With election coverage already reaching fever pitch a month before polling day, a new style of public forum was held in Barnstaple.

Organised by Tortoise, a new journalism organisation, the ThinkIn brought people together from different walks of life together at Barnstaple Hotel on November 12.

The events are public editorial conferences and two more will be held in the run up to the election.

Basia Cummings, an editor at Tortoise, said: "At the same time as the event in Barnstaple, Tortoise was hosting discussions about the election all over the UK, in Grimsby, Birmingham and Uxbridge. This week, we're speaking to voters in Glasgow and South Cambridgeshire.

"North Devon is one of six constituencies around the country that we've chosen to visit and revisit through the course of the election. We want to hear from voters up and down the UK about what matters to them, be it the NHS, school funding, Brexit or the environment.

"Participants in the ThinkIn described Barnstaple as a town that feels forgotten, but with a strong sense of community.

"It was clear that funding cuts are key - contributing to poor roads, poor rail connections, poor local bus services, all driving a sense of disconnection and isolation."

She said recruitment came up as a common theme time, with the district hospital struggling to recruit staff.

"The local schools struggle to attract teachers," she said. "The local mental health ward has recently cut half of its beds, due to lack of staff.

"The impact of austerity is clear. Many people spoke about shrinking services and centralisation.

"Cuts to bus services have left people living at the end of bus lines, trapped. Participants spoke of elderly family members who struggle to get out of their homes.

"We ended our discussion on a positive note: despite the local challenges, people spoke of a wave of community energy and enthusiasm to make things work."

The next ThinkIn will be held on Tuesday, November 26 in the Ashford Suite at the Barnstaple Hotel from 6.30pm, with the final one taking place on December 3.

To join the discussion, book your free ticket here or email thinkin@tortoisemedia.com

To read the reporting that comes out of the discussions, become a member of Tortoise for a year for free by clicking here and using the code 'VOTEDEVON'.