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  1. Updates on Friday 6 January

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's it for the week

It's the end of our live page and the end of the week. Thanks for joining us.

We'll be back on Monday at 06:00 GMT with all the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

In the meantime you can still get in touch on Twitter, on Facebook or by sending us an email.  

Mild weekend ahead

Rachel Mackley

Weather Presenter

A damp and cloudy weekend awaits for most of us in the South East.

From left: Andrew Barrett, Michael Mealing, Jonathan Hart

Three men are jailed after using a light aircraft to drop cocaine with a street value of £2.5m over the Kent countryside.

Read more

'It's too late to say he wants to get people round the table'

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

One of Brighton's MPs says it's far too late for the transport secretary Chris Grayling to offer talks to solve the Southern Rail dispute.

Frances Cappuccini

An on-call anaesthetist was not contacted for three hours after a mother gave birth by emergency Caesarean, her inquest is told.

Read more

Jamie Oliver restaurant to close in Tunbridge Wells

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Jamie Oliver
Getty Images

Jamie Oliver is to close one of his Italian restaurants in Kent as the celebrity chef's businesses cope with rising cost pressures linked to the Brexit vote.

Yes, okay we know it's not breaking news - but still worth a mention, no?

Severe accident: M20 Kent eastbound

BBC Travel

M20 Kent eastbound severe accident, between J8 for A20 Leeds Castle and J9 for A20 Ashford.

M20 Kent - One lane blocked and heavy traffic on M20 eastbound between J8, A20 (Leeds Castle) and J9, A20 (Ashford), because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Three ambulance bosses quit in a day

Mark Norman

Health Correspondent, BBC South East

Three senior executives from the South East Coast Ambulance Service have resigned in the last 24 hours.

The trust says medical director Rory McRae is standing down for personal reasons, as is non-executive director Dr Katrina Herren.

It was also confirmed this afternoon that Professor Andy Newton is stepping down as executive paramedic director, although he'll stay with the trust as a consultant paramedic.

Secamb is currently in special measures.

Rory McRae
Rory McRae is standing down for personal reasons
Boss the runaway cat is fostered
A stowaway cat who travelled 200 miles away from his home has been fostered.

'It's difficult to deliver change while the staff are on strike'

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

The Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, says Southern Rail's ongoing problems can only be fixed once the unions call off their industrial action.

Could we see a new football team in Kent?

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Millwall Football Club say they could be forced to leave their south-east London home and be forced to move to Kent.

Millwall could move to Kent

That's if Lewisham Council go ahead with a plan to purchase plots of land around the League One club's ground, with the idea to sell them to an offshore developer. 

A decision is expected to be confirmed at a council meeting next Wednesday.

Millwall have played in Lewisham since 1910 and at their current ground, The Den, since 1993.

Win your way to the FA Cup Final


Gary Lineker invites you to take part in the 2017 FA People's Cup

Sign up to the FA People's Cup and you could win your way on to the hallowed Wembley Stadium turf at half-time during the FA Cup Final.

Entries are now open and you can find out all the details here.

It's getting warmer for the weekend

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

After this week's cold snap, the weekend's looking warmer but dull.

Here's my forecast.

Kevin Foley

Coventry City sign full-back Kevin Foley until the end of the season following his release by Charlton.

Read more

Who's who at Gillingham

Oliver Turner

BBC Radio Kent sport

As we've heard over the last few days, former Gills defender Adrian Pennock has been handed the job as Head Coach at Gills. He's joined by Steve Lovell and former Ebbsfleet and Welling boss Jamie Day as first-team coaches until the end of the season.

So, who are they?

Getty Images

Without exaggeration, Pennock is a fans’ favourite at Priestfield. He captained the team that snapped up promotion to the First Division back in 2000 thanks to a 3-2 play-off final victory against Wigan Athletic at the old Wembley. 

Steve Lovell
Rex Features

Gills fans will also remember Steve Lovell. The Welshman was part of the “gang of four” caretaker management team that looked after the squad after Peter Taylor was sacked as Gillingham manager in December 2014.

Jamie Day
Getty Images

As for Jamie Day, who will now work alongside Lovell as Gillingham’s other first-team coach, he's a familiar face in the county. 

Day was most recently manager at Welling United, a place where he also benefitted from Pennock’s experience in a consultancy capacity. 

He's also managed Ebbsfleet United and Braintree Town.

The new coaching team are also joined by Neil Withington as fitness coach.  

The Gills are currently 17th in the table, 10 points off the play-offs, after 25 games of the campaign.  

Search resumes for missing Medway man

Police and coastguard teams have resumed a search for a teenager from Medway who went missing a month ago. 

Ben Savage, 18, from Rochester, disappeared on 6 December after a night out at a bar in Chatham. 

Search teams spent days scouring the River Medway for him.

Ben Savage
Kent Police

His mother Tara issued a statement a week later suggesting the family believed he had fallen in the river because based on the temperature of the water, and the current, he would have been unable to swim to safety.

Today it was revealed the Medway and Sheppey coastguard teams were supporting Kent Police to search the river again from 09:00 GMT and would continue until dark. 

The focus is on an area near Sun Pier, close to the last confirmed CCTV sighting of him, according to police.

'I don't have the power to force unions to stop striking, I wish I did'

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

The Transport Secretary says the unions should call off their industrial action on Southern, after this week's report by the Office of Road and Rail.

Unhappy teenage girl

Hospital admissions of children for self-harming rise by 51% in three years in south east England, according to NHS data.

Read more


Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Gillingham team

This is the new Gillingham line up. Could these four men turn around the clubs league form? Time will tell.

So, who do we have here?

From left to right: First team coach Steve Lovell, chairman Paul Scally, head coach Ady Pennock, first team coach Jamie Day and Neil Withington who joins as fitness coach.

Former fast bowler excited to be joining Kent

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

What's in this morning's papers?

Stack of newspapers

Kent Online: Man who saved friend from fire in Canterbury left homeless

Kent and Sussex Courier: This is what happened when armed police swooped on Foord Road South in Folkestone

Kent News: Major expansion to Thanet wind farm proposed

Severe accident: A2 Kent westbound

BBC Travel

A2 Kent westbound severe accident, between A2050 and A28 Thanington Road.

A2 Kent - A2 in Bridge closed and stationary traffic westbound between the A2050 junction and the A28 Thanington Road junction, because of an accident involving 4x4 vehicle and van.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Southern: Your view?

Have you got a view about Britain's worst rail strike in 20 years?

If so, we want to hear it.

We'd love you to be part of our special Question Time style debate at the Chequer Mead Theatre in East Grinstead.

If you live or work in the South East and would like to get involved, all you need to do is send an email to with your name, address and daytime phone number.

Going back to the happiest days of their lives

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

A Maidstone school's trying a new way to tackle the teacher recruitment crisis - tempting former pupils back to the classroom.

Quick round up...

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Lets take a look at the top stories that are dominating your headlines this morning:  

Matt Walker gets Head Coach job at Kent
Getty Images

  • Matt Walker has been named the new Head Coach of Kent County Cricket Club, with former South African fast bowler Allan Donald as his assistant. 
  • The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has reiterated his call to Aslef and the RMT to suspend their strike action on the Southern rail network next week to give time for meaningful talks.
  •  New Gillingham head coach Ady Pennock wants the fans to bring the noise for his team. Their next game in on Saturday-week against Oldham.

Walker proud to be new Head Coach

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Kent County Cricket Club's new Head Coach Matt Walker says he's honoured and proud to be in charge of the side.

Walker spent the last three seasons as assistant to Jimmy Adams who left the club in September. The 43--year-old batsman, who made his debut for the county as a teenager, says he's delighted to work alongside new assistant Allan Donald. 

ICYMI: Driver-only system 'is safe'

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

An independent report's found the system where drivers operate train doors is safe to use on the Southern rail network. Unions have described it as a "whitewash".  

More millions to keep Dreamland open

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Margate's troubled amusement park is being thrown a huge financial lifeline. 

'It really is quite serious'

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

A report into fire safety at one of our busiest hospitals has revealed it didn't have a fire drill for three years.  

Rachel Mackley

Weather Presenter

We've got a cold morning to start with.

Here's your forecast.  

It's the end of the week...

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

And we're here until 22:00 GMT tonight, with all of Kent's news, sport, travel and weather.

This lovely pic of Broadstairs was taken by Lucy Hughes - it's our Kent #PhotoOfTheDay. 

Lucy Hughes

Is there something you'd like to tell us about? We'd love to hear from you.

You can get in touch on Twitter, on Facebook or by sending us an email.