RYEDALE'S General Election candidates faced the public to field questions on everything from Fylingdales to the euro.

A week before the nation goes to the polls, the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and UK Independence Party (UKIP) candidates were on the hustings yesterday evening at Kirkbymoorside Memorial Hall.

To a question about the single currency and the loss of monetary control to Europe, John Greenway (Con) said its effects would be "severe".

He said the Conservatives were committed to keeping the pound for the lifetime of the next parliament.

David Ellis (Lab) said that as Labour was proposing a referendum on Europe, the public could vote for him at the election irrespective of their views on the European single currency.

"A full debate is needed on this, and that is what a referendum will give us," he said.

Britain would not be able to back out of the euro once it joined, Stephen Feaster (UKIP) warned.

"After millions of people sacrificed their lives to live in a free society, why should we give control of our country to unelected bureaucrats?" he asked.

Keith Orrell (Lib Dem) said Britain's future lay with Europe and the euro, although a lot of reforms needed to be made.

Asked about the demoralisation of teachers and the "haemorrhaging" from the profession, Mr Ellis, himself a teacher, said that dealing with troublesome pupils was now much more difficult.

But he said the Government had recognised the work teachers did through "significant" pay rises.

Mr Greenway said the fall in numbers was due to "increased bureaucracy, paperwork and government interference".

Mr Orrell agreed that bureaucracy was a major problem for teachers, and added that the Government put them under increased pressure by being "obsessed" by targets.

Mr Feaster said "short, sharp shock" was better way of dealing with problem pupils than expelling them

Updated: 16:54 Thursday, May 31, 2001