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  1. Updates for Thursday 30 April 2015
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates return at 08:00 Friday

Live Reporting

By Gavin Bevis

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Have a good evening

Gavin Bevis

BBC Local Live

That's the end of our election debate for the

Amber Valley constituency.


If you missed it

you can listen again here.

Today's Local Live updates have finished and updates return at 08:00 on Friday.

'Scrap the licence fee?'

Liam Rhodes in the audience asks: "Would you abolish the regressive licence fee?"

  • Kevin Gillott (Labour): "No I wouldn't. I would keep the BBC publically funded in the way it is."
  • Stuart Bent (UKIP): "The BBC maybe needs reforming in certain areas but I think we need unbiased, public broadcasting."
  • Nigel Mills (Conservative): "The BBC does need to change its culture and be more transparent about what it spends."
  • Matt McGuinness (Green Party): "No, although there are lots of things that need organising. Also, I love Radio Derby but the music is awful beyond belief."
  • Kate Smith (Lib Dem): "I don't agree fully that the licence fee is regressive. Some measure of efficiency savings could be made."

Coalition 'quite remarkable'

Kate Smith (Lib Dem) defends the record of the Coalition government.

Kate Smith

She said: "What has happened between the Liberal Democrats and the Tories over the last five years is quite remarkable given that everybody said it wouldn't last."

Cuts 'hurting children's services'

Kevin Gillott for Labour (pictured) attacks Conservative Nigel Mills for defending his government's cuts to the county council's funding.

Kevin Gillott

He said: "As the MP for this area, your job is to defend this community and argue our case, not defend the cuts this government is imposing on us."

Does Derbyshire get a fair deal?

Another question from Steve Hayes in the audience, who asks: "Do you think Derbyshire County Council is poorly funded compared to other counties?"

  • Nigel Mills (Conservative): "Derbyshire's taken a lower percentage cut in its funding than the richest southern counties."
  • Kevin Gillott (Labour): "Unsurprisingly yes I do think it's poorly funded, as someone who's been forced to administer those Tory cuts."
  • Matt McGuinness (Green Party): "It would appear so."
  • Kate Smith (Lib Dem): "Derbyshire County Council education is seriously under-funded."
  • Stuart Bent (UKIP): "Social care in Derbyshire used to be the jewel in the crown but it's been allowed to deteriorate."

Have your say

Wesley Mallin

BBC Radio Derby

Do you think the candidates are answering the questions so far in this debate?

Audience member asking a question

Have your say on

Twitter with #derbydebates.

Don't forget, you can listen to BBC Radio Derby's election debate online


'Past governments caused housing crisis'

BBC Radio Derby

Matt McGuinness (Green Party) says Labour and the Conservatives must both share the blame for a shortage of housing.

Matt McGuinness

He says: "Successive governments have sold off social housing over the past 14/20 years and haven't replaced them."

Public services under pressure

Gavin Bevis

BBC Local Live

The next question from the audience comes from Susan Baker, who asks: "With hundreds of houses being built locally, how are the schools and doctors going to cope with the extra children and patients?"

  • Matt McGuinness (Green): "I don't know what the answer is. We've been handed down from on-high a policy on where houses should go."
  • Nigel Mills (Conservative): "We need to build extra primary schools and more money for GP services."
  • Kate Smith (Lib Dem): "In Amber Valley the council hasn't settled its local plan and speculative developers are planning things that are not acceptable."
  • Stuart Bent (UKIP): "It's not just doctors and schools - it's infrastructure too, like roads."
  • Kevin Gillott (Labour): "This reveals a major problem with the Conservatives' housing strategy."

Stuart Bent: 'Put ex-servicemen in police'

UKIP's Stuart Bent tells the audience how his party would increase the amount of visible policing.

Stuart Bent

He said: "One of the things UKIP would bring in is any armed forces personnel who's served more than 12 years, would automatically get a job in either the police force, the border patrols or the prison service."

Nigel Mills: Crime stats 'cause for celebration'

Nigel Mills for the Conservatives defends the Coalition government's record on law and order, but admits police could face further cuts.

Nigel Mills

He says: "On the official measures, crime is down 20% and I think that's something we should be celebrating.

"Neither us nor Labour are saying the Home Office budget is going to be protected after this election so there are going be more savings that have to be found."

Tackling low-level crime

The first question comes from Neil Beresford, who asks the candidates how they would address a shortage of police officers to deal with low-level crime.

Police officers on the beat
  • Kevin Gillott (Labour): "Scrap police and crime commissioners and reinvest the money".
  • Matt McGuinness (Green): "It's a myth we need to cut policing, we need to end austerity."
  • Nigel Mills (Conservative): "Crime is down. We've taken away bureaucracy."
  • Stuart Bent (UKIP): "We've been told to expect more police budget cuts if the Conservatives get back in."
  • Kate Smith (Lib Dem): "Scrap police and crime commissioners and spend more on frontline policing."

Amber Valley debate: Meet the panellists

Ian Skye

Presenter, BBC Radio Derby

The debate featured (from left-to-right): Stuart Bent (UKIP), Kevin Gillott (Labour), Ian Skye (BBC Radio Derby presenter and debate chair), Matt McGuinness (standing in for Green Party candidate John Devine), Nigel Mills (Conservative), Kate Smith (Lib Dem).

Debate panel

Amber Valley candidates face the public

Gavin Bevis

BBC Local Live

Welcome to coverage of BBC Radio Derby's third election debate, recorded at Heanor Gate Science College last night.

This time it's the turn of candidates for the Amber Valley constituency to take questions from the public.

Listen live here, follow developments here on Local Live until 19:00, and get involved on Twitter with the

Council to proceed with solar farm plan

Plans for five new solar farms in Derbyshire

are set to move ahead after receiving a broadly positive response from residents in a county council consultation.

However, the authority has shelved plans for a sixth solar farm in Wingerworth after people there said it would be too intrusive.

Train with the BBC

BBC Sport

The BBC Kick Off Trainee Sports Reporter Scheme gives talented people from a diverse range of backgrounds the opportunity to learn and develop sports reporting skills at the BBC.

BBC Sport Kick Off

The placements are all over the country - including here in Derby - so if you want to apply, you've got until 5 May.

Drop in teenage pregnancies welcomed

Elaine Michel, Derbyshire County Council's director of public health, welcomed news there has been a 53% drop in the number of girls aged 15-17 getting pregnant in the county since 1998.

She said: "We're very encouraged to see our work to tackle teenage pregnancies now placing us significantly lower than the national average."

Amber Valley debate

Gavin Bevis

BBC Local Live

We had a lively election debate in Amber Valley last night. You'll be able to hear it

on BBC Radio Derby from 18:00.

Amber Valley election debate

Local Live is running until 19:00 tonight to cover it.

Email or
tweet us your views.

Wildlife haven to get newlook

A nature reserve in Derbyshire is being revamped using machinery and manpower donated by several local firms.

Willington Gravel Pits
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is overseeing the creation of a new reed bed and sand martin bank at Willington Gravel Pits, plus a new viewing platform for visitors.

Delays on the A42

BBC Travel

A lane is closed on the A42 northbound

between J13 and J14 following an accident.

Brewers plan title party

A celebration event

will take place at Burton Albion's Pirelli Stadium on Sunday if the club secures the League Two title at Cambridge United the day before.

Burton Albion promotion celebration

Club chairman Ben Robinson said: "We want to give all our supporters the chance to celebrate with the team and watch them receive the trophy."

Derbyshire gets new school

Martyn Williams

Newsreader, BBC Radio Derby

A new school for children with "complex needs" is due to open in Egginton in June.

Longdon Park School
Gavin Bevis

Head teacher Matt Storey (pictured) says Longdon Park School will cater for 7-18 year olds with a range of conditions, including ADHD and autism.

Wright paintings feared destroyed

BBC Radio Derby

Lucy Bamford, senior curator for Derby Museums, has been speaking at her shock at realising two paintings by Derby artist Joseph Wright may have been lost in the Clandon Park House fire.

She said: "We're remaining hopeful but it does appear as if a lot of the property has been quite badly damaged."

Murder suspect bailed

A 22-year-old has been bailed after appearing in court charged with murdering a 71-year-old man in Derby,

police said.

Samuel Watts was originally accused of causing grievous bodily harm after Melvyn Hargreaves was attacked in January, but the charge was upgraded in court earlier.

Derby man charged with murder of Melvyn Hargreaves

Derby Telegraph

A 22-year-old Derby man

has appeared in court charged with the murder of a pensioner in the city.

Samuel Watts was originally charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent in connection with the death of Melvyn Hargreaves.

But that charge has now been upgraded to murder.

May Day info

Gavin Bevis

BBC Local Live

Chesterfield Borough Council

has published a handy guide to how the forthcoming May Day bank holiday will affect things like bin collections and opening times.

'North begins in Derbyshire'

Gavin Bevis

BBC Local Live

People have long debated where exactly "the north" of England begins.

Crich Tower

According to

this new feature on the Guardian's website, the north starts in Derbyshire - in Crich to be exact.

Your photos

Gavin Bevis

BBC Local Live

Thanks to John Leigh for this moody shot of a cement factory in Hope Valley.

Hope Valley
John Leigh

Email or
tweet us if you've taken any interesting photos of Derbyshire. I'll feature the best on Local Live.

Teenage pregnancies down

The rate of pregnancies for girls aged 15-17 has fallen by 53.4% in Derbyshire since 1998,

new figures have shown.

The data, from the Office for National Statistics, said there were 270 conceptions in that age group in 2013 - representing 1.9% of females of that age.

Ince takes questions

Owen Bradley

BBC Radio Derby Sport

I'm at Derby County's training ground to interview Steve McClaren and Tom Ince ahead of the club's final game of the Championship regular season.

Tom Ince

Ince is taking questions after being nominated for the

Championship player of the month award for April.

M1 crash

BBC Travel

There are severe delays on the M1 southbound

between J29 and J28 as a result of an accident.

Fears for Wright paintings

BBC Radio Derby

It's feared two paintings by famous Derby artist last night may have been damaged or destroyed

in last night's fire at Clandon Park House in Surrey.

Clandon Park House
Getty Images

The portraits, of Ellen Moorwood of Alfreton Hall and her companion Henry Case, were in the 18th Century mansion which suffered extensive fire damage.

Latest headlines

Gavin Bevis

BBC Local Live

Here's a reminder of the top stories we're covering this afternoon:

Cricketer punished

BBC Sport

You can read more about the suspension handed out to Derbyshire's Billy Godleman

on the BBC Sport website.

Billy Godleman
Getty Images

The batsman will miss matches against Glamorgan and Northants for throwing the ball in an "appropriate and dangerous" manner.

Thieves target church roof

BBC News Online has more on

thieves stripping £20,000 worth of lead from a church roof in Bradley.


The church said most of the cost of replacing the lead would fall on the congregation.

Chesterfield: Cook up for award

Chesterfield boss Paul Cook has been nominated for the

League One Manager of the Month award for April.

Paul Cook
Getty Images

Steve Cotterill (Bristol City), Simon Grayson (Preston) and Karl Robinson (MK Dons) are also shortlisted. The winner is announced on Friday.

'Sympathy' over mansion fire

BBC Radio Derby

Sir Richard Fitzherbert, the owner of Tissington Hall in Derbyshire, says he feels "great sympathy" for those affected by

the fire at Clandon Park.

Clandon Park fire

Up to 100 firefighters were called to the 18th Century stately home, near Guildford in Surrey, after fire broke out yesterday.