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Kent fire crews attending more incidents involving bariatric patients

Sue Nicholson

BBC News

Obesity
PA Media

Fire crews are helping the ambulance service in Kent by transporting increasing number of obese patients, according to figures obtained by BBC Radio Kent.

In the past three years, Kent Fire and Rescue said it had assisted with more than 560 bariatric patients.

In 2018, firefighters helped to move 263 people, up from 130 the year before.

By 4 October this year, 175 bariatric patients had been assisted, according to official figures.

A South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson said the figures needed to be seen in the context of about 800,000 calls received each year.

"Across our region we treat a variety of patients, many of whom are managing long term and complex health needs.

"We have a duty to ensure we have the resources required to respond to the needs of all our patients including those who are overweight."

How will it look after the December election?
BBC South East's political editor Lauren Moss examines the main issues in the general election

KCC pension investment losses as Woodford crisis deepens

Ciaran Duggan

Local Democracy Reporter

County Hall, Maidstone
BBC

More than £60m has been wiped off the value of Kent County Council’s pension investment in Neil Woodford’s flagship fund as the crisis deepens.

A council report shows KCC’s pension holding was worth £198.5m at the end of October, down significantly from £260m seven months earlier on 31 March.

This comes just over four weeks since Mr Woodford announced his company would be winding down, which KCC were not told about and whose investment remains trapped inside.

KCC’s superannuation fund committee met behind closed doors last Friday at Maidstone County Hall to discuss the latest financial report on the valuation of its Woodford investment.

The Local Democracy Reporting service understands the KCC superannuation committee pointed towards the “volatile” nature of market valuations during the meeting, which some members said can fluctuate up and down.

It is believed KCC’s superannuation fund committee focused on more positive aspects during the meeting, notably the overall value of its pension investments.

The total value of KCC pension investments are £6.423bn, according to the latest figures, which marks a 3.3 per cent increase from January this year.

Children in Need raises £3.9m in South East

It's been another great fundraising achievement for BBC South East's annual Children in Need appeal.

This year our party was held at Allington Castle near Maidstone.

Whitstable Castle Halloween Party
BBC
Whitstable Castle Halloween Party raised £250 through donations, a raffle, an auction - and zombie musical chairs

So far almost £3.9m has been raised across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

Thank you to everyone who took part for all your fantastic fundraising efforts.

Today's South East news website headlines

Pile of newspapers
Getty Images

The Argus: Lewes murder: Man charged over Nicola Stevenson's death

Kent Online: Church faces closure after 900 years

Get Surrey: Major accidents causing hours of delays

ChichesterObserver: Sussex baby airlifted to hospital after she stopped breathing is to feature in national charity Christmas appeal

Eastbourne Herald: Eastbourne man jailed for lifeboat station burglary

Crawley and Horley Observer: Sussex Murder enquiry: Police reveal identity of victim and make second arrest

Worthing Herald: Bomb disposal team called to Worthing beach

Mid Sussex Times: Mid Sussex General Election candidates officially announced

Brighton & Hove News: Former Brighton & Hove Albion trialist goes into Celebrity Jungle

HastingsObserver: Inquest into St Leonards hospice fire deaths to reopen

Brighton & Hove Independent: East Sussex lifeboat assists as migrant vessel is brought to shore in Dungeness

All-girls car club picks up speed
The women car fans taking on the 'boy racer' stereotype.

Search for Kent's Bing Crosby

Bing Bong
Getty Images

A record label is trying to find somebody called Bing Crosby who is registered as living in Kent.

Decca Records said they are aware of three people in the UK with the same name as the "White Christmas" singer, one of whom lives in Kent.

It placed an advert in the Kent Messenger, promising a "five-star Christmas lunch" to anyone who could provide a birth certificate bearing the name "Bing Crosby".

Crosby, who also starred in dozens of films between the 1930s and 70s, died in 1977.

"When we discovered there were possibly three people called Bing Crosby living in the UK, it caused complete pandemonium in the office and we knew we had to do what we could to bring them together," said Tom Lewis, vice president of Decca Records, which released many of the entertainer's hits.

Digger used in Co-op ram raid

Guy Bell

Co-op Cranrbook
Peter Rolington

A digger has been used in a ram raid to steal cash from a Co-op store in Cranbrook.

The JCB was driven into the supermarket on the High Street at about 02:00 GMT. Detectives are now looking for three people in connection with the burglary.

Nobody was injured but the building was damaged and a large amount of cash reported stolen.

The digger remains outside the building and officers recovered another vehicle abandoned in a nearby road that is thought to have been involved.

Det Sgt Jason Booth said: "We remain in the area carrying out inquiries and reviewing CCTV and forensic opportunities. We are looking for three suspects and a third vehicle that may have been used."

Councillors' behaviour criticised

Ciaran Duggan

Local Democracy Reporter

Kent County Council (KCC) members have been urged to improve their behaviour at public meetings after the council’s standards committee expressed its “disappointment” over their conduct.

Several complaints were submitted to the authority over the “inappropriate behaviour” of some of its members in the last two months.

KCC’s standards committee was told on Wednesday that two of the incidents related to public meetings at Maidstone County Hall on September 19 and 24.

A probe into the complaints has been launched by the office of the General Counsel at KCC, although the name of the members involved and specific allegations made remain undisclosed.

KCC’s superannuation fund committee chairman, Councillor Charlie Simkins, said: “We need to be constantly aware that Big Brother is watching us.”

A total of 14 complaints have been made this year over alleged threatening behaviour, social media misconduct and failure to talk to residents over local issues.

But this represents a drop from last year’s total of 17.

Severe congestion: M20 Kent eastbound

BBC News Travel

M20 Kent eastbound severe congestion, from J2 for A20 London Road to M26.

M20 Kent - It's heavy on M20 eastbound from J2, A20 (Wrotham Brands Hatch Circuit) to M26. All lanes have been re-opened.

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

Woman arrested after man stabbed

Guy Bell

Gordon Road
Google

A woman has been arrested after a man was stabbed in Chatham.

Kent Police were called to a property in Gordon Road at about 22:40 GMT on Monday.

A 33-year-old woman was arrested and remains in custody. The victim was taken to hospital for treatment.

Five things you can do with a pumpkin, other than carving
Millions of perfectly good pumpkins are thrown away after every Halloween, so why not try something different?

Cabinet to become 'more transparent' under new leader

Ciaran Duggan

Local Democracy Reporter

Kent County Council’s opposition party leaders could formally and directly participate in future cabinet meetings.

The 10-person cabinet of the new Conservative administration could see input from the heads of KCC’s two largest opposition parties, Labour and the Liberal Democrats, in public meetings going forward.

New council leader, Conservative Roger Gough, has proposed to restructure future cabinet sessions to make them “more transparent” and improve public debate as he chaired his first meeting at Maidstone County Hall on 28 October.

Roger Gough
BBC
New leader Roger Gough says he wants his cabinet meetings to be more transparent

Opposition party leaders say they “welcome” the change to the existing format, which they have criticised for “lacking interest”.

Updates on the reform proposals will be made to the new cabinet at a future meeting and the next is scheduled to take place in Maidstone on 2 December from 10:00 GMT.

Severe accident: M26 Kent eastbound

BBC News Travel

M26 Kent eastbound severe accident, from J2A for A20 London Road to M20.

M26 Kent - One lane closed and queues on M26 eastbound from J2a, A20 (Wrotham) to M20, because of an accident.

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

Today's South East news website headlines

Papers
Getty Images

The Argus: Everything we know about backpacker Amelia Bambridge's disappearance

Kent Online: Operation Brock contraflow on M20 between Ashford and Maidstone in force

Get Surrey: Car flipped caravan on A3 because driver lost control following 'series of collisions', say police

Chichester Observer: Ten fire engines sent to tackle two Bognor fires

Eastbourne Herald: New plans to reduce risk to hedgehogs during bonfire season in Sussex

Crawley and Horley Observer: Missing Rudgwick man last seen dropping his car off at the garage

Worthing Herald: Family joins search for Worthing backpacker missing on Cambodian island

Mid Sussex Times: West Sussex residents warned after investigation finds dangerous Christmas lights being sold

Brighton & Hove News: Counclilor pleads for safer walking routes to school

Hastings Observer: Concern for future of the Rye Heritage Centre

Brighton & Hove Independent: Person assaulted and dragged into car in East Sussex in ‘possible abduction’

Man raped in alleyway

Brewer Street
Google

Police are searching for a man after another man was raped in an alleyway in Maidstone.

Officers were called at about 19:30 BST on Thursday after the man, aged in his 20s, reported being raped while walking between Brewer Street and Union Street.

The area was sealed off by police, who are appealing for information.