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  1. Our live page coverage has ended for the day
  2. Updates on Friday 5 May

Live Reporting

By Bob Dale, Claire Cottingham and Kathryn Langley

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's it for now

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Thank you for joining us today - we'll be back at 06:00 BST on Monday with more news, sport, weather and travel.

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

Have a fantastic weekend.

Your guide to election results in the South East

Take a look at this graphic which outlines who won what in the local elections.


Take a look at the all-important weekend weather...

Analysis: Where is the opposition at Kent County Council?

Rajdeep Sandhu

Political Reporter, BBC Radio Kent

UKIP are no more at Kent County Council.

It arrived with a bang in 2013 to become the official opposition and now the party has left just as rapidly. 

What happened? Some unsuccessful UKIP candidates suggested the national party didn't focus on the right issues.  

The lack of a UKIP vote has given the Conservatives a plump majority. It is once again in control of the council. Not a surprise really. This is a Conservative heartland that voted to leave the EU referendum. 

The real question is where is the opposition? The Conservative have 67 of 81 seats. The Liberal Democrats are now the official opposition with 7 seats, while Labour are left with 5. While the parties can ask questions it doesn’t have the votes to really oppose anything the Conservatives want to put through. Labour and Liberal Democrats will need to make new rebellious Conservative friends if they want to block anything.

Apart from the Conservatives there were a few other happy councillors. Martin Whybrow of the Green Party managed to hold onto a seat despite worries over boundary changes. Peter Harman from the Swanscombe and Greenhithe Residents’ Association will also be back. 

Laurie Evans

Laurie Evans' maiden limited-overs century helps Sussex reach a target of 332 to beat Kent in the One-Day Cup at Canterbury.

Read more
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

ICYMI: 'I love theatre'

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


Sick bug followed Halloween pool party

Tanya Gupta

BBC News

Splashes swimming pool in Rainham

A council has said it will no longer use dye in its swimming pools after a Halloween party last year was followed by a norovirus outbreak.

Medway Council dyed the pool red at Splashes in Rainham to look like blood, but scores of people reported a sick bug afterwards, a report said.

Health officials said chlorine checks failed and the bug was likely to be linked to reduced chlorine levels.

The council said chlorine is lowered for dye to work, but within guidelines.

Read the full story here.

Local Election results - in full

Kent County Council

You can get a breakdown of council results across the country here

Severe disruption: M20 Kent westbound

BBC News Travel

M20 Kent westbound severe disruption, at J3 for M26.

M20 Kent - Slow traffic on M20 London-bound at J3 M26, because of a broken down lorry. On the hard shoulder.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Rooting out the next generation


Kids playing All Stars Cricket

Know any young children who might be interested in having a go at cricket?

Now's the time to get them involved with the England & Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) grassroots programme for five- to eight-year-olds called All Stars Cricket.

All Stars Cricket is an eight-week course that is being introduced in May through local cricket clubs and centres, offering youngsters a first experience of the sport.  

Sign up here and children will receive a backpack of cricket gear. 

Properties evacuated after gas leak

Libby Sutcliffe

News Editor, BBC Radio Kent

Emergency services are at the scene of a gas leak in Church Road, Folkestone. 

A 60m cordon has been put in place and nearby properties evacuated for precautionary purposes. Gas engineers are working to make the scene safe.

A better weekend ahead

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC weather

After this week's disappointing weather, things are looking better for the weekend.

Here's my forecast.

UKIP miss out and lose all seats

Rajdeep Sandhu

Political Reporter, BBC Radio Kent

UKIP have lost all 17 seats it won in 2013 in Kent County Council.

New KCC council is: Conservative 67, Liberal Democrats 7, Labour 5, Green, 1 Independent, 1 UKIP, 0. 

Severe disruption: M25 Surrey anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Surrey anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J6 for A22 and J5 for M26 affecting J9 for A243.

M25 Surrey - Very slow traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J6, A22 (Godstone) and J5 M26, because of an earlier broken down vehicle. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J9, A243 (Leatherhead).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

UKIP out as Tories take the seats

Lizzie Massey

BBC Live reporter

UKIP has lost every seat it held at Kent County Council, and the Conservatives picked up their wards to retain control of the county.

The Tories currently have 66 seats, compared to 47 last year.

Labour have four, compared to 13 last time around.

Lib Dems have lost one seat, and now have six.

UKIP had 17 seats but now have none.

The number of county councillors reduced from 84 to 81 following a boundary review in 2016.

UKIP still haven't won a seat

Rajdeep Sandhu

Political Reporter, BBC Radio Kent

Severe accident: M25 Surrey anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Surrey anti-clockwise severe accident, between J6 for A22 and J5 for M26.

M25 Surrey - Two lanes blocked and queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J6, A22 (Godstone) and J5 M26, because of an accident involving a lorry and two vehicles.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

The blue tide continues...

The Conservatives have retained overall control on Kent County Council and look to increase their majority, with results still to come in.

Election map
Kent County Council

Dog has claws pulled out

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

A spaniel's been found abandoned by the A20 in Harrietsham, having apparently had its claws forcibly removed. 

The one-year-old bitch had also had her tail docked and had pressure sores all over her legs.

She was found in a bush by a member of the public, who took her to a nearby vet.

She's now been handed over to the RSPCA, whose staff have nicknamed her Flick.

Flick the spaniel

To forcibly remove a dog's claws is an abhorrent act and is illegal under animal welfare law in this country.

And to simply abandon her by the side of the road like rubbish when she is clearly injured and in need of veterinary treatment is unbelievably shocking."

RSPCA spokesman

BreakingBREAKING: Conservatives win overall control of Kent County Council

They needed 41 for a majority, currently have 43 seats. 

Kent County Council results begin to arrive

Here's how the results of the local elections in Kent are panning out:

Kent County Council

BreakingKent local election results coming in

The election results for Kent County Council have started to be announced.

The Conservatives are hoping to retain overall control of the council.

Kent Spitfires v Sussex Sharks

Oliver Turner

Sports reporter, BBC Radio Kent

Cricket balls
Getty Images

Kent Spitfires are taking on the Sussex Sharks in a south-eastern derby in the Royal London One-Day Cup this afternoon.

Kent haven’t had the best of starts in this season’s competition, having lost both of their opening games including a four-wicket defeat at Somerset on Tuesday.

Sussex picked up their first win in their One-Day Cup campaign in the week after beating Glamorgan to leave them fourth in the South group after their first two games.

The Spitfires have lost two early wickets in their innings after the Sharks won the toss and chose to bowl.

You can hear the commentary here.

UKIP deputy leader to stand for Essex seat

The deputy leader of UKIP has announced he will stand for the South Basildon and East Thurrock seat at the general election.

Peter Whittle

Peter Whittle said he hopes to "go one better" than 2015 when UKIP came second in votes for the constituency.

He said: "Basildon and East Thurrock voted overwhelmingly to leave the European Union last year and deserves an MP who will truly stand up for their views.

"UKIP are the only party that want to see the type of Brexit that people voted for last June, so that we can get back control of our borders and our laws."

He said priorities will include the NHS, a reform of the House of Lords and the fight against armed forces and police cuts.

#ICYMI: Meet Charlie, the seven-year-old cancer survivor

Peter Whittlesea

BBC South East Today reporter

When Charlie Hewson from Lindfield, near Haywards Heath, was just a baby his parents noticed a swelling on his left leg. 

It turned out to be a rare form of cancer - and ultimately he had to have it amputated.

But that hasn't stopped him from doing anything - especially playing football. 

Local elections: Latest from our political reporter

'It's going to be an amazing, amazing experience'

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

After bursting onto the world athletics scene as a surprise call up to Team GB at the 2012 London games at just 18, Dartford Sprinter Adam Gemili says he's now aiming to compete at the world championships in London.   

Calais exhibition opens at migrant museum

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.  

Today's Kent newspaper headlines

Getty Images

Kent Online: Darent Valley Hospital nurse describes moment Joyce and Frank Dodd held hands before dying on same day

Kent News: ‘The best friend anybody could have’ - Family of Mike Crampton pay tribute to ‘loving son and a great musician’

Kent and Sussex Courier: Plans to cut train services could hit 250,000 people in the Weald

Children's cuts to fund commemorations

Hamish Mureddu-Reid

BBC News Online, South East

Medway Council

Plans by Conservative Medway Council to axe all 19 of its children's centres have been met with "dismay" by the Labour opposition. 

The council has already agreed a £60,000 cut in children's services funding to help pay for the Battle of Medway commemorations in June. 

Labour councillors have criticised the plans to close the centres saying a consultation was due to be held while many families were away on holiday.  

Medway Council said the centres would be replaced by four "super hubs".  

More here

Could there be a summer drought?

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

With winter rainfall in the South East at its lowest for two decades, one water company has already had to top up a major reservoir.

BBC South East Today breakfast bulletin

BBC South East Today logo

Here's the morning headlines from BBC South East Today's breakfast bulletin:

  • The Conservatives have taken three seats from Labour on East Sussex County Council in Hastings.
  • A man from Kent who threatened to kill a woman after pointing an imitation gun to her head has been jailed. Michael Collett from Broadstairs forced his way into the home of a former partner in June last year - demanding that she speak to him.
  • Parents of children with severe special needs in East Surrey - who are fighting plans to close a local respite care centre - have lodged a formal complaint to the health watchdog. The Beeches centre in Redhill provides short breaks for children and their families.

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? 

A brighter day

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC weather

There's going to be more sunshine about today, and it's looking better for the weekend.

Here's my forecast.

Kent grammar schools: Odds 'loaded against poor pupils'

Teacher and pupil

The odds are loaded against children from disadvantaged backgrounds who apply for grammar schools in Kent, suggests a study.

Entrance tests for the county's grammars "understate the true academic abilities" of poorer children, says the Education Datalab report.

The "heavily" selective county will be a useful case study if grammars are rolled out nationally, says the study.

Kent County Council said it was working to boost social mobility in grammars. Read more here.

ICYMI: ‘Wheelchair rugby changed my life’

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

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