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Summary

  1. Updates on Tuesday, 30 May 2017
  2. MP hopefuls for Daventry debate issues ahead of the general election
  3. The candidates taking part are:
  4. Ian Gibbins (UKIP)
  5. Chris Heaton-Harris (Conservative)
  6. Aiden Ramsey (Labour)
  7. Andrew Simpson (Liberal Democrat)
  8. Jamie Wildman (Green)

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

The debate is over

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

You've been reading the views of all five candidates standing in the general election on Thursday, 8 June.

Follow what else happens in the constituency on the BBC's general election pages.

Already today we have brought you coverage of the Kettering constituency debate, and later on we'll have the South Northamptonshire debate as well.

From 08:00 on Wednesday, we'll bring you the Wellingborough debate, live from Rush 2 The Den - a youth club and children's centre in Rushden.

Conservatives: How would you spend £1m?

Rounding off the response to the 'how would you spend £1m?' questioned posed by a seven-year-old boy, Chris Heaton-Harris (Conservatives) says: "I would invest it in the Special Olympics movement and form a Special Olympics team for people with learning difficulties."

Labour: £1m for 'youth services'

Considering where he would invest £1m, Aiden Ramsey (Labour) said: "I would invest it in youth services and projects across the constituency.

"It's what I started off doing when I was 14-year-old and it has made me into the person I am today.

"You get some very useful skills out of those projects."

Green Party: How would you spend £1m?

Jamie Wildman (Green Party) says: "Considering Sam is a school child, I think I would invest a million pounds in education in the constituency, in all the primary and secondary schools that are desperately in need of assistance right now."

UKIP: How would you spend £1m?

Ian Gibbins (UKIP) said: "I put a million pounds into support of the elderly in the Daventry constituency.

"They are often very forgotten and very, very lonely. They need support."

Lib Dem: How would you spend £1m?

To close the debate, the Daventry candidates fielded a question from Sam, who is seven years old and a student at Little Harrowden Primary School.

He asked: "If you had one million pounds, what would you spend it on?"

Andrew Simpson (Liberal Democrats) said: "The biggest scourge we have in the 21st Century is cancer.

"I would put a million pounds into researching a cure for it."

Labour: Police officers 'facing the strain'

Aiden Ramsey (Labour): "I agree with Chris [Heaton-Harris] that we have a lot of very strong and passionate police officers in the area.

"One of Labour's key manifesto points was the introduction of 10,000 new police officers across the country.

"I've been involved in dialogue with police officers for over 12 years in community projects across the constituency.

"Over that time I have noticed that they are facing the strain.

"It's not just that they haven't got the numbers, but they are also getting more stressed which I worry will impact on the service they are able to provide.

"There are also times I know of - because of the lack of staffing - there may be times when they say 'we need to prioritise that police officers go over to Northampton' and you're left without any decent coverage in rural areas.

"On drug crime statistics being down: I understand that smaller instances of drug crime go by the wayside because of issues elsewhere.

"It's not acceptable, hence our commitment to increasing police numbers."

Green Party: 'Public at risk' over police cuts

Jamie Wildman (Green Party) says: "We have to reduce cuts. Since 2010, we have seen over 20,000 police officers cut by the Conservative Party [2015-17] and the coalition government [2010-2015].

"It has had a tremendous impact on national security - that is a massive issue.

"There aren't enough officers, they are spread too thinly, intelligence has dried up and this is putting the public at risk in the countryside and in the city.

"We have fully costed how we would do this, but it's very confidential and we can't release the intricacies.

"But we would put thousands and thousands of extra police officers on the streets."

UKIP: 'Conservatives have underfunded the police'

Ian Gibbins (UKIP): "Our manifesto looks for 20,000 extra police officers and increasing prison officers.

"We believe that the Conservatives have underfunded the police service and we would look to deliver these extra officers so that they were visible.

Asked how UKIP will fund their plans, Gibbins says: "That's going to come out of the funding from the money we'll get back from spending in the EU.

"We are going to use the £35bn that has come from reasonable cuts to foreign aid budget, scrapping HS2 [the proposed high speed railway line from London to Birmingham and the north], amending the Barnett Formula and savings made in two years' time by leaving the EU."

HS2 artist's impression
Press Association
Artist's impression of the HS2 Birmingham-Fazeley viaduct

Lib Dems: 'Fifty more police officers for Northants'

Andrew Simpson (Lib Dems) says: "Listening to Chris [Heaton-Harris] you wouldn't think there were any issues at all, but he did make the point that police budgets are stretched.

"One of the areas that is most stretched is in community policing, and that is key to getting a more cohesive approach to crime in our local communities.

"I do agree that communities support their PCSOs [Police Community Support Officers], but it shouldn't be about the local village having to fund that PCSO. That should be funded by a core part of what our government does and what our local community does.

"That's why the Liberal Democrats are saying we can put another £300m into policing in a year that should be enough to employ about another 50 police officers in Northamptonshire."

Conservatives: Crime

The second issue to be debated is policing and crime.

In many force areas the number of police officers has fallen in recent years, though that has not happened in Northamptonshire.

The number of recorded crimes in the county rose by 11% last year - with almost all types of crime, apart from drug offences, increasing.

Davetry debate
BBC

Addressing the issue, Chris Heaton-Harris (Conservative) said: "We have a very good Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

"He [Stephen Mold] has set up a rural crime group that the NFU {National Farmers Union] sit on and we have some very good police officers in this county who are targeting rural crime on a daily basis, and they had some big wins locally.

"We have a lot of issues with farm equipment being stolen. But with PCCs you get a chance to do extra things. It could be that local communities come together and decide they want to pay a little bit extra for their own police community support officer [PCSOs] in local parishes."

Asked how that stance fits in with Tory manifesto plans to set up a national infrastructure police force, Heaton-Harris adds: "We already have this level of policing, we have had sponsored PCSOs at Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal and other places.

"That's what people quite like - the connection with a local officer wandering round.

"Police love doing it, but their resources are so far stretched that they need to be in other places around the community instead."

Conservatives: Farming

Chris Heaton-Harris (Conservatives) backed the Leave campaign during the 2016 vote over European Union membership.

He said: "Eleven days after the general election, the negotiations start on what our Brexit relationship with the EU is going to be like.

"We are leaving the single market, it is getting the best access to that single market for our farmers.

"The best thing about leaving the EU is that we get to design an agricultural policy and environmental policy that suits our country, Britain, not one that is the lowest common denominator for a whole bunch of European countries.

"The level of subsidies will stay the same until 2020, and then hopefully we will have our own UK agricultural policy which would have come together in discussion with the National Farmers Union, farmers and everybody involved in agricultural industries in the UK."

Lib Dem: Farming standards must be maintained after Brexit

Andrew Simpson (Liberal Democrats): "Leaving the EU is going to have the most fundamental impact on our farming community, our country and our economy. We need to get that right.

"We believe we should be keeping Britain in the single market and customs union, that will help our farmers to continue their trade with Europe. Take sheep farming - 38% of our sheep farming is exported abroad.

"If we are forced to leave the single market and customs union, then we must maintain all of the standards we had in the EU in the United Kingdom.

"We have high standards in farming, high standards in food production.

"If we are unable to trade on the current basis, some of those standards may change in a way we don't want them to."

UKIP: Farmers will get 'single payment subsidy' after Brexit

Ian Gibbins (UKIP) says: "There has been a lot of concern about the subsidies that farmers receive from the EU at present. Our policy is to introduce a single farm payment.

"Hopefully that will allay their fears of having financial difficulties."

Asked to distinguish the difference between a subsidy and a payment by BBC Radio Northampton's debate chair John Griff, Gibbins said: "It all comes down to money at the end of the day and what the farmer receives in order for him to support his business.

"We're also keen to make sure animal welfare issues are properly addressed."

Green Party: Farming policies need review as part of Brexit

Jamie Wildman (Green Party) says: "We are very keen on there being a second referendum, but if we do leave the EU after the negotiations are finalised then we are happy to consider that there is an opportunity that arises from Brexit.

"That is a re-evaluation of the European agricultural and fisheries policy.

"There's no doubt that needs reviewing.

"We need a replacement of the common agricultural policy and that needs to form part of a cohesive vision for the environment.

"There is a serious crisis in terms of biodiversity in soils and in animal rights - in terms of protection, in terms of how they are farmed and cultivated."

Labour: Farming 'access to trade must be ensured' in Brexit

As we've already noted, the Daventry constituency is mainly rural; so what better topic for our candidates to open with at the Overstone Grange Farm debate than agriculture?

Daventry debate
BBC

"It's come up quite a lot since the referendum," says Aiden Ramsey (Labour).

"I think what is really important in our negotiations with the European Union is to ensure that we can enable a lot of the trade access that farmers rely on for their produce to go abroad.

"We'd also like to make sure that the high standards and the welfare that go into farming are kept so that our produce isn't being undercut by inferior products; and also protecting the workforce over here."

Meet the Daventry candidates

These are the general election candidates we’ll be hearing from in our debate:

Ian Gibbins (UKIP):

Ian Gibbins (UKIP)
BBC

Chris Heaton-Harris (Conservative):

Chris Heaton-Harris
BBC

Aiden Ramsey (Labour):

Aiden Ramsey
BBC

Andrew Simpson (Liberal Democrat):

Andrew Simpson
BBC

Jamie Wildman (Green):

Jamie Wildman
BBC

'A rural constituency'

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

This constituency may be called Daventry – but it covers a large area of countryside, sweeping further north towards the neighbouring constituency of Kettering and around the north and west of Northampton.

Despite the large area, Daventry is the only town of any size in the patch.

Away from the swathes of farmland, logistics is a key industry. The Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal is the home to stock for many big companies and covers almost eight million square feet.

This rural constituency and has always been solidly Conservative with a majority of more than 21,000 last time out the Tories, will be confident of keeping it that way.

2015 general election result from the BBC's general election pages:

  • Chris Heaton-Harris (Con) 30,550 (+1.7% on 2010)
  • Abigail Campbell (Lab) 9,491 (+2.3%)
  • Michael Gerard (UKIP) 8,296 (+11.3%)
  • Callum Delhoy (Lib Dem) 2,352 (-15%)
  • Steve Whiffen (Green) 1,829 (+2.0%)

Welcome to the Daventry general election debate

Hello and thank you for joining us for highlights of the second BBC Radio Northampton general election debate, which aired on Saturday morning in John Griff's breakfast show.

Daventry High Street
Geograph/Robin Webster

We've been travelling across Northamptonshire to meet the people who want to become one of the county's seven MPs on 8 June.

We'll be hearing from candidates in the Daventry constituency.

Highlights will begin shortly, after a look at the panel.