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Summary

  1. Coverage of the BBC Radio Manchester debate about the 2017 general election
  2. James Frith (Labour), David Nuttall (Conservative) and Tim Pickstone (Liberal Democrats) taking part
  3. UKIP and Green Party decline to join debate due to not having local candidates
  4. Debate held at Bury Town Hall
  5. Updates from Thursday 1 June

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage of the debate

Thanks for joining us for what has been an interesting and far-reaching debate.

If you would like to take another listen to what happened, you can find the full debate here.

BBC Radio Manchester debate
BBC

Green belt 'is designated for a reason'

Conservative David Nuttall says:

I don't think green belt should be built on in Bury. It's designated for a reason and that's for people to enjoy the amenity.

It's's very important that we look again at the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework and its plans to decimate our green belt. There is absolutely no need to build all these houses on it.

'We are opposed 100% to building on green belt land'

Liberal Democrat Tim Pickstone says:

We are opposed 100% to building on green belt land.

I strongly believe that there should be more affordable housing but the answer to that is not more four-bedroom houses.

'I will work with Andy Burnham's plan'

Labour's James Frith says:

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham's plan was to rip up the Greater Manchester spatial framework plan and I would work with him on that.

'Will you fight to not increase the housing footprint on green belt?

A question comes from Chris Russell, who says his council "voted to protect the green belt to help to lower our pollution levels".

He asks:

Will the candidates support this and fight to reduce our highly polluted traffic routes by not increasing the housing footprint on green belt?

'We are better off out'

Conservative David Nuttall says:

We are better off out.

The alternative would be a government led by Jeremy Corbyn, propped up by the Scottish National Party and the Liberal Democrats - barring a political miracle in Scotland - there would be a coalition and he would be held to ransom, regardless of the chaotic views of the Labour party.

'We believe in a first referendum on the deal'

Liberal Democrat Tim Pickstone says:

We're hugely worried about the hard and dangerous Brexit that is being pursued by the other parties.

We absolutely accept the result but we believe we should remain in the single market. We should be able to trade freely and retain the freedom of movement and amazing ability that Brits have to work, study and retire in the EU.

We believe in a first referendum on the deal. We don't believe the politicians should have a final say on the deal, it should be the British people.

'There are definitely opportunities with Brexit'

Labour's James Frith says:

I campaigned to remain but I'm not a remoaner - there are definitely opportunities with Brexit, but there is huge potential upheaval ahead.

But you do not start any negotiation with 'This is where I am, I'm not budging'... That is costing us a lot of faith and confidence around the world.

'How would you entice committed Brexiters?'

The next question comes from Seamus Martin, who asks:

What do you have to say to committed Brexiters and former Ukip voters that can entice them to vote from you?

Walk-in centres are 'effective' and 'cheap'

The Liberal Democrats' Tim Pickstone says:

I want to challenge the idea that the money currently spent on walk-in centres can be better spent somewhere else.

They are essentially nurse-led services and they get paid a lot less than A&E consultants and GPs, so I believe they are really effective way and a cheap way of meeting a healthcare medium.

'I'm supporting the money being used in a different way'

Conservative David Nuttall says:

I knew that Bury Clinical Commisisoning Group had been given more money each year.

You can have an argument about it being underfunded but every year under the Conservative government, more money has gone into it.

I'm supporting the money being used in a different way - I support its closure because the money being used for one walk-in centre... that money would be better spent in improving GP surgeries across the borough.

'I will not let the walk-in centre close'

Labour's James Frith says:

I won't simply agree in a private room that this is an acceptable decision.

I will not let the walk-in centre close [and] it is my number one priority, I will hold a public consultation myself.

'How can the local NHS walk-in centre be saved?'

The next question comes from Julie Southworth, who says her local NHS walk-in centre is under threat of closure.

She asks:

What will the panellists do to prevent this unpopular move?

'Prevent strategy is not working'

The Lib Dems' Tim Pickstone says:

We all partake in society and an attack on anyone of us is an attack on us all

[However], the Prevent strategy is not working and the Lib Dems would want to engage and work with communities.

Prevent is a strategy aimed at safeguarding people and communities from the threat of terrorism.

'This ideology is an idea that needs defeated'

Labour's James Frith says:

This threat, this ideology is an idea that needs defeated... we have to work together.

This is about education and opportunity... that everybody has access to get on in life.

It's no surprise that there are issues with a number of our communities as they experience policing in a different way to a white guy. I would sit around with each of our communities and ask about the experiences they have with. It's about what we do with them, not to them.

'I want people to have faith and trust and confidence in our police'

Conservative David Nuttall says:

It clearly is extremely important. What concerns me is that we in Bury have been very fortunate to enjoy very cordial relations - on the whole. The last thing I want to see is those relations soured.

I think the Muslim community are as concerned about rooting out extremists as any of us.

I want people to have faith and trust and confidence in our police, to have the confidence to be able to report [issues] without there being any comeback on them.

'What can be done to bring people together?'

The first question comes from Kayam Iqbal, who says as "a British Muslim and someone who has served int he armed forces, after the horrific attacks in Manchester, it is extremely important to support the local community and bring people together to tackle segregation and misconceptions".

He asks:

What do you intend to do to tackle this issue and is it something you feel is important?

Ukip and Green Party statements

UKIP and the Green Party have chosen not to field candidates in Bury North, which was narrowly held by the Tories in 2015, with Mr Nuttall winning 18,970 votes to Mr Frith's 18,592.

As a result, both parties have declined to take part in the debate, but have sent statements.

Ukip said:

Bury North MP David Nuttall is a true 'Brexiteer' who has campaigned for many years for Brexit and, given that, the party decided not to stand a candidate against him.

The Green Party said it was not fielding candidates in either of the marginal Bury North and Bury South seats, in support of "the poorest and most vulnerable" members of those constituencies.

Who will be debating?

Debating tonight are representatives from three parties, all refereed by BBC Radio Manchester's Allan Beswick.

BBC Radio Manchester debate
BBC

They are:

  • James Frith - Labour
  • David Nuttall - Conservative
  • Tim Pickstone - Liberal Democrats

The Green Party and UKIP declined to take part in the debate as they are not standing in Bury North.

You can listen to the debate on BBC Radio Manchester or follow it here.

The seats that could decide the election

Tonight's debate centres on Bury North, where one of the smallest majorities in the country means it is firmly among the marginal seats being fought over.

There are 650 constituencies in the United Kingdom, but the election campaign will be concentrated in the marginal battleground seats - the ones that are most likely to change hands.

Marginal seats
BBC

There's no official definition of a marginal seat but people often look at constituencies where the majority - the gap between the first and second placed parties - is under 10%.

BBC Politics' Peter Barnes has taken a look at the seats being targeted by the parties.

Why education could determine how you vote

Class used to be an accurate indicator of voting habits - but that's no longer the case.

BBC Newsnight's Katie Razzall has investigated the new political divisions in Britain and reports on the education divide.

Students
BBC

What do we know about those jockeying for position?

There are more than 3,300 candidates hoping to win one of the 650 seats in the UK's House of Commons on 8 June.

BBC News' Ed Lowther has taken a look at those jockeying for position in the race for election and found there are more women running for office than ever before and very few MPs are quitting.

Female parliamentary candidates by party
BBC

What you need to know about the general election

BBC Politics have put together a handy guide to all the things you need to know about the election, answering questions like "Why is this a 'snap' election?", "How do I register to vote?" and "What are the key dates?".

Ballot box
BBC

Which party is ahead in the polls?

Who will win the general election and by how much? The BBC's poll tracker aims to keep track of public opinion and answer those questions.

Check what the latest opinion polls say and follow updates from the BBC's senior elections and political analyst Peter Barnes.

Poll tracker
BBC

The poll tracker is updated as the campaign continues to unfold.

Welcome to the debate

Hello and welcome to the live page for the BBC Radio Manchester debate in Bury about the upcoming general election.

We will be bringing you updates about what the representatives from each party have to say as the debate goes out from 19:00.

Before it begins, we'll take a look at some of the BBC's other online content around the election and find out a bit more about the people who will be speaking.