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Summary

  1. Updates for Friday, 2 June, 2017
  2. Luton terror and kidnap gang jailed
  3. A1M reopened after fatal crash
  4. Hole death firm accused of 'negligence'
  5. Fundraising effort for family of man found dead in hole
  6. Man charged with betting shop robberies
  7. Graham Taylor train engine unveiled

Live Reporting

By Stuart Bailey

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the week

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Regular updates for Beds, Herts & Bucks have now ended for the day, and week, but we'll be back at 08:00 on Monday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

You can of course scroll down to read anything you may have missed.

Have a great weekend.

Kidnap victim 'burned, bruised and beaten' and ends up with 68 injuries

A kidnapped man was "burned, bruised and beaten" as part of a 30-hour ordeal, a court has heard.

Gun used against victim
Bedfordshire Police

As we've been reporting, six men have been jailed for kidnapping a 20-year-old man on Downs Road, Luton, on 20 June 2016.

Luton Crown Court heard the victim had a live shotgun put in his mouth, had his knees beaten with a mallet, had cigarettes stubbed out on his arm.

He was also stunned with a Taser-like weapon and gagged and beaten with a knife. One defendant also threatened to rape him.

Here is a transcript of part of the ransom call:

Offender: "Don’t mug me off. It’s gonna get really bad now innit cuz this kid’s no use to me, so I might as well put him out of his misery. Know what I’m saying?”

Relative of victim: "Listen don’t hurt him, he’s not done anything wrong.”

Offender: "Listen, I’m going to lay it down to you straight, get the gear and I’ll give you a call back, else you’re losing him, and I’m coming for you next.

"Forget this kid, you should be worried what I’m going to do after this kid.”

Shotgun used against victim
Bedfordshire Police

The court heard their victim had 68 separate injuries, although none were described as individually serious.

Det Ch Insp Adam Gallop said: "These six men were part of an organised crime group, and I’m pleased that they are now facing such a lengthy stint behind bars for their violent and unacceptable actions last June.

"This was a completely terrifying experience for the victim, a completely innocent young man who was just going about his day to day business when he got dragged off the streets of Luton. "Fortunately he was not seriously harmed and I hope that today’s sentencing will allow him to move on from this ordeal.

"The strong sentences delivered today send a very clear message – offend in this way, and you risk spending a very long time locked up away from your family and loved ones for many of the best years of your life."

Gang's sentences in full

As we've been reporting, six men have been jailed for kidnapping a man at gun point.

Here is a full list of sentences:

  • Mohammed Yousaf, 22, of Lyndhurst Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail. He was sentenced to 12 years.
  • Muhammed Hussain, 25, of Belmont Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to kidnap, false imprisonment, blackmail and a firearms offence. He was sentenced to 20 years.
  • Saqib Rehman, 20, of Belmont Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment. He was sentenced to three and a half years.
  • Jalil Uddin,40, of Chatsworth Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment. He was sentenced to eight years and three months.
  • Mitchell Malik, 21, of Hillside Road, Dudley, was found guilty of false imprisonment, blackmail, and a firearms offence, but was found not guilty of kidnap. He was jailed for 15 years.
  • A 17-year-old boy from Luton pleaded guilty to kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail. He was jailed for five years.

Row breaks out in dock as gang is jailed

Scenes of anger broke out in the dock as a gang leader was jailed for 20 years.

Muhammed Hussain
Bedfordshire Police
Muhammed Hussain

As we've reported, Mohammed Yousaf, 22, Muhammed Hussain, 25, Jalil Uddin, 40, Saqib Rehman, 20, Mitchell Malik, 21, and a 17-year-old boy were sentenced at Luton Crown Court today.

They were imprisoned for a number of offences including kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail after a man was kidnapped from Downs Road, Luton, on 20 June 2016.

Hussain was the first to be sentenced. When Judge Philip Bartle QC sentenced him to two decades behind bars, he reacted angrily and the judge had to temporarily leave court.

Mohammed Yousef
Bedfordshire Police
Mohammed Yousef

Sentencing the gang, the judge said: "This young man was being held hostage and being treated with such violence and contempt. These defendants were wholly indifferent to the suffering they were inflicting on him.

"It is impossible to exaggerate the effect this has had on him."

The court heard the gang believed two brothers had stolen cannabis worth £60,000 from them. The victim was the boyfriend of the two brothers' sister.

The victim's captors, said to be led by Hussain and Yousaf, made six calls to the alleged thieves during which the victim could be heard screaming and crying and pleading for his life, the court heard.

Gang jailed for kidnapping man at gun point

Six men have been jailed for up to 20 years each after a man was kidnapped at gun point in a "gang-related" incident.

From top left, Jalil Uddin, Mitchell Malik, Muhammed Hussain, from bottom left, Saqib Rehman, Mohammed Yousaf
Bedfordshire police
From top left - Jalil Uddin, Mitchell Malik, Muhammed Hussain; from bottom left - Saqib Rehman, Mohammed Yousaf

Jalil Uddin, 40, Mitchell Malik, 21, Muhammed Hussain, 25, Saqib Rehman, 20, Mohammed Yousaf, 22, and a 17-year-old boy were sentenced at Luton Crown Court today.

They were imprisoned for a number of offences including kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail, after a man was kidnapped from Downs Road, Luton, on 20 June 2016.

The group bundled the victim into the back of a car in the early hours of the morning, before taking him to an address in Ashburnham Road where he was held against his will for about 30 hours.

The gate to which the victim was tied
Bedfordshire Police

Calls were made to the victim's friend and threats were made to harm him and other family members.

The following morning, the victim was abandoned and left tied to the metal gate of a farm near Kensworth, at which point he was able to free himself and make his way home.

Hussain was sentenced to 20 years behind bars, Malik to 15 years, Yousaf to 12 years, Uddin to eight years and three months, Rehman to three and a half years, and the 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to five years imprisonment.

Rookie cop helped people escape Bedford fire

Police say one of their new recruits was first on the scene at a fire in Harpur Street in Bedford yesterday afternoon.

It broke out in a fourth floor flat at about 13:45.

Bedfordshire Police said PCs Lesha Martin and Karen Jarman arrived by accident when they followed a vehicle being driven erratically. PC Martin was only in her eighth week of duty as they forced entry to the flat.

She said: "We helped around five people to get out, as well as the family dog. It was the first time I have ever had to break in a door on duty.

"I have quickly come to realise that policing is about far more than fighting crime, it’s also about protecting the public and doing all we can to keep people safe."

PC Jarman added: "Within moments the smoke became thick and black, and we couldn’t see past our noses. I dread to think what could have happened in that situation, but fortunately along with our emergency services partners we could ensure that everyone, including the dog, was safe."

Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service said the flat was 100% destroyed by fire and there was smoke damage to the first and second floors of the building.

The fire service's station commander Paul Goddard said: "It is thought that an electrical fault was the likely cause of the fire."

View more on twitter

Michal Kisiel remanded after escaping from custody while in hospital

Michal Kisiel
Wiltshire Police

A prisoner who went on the run while being treated for a head injury has appeared before magistrates.

Michal Kisiel, 30, is charged with escaping lawful custody, common assault and threatening an individual with a bladed article.

He was arrested on Wednesday after he was seen in Nunton, Wiltshire, some five miles from Salisbury Hospital.

Kisiel, originally from Poland, was remanded in custody to appear before the city's crown court on 6 July.

Kisiel, who is also known as Michal Kisier, who lived in Luton, is serving a five-year sentence at HMP Erlestoke near Devizes.

Slimmers' battles for loose skin surgery on the NHS

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

We reported earlier about Sharon Wells from Dunstable and her battle for surgery to have excess skin removed, having lost 16 stone (102kg) - half her body weight - over three years.

She says the NHS has refused to carry out the operation on three occasions, because her weight hasn't remained stable for two years.

"I think that's a cop-out. It's just excuses," she said.

"I'll get to two years and they'll say no because my body mass index has gone up and down."

The NHS Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups told the BBC they were unable to comment on individual cases.

Sharon Wells
Sharon Wells

But Sharon's not alone in having faced a problem like this.

Paul Mason from Ipswich flew to New York in 2015 for surgery to remove excess skin.

He used to weigh 70 stone (440kg) and lost about 45 stone (285kg). He was also told it would be at least two years before he could have his loose skin removed on the NHS.

Sharon is now hoping a fundraising web page will help her find the £6,500 she needs for the surgery.

Paul Mason
Paul Mason

Your pictures: Hazy sunshine

BBC Weather Watchers

OK, so it's not quite as sunny or warm as yesterday across Beds, Herts & Bucks but our BBC Weather Watchers have captured some hazy sunshine breaking through the cloud.

Skyline in Goffs Oak
BBC Weather Watchers/David
Goffs Oak
Flowers in Westoning
BBC Weather Watchers/SueBeth
Westoning
Great Brickhill
BBC Weather Watchers/Gadget Girl
Field in Great Brickhill
Field in Stevenage
BBC Weather Watchers/carlas garden
Stevenage

Severe accident: M4 Berkshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Berkshire westbound severe accident, between J5 for A4 and J6 for A355 Slough.

M4 Berkshire - Queuing traffic and two lanes closed on M4 westbound between J5, A4 (Langley) and J6, A355 (Slough), because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Hertfordshire's Inflatable Planetarium Goes on Tour

The University of Hertfordshire is offering the knowledge of the universe to parks and festivals by loaning out its inflatable planetarium.

It usually lives at the University's Bayfordbury Observatory, and takes trips out to schools to teach children about space.

But this summer it's planning to travel further afield with its next stop being the Letchworth Festival later this month.

Inflatable Dome erected on a field
University of Hertfordshire

The planetarium has a six-metre high (19.5 feet) inflatable dome, a high definition projector and 360 degree sound to simulate the wonders of the universe, from our solar system to the rest of the Milky Way galaxy and beyond.

Severe disruption: M1 Hertfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Hertfordshire northbound severe disruption, between J9 for A5 and J10 for M1 affecting J6A for M25.

M1 Hertfordshire - One lane closed and very slow traffic on M1 northbound between J9, A5 (Redbourn) and J10, M1 (Luton Airport Spur Road), because of a broken down vehicle and recovery work. Congestion to J6a M25.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise severe accident, between J24 for A111 and J23 for A1.

M25 Hertfordshire - Queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J24, A111 (Potters Bar) and J23 A1(M), because of an accident, which is now on the hard shoulder.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

A1 fully reopened after fatal crash

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

The A1(M) through Hertfordshire is slowly returning to normal after a crash this morning in which a motorcyclist died.

View more on twitter

Graham Taylor train engine unveiled

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

A London Midland engine named after the former Watford and England manager, Graham Taylor, embarks on its maiden voyage at 13:36.

It's after a commemorative plaque on the side of a Class 350 model was officially unveiled by Taylor's widow, Rita, on platform 10 of Watford Junction station.

Rita Taylor, Graham Taylor’s widow
Halkin UK

The naming ceremony included speeches and music from a string quartet before football memorabilia was auctioned off for charity.

Football shirts
Halkin UK

The train engine will retain its new name for the rest of its working life.

It will be used on the West Coast Main Line, which passes through stations serving some of the places where Taylor was a manager, including Watford, Aston Villa, Wolverhampton and Wembley.

Motorcylist dead after crash on A1 - dash-cam appeal

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Police have confirmed that a man died in a crash which closed part of the A1(M) in Hertfordshire this morning.

They received reports that a motorcyclist had collided with the central reservation on the northbound carriageway close to junction six for Welwyn just before 07:30

The air ambulance was called, but the rider was pronounced dead at the scene.

Both carriageways were closed, but it is gradually being reopened.

View more on twitter

PC Andy Ralph from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Forensic Collision Investigation team, said: "It is very important that we fully investigate the incident to try to establish the circumstances that led to the collision.

"In order to do this I am asking anyone who witnessed the collision, or the events leading up to it to contact me.

"Additionally, a lot of motorists have dash-cams installed in their vehicles now and it’s possible the incident may have been captured on video.

"If this is the case, again please contact me."

Severe accident: A1(M) Hertfordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

A1(M) Hertfordshire southbound severe accident, at J7 for A602.

A1(M) Hertfordshire - A1(M) lane closed on exit slip road and slow traffic southbound at J7, A602 (Stevenage), because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Woman refused excess skin surgery after losing 16 stone

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

A Dunstable woman who lost 16 stone (102kg) has been told she can't have her excess skin removed on the NHS.

Sharon Wells weighed 28 stone (178kg) and couldn't tie her own shoelaces - but lost about half her body weight over three years through dieting and exercise.

She wants to have excess skin on her arms and stomach removed, but says that the NHS has refused to approve the surgery because she hasn't yet kept the weight off for at least two years.

Sharon Wells
Sharon Wells

She said: "If I hold my arms out, it looks like sagging skin. But it's not just a cosmetic issue.

"I suffer from sores and if they get infected it'll cost the NHS money.

"My doctor first said about applying for surgery, saying I deserved the help, but I've been turned down three times.

"It's an ongoing battle and I'm absolutely devastated."

The BBC contacted the NHS Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups for a response, but they say they are unable to comment on individual cases.

Sharon is now hoping to have the surgery carried out privately and has set up a fundraising page to try and raise the £6,500 cost.

Severe disruption: M4 Berkshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Berkshire eastbound severe disruption, between J6 for A355 Slough and J5 for A4.

M4 Berkshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M4 London-bound between J6, A355 (Slough) and J5, A4 (Langley), because of a broken down vehicle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Man charged with betting shop robberies

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

A man has been charged with two robberies at bookmakers in Hertfordshire and Essex,

A female worker was sprayed in the face during one of the incidents, at the Coral store in Elizabeth Road, Bishop's Stortford, on the evening of Monday, 29 May.

As we reported on Tuesday, it is not yet known if the victim has suffered permanent eye damage and police said they were working to establish what the substance was.

A 51-year-old has been charged with two counts of robbery.

The second charge relates to a robbery at Jennings bookmakers in Clacton-on-Sea on 14 May.

The man is due to appear at Hatfield Remand Court today.

Met Office warning for... torrential rain!

BBC Weather

After the scorching weather we had across the region yesterday, the Met Office is now issuing a yellow weather warning for rain.

They say there is the risk of torrential downpours between 13:00 and 23:00

It's all because a patch of very warm, humid air is on its way from France, which brings the threat of thunderstorms.

"Whilst most places will miss the worst, it could lead to localised surface water flooding and difficult driving conditions. Frequent lightning and perhaps hail could be additional hazards," says the Met Office website.

However, if you've got hay fever, look away now...

View more on twitter

A1 partially reopened after serious accident

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

There's some good news for drivers delayed by the A1(M) closure in Hertfordshire this morning but it looks like disruption will continue for some time.

The air ambulance was called to reports of a motorcyclist colliding with the central reservation at junction 6 for Welwyn at about 07:30.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Verulamium excavation throws up Roman dating question

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Earlier this year we told you about some "significant" archaeological finds from the Roman town of Verulamium which were uncovered during gas main works in St Albans.

Well, the work is continuing and in a new hole, dug in a wooded area right by Bluehouse Hill, a known building has been uncovered - a town house first documented in the 1950s by Sheppard Frere.

Verulamium Park excavation
Jessica Barnes

Verulamium was the third largest city in Roman Britain and has been mapped by various excavations over the years, but this latest uncovering has thrown up doubt over the building's original dating.

District archaeologist Simon West said: "It's incredibly close to the surface so we think it was built later than previously thought.

"We thought it was from the mid-2nd Century to the 3rd Century, but it's literally under the top soil so it could be the 4th Century or later.

"It could be another little piece of evidence to suggest later Roman activity or early post-Roman."

Because of the complicated archaeology in this latest trench, the National Grid has decided to dig another one, which could reveal more unknowns.

"It's going to be between two known buildings, but we don't know what's there," Mr West said.

Verulamium Park excavation
Jessica Barnes
Verulamium Park excavation
Jessica Barnes
The uncovered building so far shows a robbed wall and a tessellated floor, probably a corridor room

Air ambulance called to A1 crash

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Hertfordshire Police has told us more about this morning's serious collision on the A1(M), which has closed a section of the road in both directions.

Officers were called to reports that a motorcyclist had collided with the central reservation near junction six for Welwyn just before 07:30.

Emergency services including the air ambulance are at the scene.

Highways England said that the road is likely to remain closed for several hours - northbound between junctions four and six and southbound at junction six.

Junction 6 of the A1M
Google

Hole death firm accused of 'negligence'

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

The partner of a father-of-two found dead at the bottom of a 5ft (1.5m) hole in Luton has accused a water company of negligence.

Matt Wilmot, 40, was found in the excavation, dug by Affinity Water, near his home in Devon Road on Sunday.

His partner of 24 years, Tania Banks, said the hole was uncovered and barriers around it knocked down.

Affinity Water declined to comment while investigations into Mr Wilmot's death were taking place.

Matt Wilmot
Tania Banks

Ms Banks said: "There wasn't a cover over the hole and we were told the barriers had been knocked down, so the hole was there.

"I think it definitely should have been more secure. They came around after (Mr Wilmot's discovery) and put up metal barriers - why secure it more now if you thought it was safe enough to begin with?

"I would class it as negligence," she said. "There is no way it should have been left like this."

Severe congestion: A1(M) Hertfordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

A1(M) Hertfordshire southbound severe congestion, between J7 for A602 and J6 for A1000.

A1(M) Hertfordshire - Delays, two lanes closed and very slow traffic on A1(M) southbound between J7, A602 (Stevenage) and J6, A1000 (Welwyn).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Part of the A1 closed after 'serious collision'

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Part of the A1M through Hertfordshire has been closed after a serious collision and it looks like there could be disruption all morning.

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: M40 Buckinghamshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Buckinghamshire southbound severe disruption, at J4 for A404.

M40 Buckinghamshire - M40 lane closed on exit slip road and heavy traffic London-bound at J4, A404 (High Wycombe Handy Cross Roundabout), because of a broken down vehicle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Graham Taylor train engine to be unveiled

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

A London Midland engine named after the former Watford and England manager, Graham Taylor, will be unveiled today.

One of the company’s Class 350 models has been fitted with a commemorative plaque, which will remain for the rest of its working life.

Graham Taylor
Getty Images

A ceremony will be held at 12:00 on platform 10 of Watford Junction station, which will include speeches and music from a string quartet.

But the company has warned that members of the public may be refused entry to the platform if numbers exceed safe levels.

The train will be used on the West Coast Main Line and pass through stations serving many places where Taylor was manager including Watford, Aston Villa, Wolverhampton and Wembley.

A London Midland train on a platform.
BBC

Steve Helfet, head of West Coast services at London Midland, said: "We hope that passengers travelling on this train will take a few moments to remember Graham, a true football hero."

Scott Duxbury, chairman at Watford Football Club, said: "London Midland’s respectful suggestion about Graham was put to his family for approval and we’re delighted they accepted this offer.

"Alongside other planned tributes, this gesture is a mark of just how widely Graham’s work and warm personality were appreciated across our town."

Severe disruption: M1 Hertfordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Hertfordshire southbound severe disruption, between J7 for and J6 for A405 North Watford.

M1 Hertfordshire - Two lanes closed on M1 London-bound between J7, / (Junction 8 Hemel Hempstead) and J6, A405 (North Watford), because of debris on the road. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Fundraising effort for family of man found dead in hole

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

A crowd funding page has been set up to raise money for the family of a man found dead at the bottom of a hole in the pavement in Luton.

The body of Matt Wilmot, 40, was found on Sunday morning in the excavation dug by Affinity Water on Devon Road.

His partner's sister, Donna Banks, has started a web page to try and raise £2,000. It's already reached 60% of its target.

She said: "I want her to have time to grieve, to give her [the dead man's partner] some breathing space.

"It's unbelievable the amount of support we've been getting from everyone.

"A lot of their friends can't get their head around it either. It's just such a shock for everyone."

Floral tributes for Matt Wilmot.
BBC

Bedfordshire Police said it was not treating the discovery as suspicious.

A file on the case has been sent to the coroner.

Volunteer cops helped Hertfordshire hospitals combat cyber attack

It's been revealed that Special Constables with expertise in IT systems outside of the police force stepped in to help the Lister Hospital in Stevenage when it fell victim to a cyber attack last month.

Lister Hospital sign
BBC

Hertfordshire Police SC James Hyde, whose day job is at communications company EE, was one of the team who helped diagnose and clean computers in order to thwart the ransomware/malware which struck the NHS in May.

He even came back to finish when he was officially off the clock.

He said: "Due to the nature of the computer virus, each computer had to be visited in person and with several thousand computers on site; it soon became apparent that it was going to take some time to get through them all.

"A few of us voluntarily returned in a civilian capacity the next day to continue the efforts of helping the hospital get back to normal."

Weather: Hot and humid with threat of thunderstorms

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

Hot and humid conditions will trigger heavy showers and thunderstorms during the afternoon in many places.

Not all areas will get them but where they do it could lead to surface water flooding and difficult driving conditions.

Heavy showers will ease during the evening but more are possible during the early hours near to the coast.

Minimum Temperature: 15C (59F)

More details from BBC Weather:

Friday’s live updates for Beds, Herts & Bucks

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Good morning and welcome to our feed of regular updates for Beds, Herts and Bucks.

The weekend is just around the corner and we'll be here from now until 18:00, rounding off the week with the very latest news, sport, weather and travel.

Speaking of the weather, from the pictures our BBC Weather Watchers have captured so far this morning, it looks like the sun is at least trying to break through. We'll have a full forecast shortly.

Skies over Stevenage.
BBC Weather Watchers/carlas garden
Stevenage

You can contact us at any time via email, Facebook or Twitter.

Severe accident: M4 Berkshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Berkshire eastbound severe accident, between J5 for A4 and J4B for M25.

M4 Berkshire - Slow traffic on M4 London-bound between J5, A4 (Langley) and J4b M25, because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Goodbye and thanks for joining us for the Bedford candidates' debate

Thank you for joining us at BBC Beds, Herts and Bucks for the debate. Quite lively at times, we hope it helped you gain a better understanding of the issues.

Ballot box
BBC

Political correspondent's verdict: 'A knowledgeable debate'

Andy Holmes

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

Four well-spoken candidates and an audience of more than 200.

Presenter Roberto Perrone promised an informed and knowledgeable debate, and he wasn't wrong.

Our Bedford hustings tackled the big issues like the NHS, education and what each party would do for pensioners.

Bedford candidates debate
BBC

Candidates were asked for the "idiotic" parts of their manifestos and whether they trusted their leaders (the good news is they all do!).

Surprisingly the state of Bedfordshire Police and worries over Bedford Hospital weren't really touched on, nor for that matter was Brexit.

Only time will tell how much impact this hustings has had on the voters in a week's time, but with this seat holding a slender majority of 1,097, surely every vote and therefore every answer will count.

What's your view on fox hunting?

The panel was asked what their view was of the Conservative manifesto commitment for a vote on the repeal of the act banning fox hunting?

Richard Fuller (Conservative) said: "I stood on a manifesto in 2010 which had that in it and nothing happened. I stood in 2015 on a manifesto that had that in it and nothing happened.

"My guess is that nothing is going to happen."

When asked what his view would be he said he was "sitting on the privet hedge".

Fox
Thinkstock

Henry Vann (Lib Dem) said: "If something is in the Conservative manifesto and may not happen I would welcome that.

"Including fox hunting in the manifesto at this time, I don't know what's going through the Conservative's minds."

Audience listens to Bedford debate
BBC

Lucy Bywater (Green Party) said: "There was a time when bear-baiting and cock-fighting was supported.

"I don't know why they would waste time trying to repeal the fox hunting ban. It is monstrous."

Mohammad Yassin (Labour) said: "All of the manifesto is not going to happen it is just a storybook.

"I am completely against fox hunting and would vote against it [the repeal]."

'We need to re-invest money from NHS assets back into healthcare': Lib Dem candidate

Henry vann, the Lib Dem candidate, says it's an issue the government needs to be "really hot" on.

"What we need is to be absolutely transparent on where the money goes if anything does happen to any of the assets of the NHS.

"I think the concern is that this Naylor Review may cause some people to sell too quickly and just get it out of the door and, as a result, not necessarily get a good market rate to re-invest into the NHS.

"And I'm worried the money won't be re-invested into the NHS and will go elsewhere."