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Summary

  1. Updates on Monday, 22 May 2017
  2. MP hopefuls for Corby debate issues ahead of the general election
  3. The candidates taking part are:
  4. Tom Pursglove (Conservative)
  5. Beth Miller (Labour)
  6. Sam Watts for (UKIP)
  7. Chris Stanbra (Liberal Democrats)
  8. Steve Scrutton (Greens)

Live Reporting

By Kris Holland

All times stated are UK

Get involved

The debate is over

That's it for our live coverage of the Corby constituency debate. Thanks for joining us.

You've been hearing views from the main parties taking part in June's general election. Tomorrow we'll bring you the Kettering debate, live from Kettering Leisure Centre from 08:00.

For the rest of today's news, weather, travel and sport updates for Northamptonshire - head to our dedicated live page.

Greens unavailable to comment on social care

Steve Scrutton (Greens) was unable to join us in person for the debate and was not asked about the issue of social care in his pre-recorded answers.

Nationally, the Green Party says it has plans for a "confident and caring country". It is to announce its key priorities later.

UKIP: 'It's fundamentally wrong to take homes away from families'

Sam Watts for (UKIP) says: "People want to leave something for their children. Often it's their house that they leave when they pass on.

"It is fundamentally wrong to take that away from people and their families.

"At the end of the day, people are paying into the system all their lives, that's the one thing they've got to give back to their children, we should not be taking that away from them."

Lib Dems would 'cap care costs at £72,000'

Chris Stanbra (Liberal Democrats) says: "We will cap care costs at £72,000 - you won't have to pay a penny more over your lifetime and we will introduce a 1p on all income tax bands to make sure that the NHS and social care are properly funded.

"We will ring-fence that money to make sure that it happens."

Labour: Crisis due to 'government taking £4.7bn out of social care'

Beth Miller (Labour) says: "Obviously we have a social care crisis at the moment as well as a crisis in the NHS.

"This is because the current government have taken £4.7bn out of social care. Something needs to be done, their current plans are aggressive. It [Conservative plans to change social care funding] will hit around 90% of home owners. It won't target the most wealthy in society.

"I think it's unfair that people have worked their entire lives and will have this taken away from them.

"It's a dementia tax because people that drop dead of a heart attack won't have this, people that live longer with degenerative diseases are going to be taxed and that is unfair."

Social care: Conservatives say views would be sought ahead of changes

The Conservatives' plans to change social care funding, should they win the general election next month, have been a hot talking point over the weekend.

So Corby's MP hopefuls were asked to give their stance on social care.

Tom Pursglove (Conservative) says: "One of the things I've said for a long time is that we need to have a big national debate about the issue of social care. There is clearly more that needs to be done.

"We need to see greater working between the health service and the social care departments in our county councils. Clearly the funding of this is very important.

"Ministers have been clear that we would consult thoroughly before introducing any such changes. I want to make sure local views are heard on this."

Greens: 'Avoid situations where houses stop being built"

Steve Scrutton (Greens) says: "Our policy is to look at how houses are generated and to separate house building as an investment - as a means of generating profit, either for the land owner or builders.

"We've got to make sure that housing is built and that there is some kind of structure to avoid situations where houses stop being built. I think that is very important."

Conservatives: 'A million new homes by 2020'

Tom Pursglove (Conservative) says: "We’re sticking to the commitment to have built a million new homes by 2020.

"By 2022 we’re going to increase that to 1.5 million.

"One thing that’s important is to build the right homes in the right places. We've got to make sure the infrastructure comes along with it.

"When we identify local need, particular in villages, what we've found is that parish councils working with the district and boroughs have brought forward sites so we can build new affordable housing in the villages.

"It means young people can stay in the villages in which they grew up."

UKIP: Corby 'losing its community spirit'

Sam Watts (UKIP) said: "I grew up here in Corby and one thing I’m very proud of is the community spirit, and we’re losing that because house prices are so high that people are having to move away for better paid jobs or to buy houses that are maybe cheaper.

Sam Watts
BBC

"Families should be able to live close together.

"We need to get councils building and running proper council houses… none of these housing associations.

"Cut out the middle man, get councils building houses, raising money from it, which will hopefully plug the funding gap."

Labour: Tory housing policy 'not working'

Beth Miller (Labour) says: "The Tories have been in power now for seven years and we've got the lowest rate of house building since the 1920s, despite all of their lip service to build more houses.

"It’s not working and it’s certainly not affordable for most people in my generation.

"A Labour-led government would encourage more social housing and give local councils more power to do this."

Asked where the money would come from to build more houses, Ms Miller said: "In our manifesto you’ll see all of our policies are costed."

Liberal Democrats: 'Free up councils to build council housing'

Chris Stanbra (Liberal Democrats) says: "We can build 350,000 homes a year. We’re also saying if developers won’t do it then the government will step in to do it. We have to stop them from land banking.

Chris Stanbra
BBC

"We have to build more social houses too. We’ve got to free up councils to build council housing.

"We’ve got to allow them to borrow to do that, and locally we’ve got to allow them to stop the right to buy if that’s what they want to do as a local council."

General election debate: Housing

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Next up, the Corby candidates are being asked how we can solve the shortage of housing.

In the last year the average house price in Corby was £162,000, and In East Northamptonshire it was £213,000.

In Corby the average rent for a two bed proprty is £639, according to the Rightmove website which says it’s risen by 9% in a year. Corby is in the top five places outside London when it comes to rent rises.

Estate agent window
Getty Images

Lib Dems: 'I would like to retain free movement whether we leave or stay'

Chris Stanbra (Liberal Democrats) says: "I don't believe it is a major problem. I think immigration has been good for this country and has been good for the Corby area.

"I am a Liberal Democrat, I supported the membership of the European Union - I would like to retain free movement whether we leave or whether we stay."

Asked about the perception of some that immigrants come to Britain to exploit services including the NHS, Mr Standbra said: "I'm sure that there are a small number of people who do exactly that.

"But the vast majority of people that come to this country come here to work, to pay taxes, to be prosperous and to contribute."

UKIP: 'We're looking for a fair system on immigration'

Sam Watts (UKIP) says: "Immigration is obviously affecting us all. Here in Corby and East Northants I don't think it is as big as issue as it is somewhere else. However, immigration is important, we need people to come into the country with relevant skills.

"All we are looking to do is to have a fair system, a points based system, similar to the Australian system that is in place at the moment whereby we can pick and choose those that we need to help run our vital services and help our economy locally.

"But at the same time there is a strain on infrastructure and people are concerned about that.

"We need to get this under control. We have had promises in the past from the Conservatives that have failed miserably. We want a strong policy that benefits Britain."

Labour: 'We need to get the best out of people coming to the UK'

Beth Miller (Labour) says: "I think with us leaving the EU, things are going to change. We won't have uncapped immigration any more.

Beth Miller
BBC

"We will now have more controls over the numbers coming in and that's what people voted for in the referendum. Labour has said we'll have a transitional deal and we'll base it on the needs of our economy.

"As Tom said, migration has been good in general but there are concerns around housing that need to be managed.

"We need to make sure we get the best out of people coming to the UK, particularly in the NHS. We know that our NHS is staffed by many people that have come from outside of the UK.

"The Labour party has promised to retain the rights of those people as well as Brits living abroad - the Tories haven't come out and said that yet."

Conservatives: People want 'fairness and control' over immigration

Tom Pursglove (Conservative) says: "I think immigration has been a very good thing, not just for our town but also for our country.

Pursglove
BBC

"We have a very rich and diverse community here in Corby. I think people do have legitimate concerns when it comes to immigration. What people want to see is fairness and control. That's what a Theresa May government will deliver.

"If you come from within the European Union at the moment you can come straight into Britain, if you come from other parts of the world you have to go through all sorts of different hoops.

"We should have an immigration system that treats people equally no mater where you come from in the world."

Green Party: Immigration 'results from three things which need to be tackled'

The first issue to be debated by Corby’s election candidates is whether they think immigration is too high and what they would do about it.

Corby election debate
BBC

"I think immigration results from three things which need to be tackled," says Steve Scrutton (Greens). "Number one, we have countries that are very poor. Part of our policy is to use our development aid to ensure that there is some balance. Secondly - our environmental reasons.

"The third one is warfare. We have no end of countries where there is war and people are fleeing those countries.

"What strikes me and the Green Party about that is that there is plenty of money for guns and the supply of money and guns never seems to be tackled."

General election: Meet the Corby candidates

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

These are the candidates we’ll be hearing from in our debate at the Corby Enterprise Centre this morning:

Beth Miller (Labour):

Beth Miller
BBC

Tom Pursglove (Conservative):

Tom Pursglove
BBC

Steve Scrutton (Greens):

Steve was unable to join us in person for the debate but he was interviewed beforehand and his views will be played to the other candidates.

Steve Scrutton
Green Party

Chris Stanbra (Liberal Democrats):

Chris Stanbra
BBC

Sam Watts (UKIP):

Sam Watts
BBC

General election: Little Scotland decides

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

Former Corby MP Andy Sawford said in his 2012 by-election victory speech: "The road to Downing Street runs through Corby."

He said that because the seat often goes the way of the government of the day. It was Northamptonshire's most marginal seat in 2015.

Corby town centre
Getty Images

It's in many ways a constituency of two halves. The town of Corby itself is a traditional Labour supporting area - it is industrial and has a Scottish heritage.

But the East Northamptonshire part of the constituency is rural, challenges are different and it is an area that has traditionally favoured the Conservatives.

One stat jumped out at me this week: the average weekly wage for full time workers who live in Corby is £446. In East Northamptonshire it is £585.

You don't need me to point out that is a big difference, but candidates need to pick up votes in both areas to take the seat on 8 June.

General election: The Northamptonshire debates

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

All this week we’re hitting the road, meeting the people who want to become one of the county's seven MPs at the general election on 8 June.

They’ll be debating key issues including immigration and housing.

Corby Enterprise Centre
Corby Enterprise Centre

We’ll be in a different constituency each day, starting with Corby this morning.

You can listen to the debate, live from the Corby Enterprise Centre, on BBC Radio Northampton between 08:05 and 08:30.

We’ll also be bringing you the main points here.