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  1. Our live coverage has now ended
  2. Live updates on Wednesday 3 May 2017

Live Reporting

By Bob Dale and Claire Cottingham

All times stated are UK

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Good night from the BBC Live team

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

We'll be back tomorrow morning from 06:00 with the county's news, sport, travel and weather.

If you'd like to get hold of us in the meantime you can get in touch on Twitter, on Facebook or by sending us an email.  

Thanks for joining us.

Calais exhibition goes on show

Ian Palmer

Reporter, BBC South East Today

A new exhibition highlighting the Calais Jungle has opened at the UK's first museum dedicated to migration.

Migrants have camped in Calais for years with hope of securing a better life in the UK.

In recent times tens of thousands of migrants and refugees have flocked to the French port - hoping to embark on an often perilous journey to Kent, using whatever means possible.

What do we know about Canterbury's first Poet Laureate?

Poet, writer and broadcaster Lemn Sissay is Canterbury’s first ever Poet Laureate. So what do we know about him?

Meet the seven-year-old avid Addick with a Charlton-themed prosthetic leg

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Charlie Hewson, a Charlton Athletic season ticket holder from Lindfield, loves the club so much he has Charlton’s colours painted on his new leg.  

A grey day ahead

Rachel Mackley

Weather Presenter

It's looking like tomorrow will be cold and a bit soggy.

Find out more in my latest forecast.

Family thanks emergency services with donation

Lizzie Massey

BBC Live reporter

The family of a teenager who died after falling into the River Medway have thanked emergency services for their efforts to find him.

The 18-year-old was last seen in Sun Pier, Chatham, on December 6, 2016. His body was found in the river in February 2017.

An inquest into his death is being held today, but his family will not be attending.

His parents, Tara and Martin released a statement thanking Kent Police for keeping them informed throughout the ordeal and said "there are no further questions to be answered".

We'd also like to again thank the rest of the emergency services; and we hope that the £600 we, Ben's family and friends, raised for the RNLI and Kent Search and Rescue will aid your ongoing work."

Statement from Tara, Martin and the family of Ben Savage
Ben Savage

South covered in blanket of cloud

Toby Wadey

BBC South

Some parts of the UK have been enjoying sunshine and highs of 19C but, as you can see from this striking satellite image, the south has not.

View more on twitter
Ricky Miller

Peterborough United sign prolific Dover Athletic striker Ricky Miller, who scored 42 goals in all competitions this season.

Read more

Man stabbed in Tonbridge

Police are appealing for witnesses after a man in his twenties was found stabbed in the chest on The Ridgeway. 

The assault is believed to have taken place between 20:15 and 20:45 BST yesterday in Nursery Close, Tonbridge.

A 34-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman have both been arrested on suspicion of assault and remain in custody at this time. The suspects are believed to be known to the victim.

Who'll be voting on Thursday?

Although there's a lot of talk at the moment about the General Election, we mustn't forget that many of us have Local Elections on Thursday.

So what areas are going to the polls? Here's what you need to know.


Here are links to local candidates in each area:

Kent County Council here.

East Sussex County Council here.

West Sussex County Council here.

Surrey County Council here.

It's been a grey day

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

Cloud and drizzle today, with a slight improvement tomorrow.

Here's my forecast.

BBC South East Today lunchtime headlines

BBC South East Today logo

Here are this lunchtime's headlines from BBC South East Today:

  • Parliament is dissolved and now there are no MPs - just candidates - until the votes are counted following the 8th June General Election. So today marks the official start of the battle to win your votes.
  • Medway Council has apologised after its Twitter account was hacked. Someone took control of the authority's feed last night and posted false messages offering free council tax and parking.
  • Winemakers in the South East say that some of their crops have been "decimated" by last week's frosts, despite drastic attempts to keep the vines warm.

Belgium and Lyon now being targeted by migrants

Alex Bish

Investigative journalist, BBC South East

After the demolition of the so-called Calais Jungle, the Freight Transport Associaton told me they're concerned about an apparent rise in stowaways trying to board trucks as far away as the south of France.

The #Southernstrikes one year on...

Can you believe that we've had more than a year of Southern rail strikes? 

Here we take a look at the strike in numbers… 

Maternity unit celebrates 'baby boom'

Staff at a Kent maternity unit are showing they "practise what they preach" after 25 workers gave birth to 26 babies in the space of 14 months.

Darent Valley Hospital has released a picture to mark the International Day of the Midwife on Friday. 

Mothers from unit
Darent Valley/Jez Hughes

The hospital said many of the women had care from community and hospital midwives and its own obstetric team.

The NHS trust said it was testament to the trust staff had in their colleagues and friends to provide the best care.  

#ThisIsMe: 'I love theatre'

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

This 26-year-old theatre technician says he's "living his dream". 


Polling station

Daniel Wainwright

BBC News

A million more people joined the electoral register in 2016. Will it make a difference?

Read more

Migrants trying to hide in lorries two hours outside Calais

Alex Bish

Investigative journalist, BBC South East

Calais migrant camp known as the 'Jungle'

BBC Radio Kent understands that migrants are now trying to hide in lorries more than two hours from Calais in a bid to cross the Channel to Kent.

They're now targeting locations further into France and up into Belgium after the Calais jungle was cleared six months ago. 

Meanwhile for the last six months we've been asking the Home Office how many migrants were caught in 2016 trying to enter Britain via the British border in France and Belgium. 

The information has been released in previous years - but despite repeated emails and phone calls they still haven't answered our Freedom of Information Request.

It was first submitted in October - it's still not been answered - no explanation has been given for the delay.

#ICYMI: ‘Wheelchair rugby changed my life’

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

Ben, who has cerebral palsy, says Wheelchair Rugby League changed his life.


Which South East constituencies are most vulnerable to change?

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

The electoral map of the South East is almost exclusively blue at the moment, but whilst there are several very safe seats, there are also plenty of constituencies that could see a change in the upcoming election.

We've compiled this list of the most vulnerable seats in Kent and Sussex.


Today's Kent newspaper headlines

Newspaper printing press
Getty Images

Kent Online: Inquest into death of Strood teenager Ben Savage due to start in Maidstone today

Kent News: Fresh £100m plan launched to get planes flying again at Manston airport

Kent and Sussex Courier: 'Fake police officers' have been targeting homes in Sevenoaks

#ICYMI: Trying to catch a glimpse of a nightingale

It's one of our most celebrated songbirds, but it's under threat of extinction.

David Sillito spent a night in a wood in Ashford to try and catch a glimpse of the endangered nightingale.

Who'll be voting on Thursday?

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Although there's a lot of talk at the moment about the General Election, we mustn't forget that many of us have Local Elections on Thursday.

So what areas are going to the polls? Here's what you need to know.

There will be more on this story on the BBC Sussex Breakfast Show with Neil Pringle - you can listen here.


The Hawk's top snooker tips

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

He may have got knocked out of the snooker World Championships at the semi-final stage, but he's still pretty good. 

I went to meet Ditton's Barry Hawkins and asked him what advice he would give to budding snooker players.

Here are his top five tips.

Lauren Patterson murder: Mum's relief after Qatar death sentence upheld

Lauren Patterson
James Grima

The mother of a Kent teacher who was murdered in Qatar has spoken of her relief that the murder trial has now concluded. 

The badly-burned body of Lauren Patterson, 24, from West Malling, was found in the desert in October 2013.

She had been working at the Newton British School in the capital Doha and disappeared after a night out.

Badr Hashim Khamis Abdallah Al-Jabr was found guilty of stabbing her. However, the conviction was later quashed and a retrial ordered. It ended on Sunday and the death sentence was upheld.

Following Sunday’s court hearing, I am feeling very emotional but relieved that the trial is now over. The family remain devastated by the senseless and tragic events of October 2013, but due to the thoroughness of the judicial process in Qatar we now feel that justice has thankfully prevailed for Lauren.

I would like to thank all those who have supported me during this difficult process and request that our family’s privacy be respected at this time.

Alison PattersonLauren Patterson's mother

#ThisIsMe: 'I love theatre'

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

Theatre technician Oliver, who's 26, says he's living his dream.


Rikki Clarke has rejoined his first county Surrey, from Warwickshire

With the 2017 county season here, keep up to date with the latest signings, departures and rumours ahead of next season.

Read more

Council Twitter account hacked

Medway Council has confirmed that its Twitter account was hacked last night.

At about 19:45 BST a tweet was posted saying the account had been taken over by the "citizens of Medway".

A series of tweets followed. One said: "First policy - free council tax for all" while another read "Second policy - park where you want. No more tickets."

The tweets were deleted about 30 minutes later. 

Medway Council tweets after Twitter account hacked

Celia Glynn-Williams, head of communications at Medway Council, said: "We took action to secure the account as quickly as possible.

"We are sorry for any offence caused by the messages that were tweeted. We take the security of our account very seriously and are looking into how this happened.”

Arrests over Tonbridge stabbing

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Two people have been arrested, after a man was found with stab wounds at a house in Tonbridge.

He's been taken to hospital in London, after officers were called to the address in the Ridgeway at 20:30 BST on 2 May.

A man and a woman have been arrested.

Roads are still closed around the Ridgeway area, as police continue to investigate.

A grotty Wednesday

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

Cloudy with drizzle for today, and not looking much better for tomorrow, I'm afraid.

Here's my forecast.

Haseeb Hameed

The availability of England players for their counties up until July is announced by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Read more

BBC South East Today morning bulletin

BBC South East logo

Here are this morning's headlines from BBC South East Today:

  • A man from Kent has been jailed after filming people in their homes using secret cameras. Stuart Wynne from West Malling was sentenced to 30 months in prison after hiding cameras in bathrooms and behind mirrors for his own sexual gratification.
  • Kent's busiest food bank says it may have to give out less in donations because demand is now outstripping supply. Last year, more than 17,000 food parcels were handed out across the county by the Trussel Trust - nearly a third of those were in Medway.
  • New research has found that Brighton is one of the worst places in the country for mobile internet connection. The report found that although people are paying for faster 4G speeds, many are not able to use it for downloads.

Rise in demand for food banks

A food bank

Kent's busiest food bank says it may have to be less generous with food - if demand for its services continues to rise.

Last year, more than 17,000 food supplies were handed out by the Trussell Trust across the county - nearly a third of them in Medway.

BBC Radio Kent's Alex Stevanovic went along to a food bank in Gillingham - you can hear his report on the BBC Radio Kent Breakfast Show with John and Maggie by listening here.

Not a bad view to wake up to...

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

It might be a bit grey outside but this should brighten up your morning a bit.

This stunning picture of Whitstable's been sent to us by Scott Sinden - it's our Kent #photooftheday.

Whistable beach
Scott Sinden

Is there anything you'd like to tell us about? Or have you got any lovely pictures of Kent to send us?

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