, especially as we move towards more sustainable transport options, and that this is an example of the urgent need for long-term and creative thinking by our elected representatives.”

In the meantime, as a Fermanagh Green MLA, I would be lobbying urgently for an improvement to the bus services upon which so many of us depend. A truly express coach service between Enniskillen and Belfast, which ran sufficient comfortable and reliable buses at the times when people need them, would transform travel for commuters, students, older people and everyone who needs to get to Belfast and doesn't want the trouble and expense of having to drive and park.It would also encourage people east of the Bann to visit our beautiful county and boost our tourism and retail economies.”