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Summary

  1. Our live coverage has ended for the day
  2. Updates on Wednesday 1 March 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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That's it for today

Thanks for joining us - we'll be back tomorrow at 06:00 GMT with all the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

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

Penalties for drivers using phones 'not enough'

Yasmine Djadoudi

BBC Live reporter

Daniel Squire was just 18 when he was killed near Deal, by a driver who admitted he'd been sending text messages before the collision. 

His mother says tough new penalties introduced today for motorists who use their mobile phone at the wheel, do not go far enough.

Make the most of tomorrow's weather...

Rachel Mackley

Weather Presenter

As Friday's looking like a washout. Watch my forecast here:  

Brewery giant boosts revenues to £80m after taking over pubs and restaurants

Kent Messenger

Beer pumps
Kent Messenger

Beer and pub company Shepherd Neame increased revenues to nearly £80m in the first half of its financial year after taking over 13 ale houses and five restaurants.  

Read the full story here .

It's the first day of #onegooddeed month

What will your #onegooddeed be in March? Join us as we try to make Kent a better place.

Severe disruption: M20 Kent eastbound

BBC News Travel

M20 Kent eastbound severe disruption, at J8 for A20 Leeds Castle.

M20 Kent - M20 lane closed on exit slip road and heavy traffic coastbound at J8, A20 (Leeds Castle), because of an overturned vehicle.

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

Allan Donald

Kent are seeking an interim coach to deputise for newly-appointed assistant coach Allan Donald, who faces a visa issue.

Read more

Top school asks parents to pay for textbooks

Yasmine Djadoudi

BBC Live reporter

One of the best performing schools in the country is asking parents to pay for new GCSE textbooks. The headteacher of the Skinners' School in Tunbridge Wells says he can't afford to buy the new materials that are needed.

Severe accident: M2 Kent eastbound

BBC News Travel

M2 Kent eastbound severe accident, between J4 for A278 and J5 for A249 Sittingbourne.

M2 Kent - One lane closed and slow traffic on M2 coastbound between J4, A278 (Gillingham) and J5, A249 (Sittingbourne), because of an accident.

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

Severe disruption: M20 Kent eastbound

BBC News Travel

M20 Kent eastbound severe disruption, at J11 for B2068 Hythe.

M20 Kent - M20 exit slip road partially blocked coastbound at J11, B2068 (Hythe), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

School asks parents to pay £60 for text books

Pupils in a classroom
Getty Images

One of the best performing schools in the country is asking parents to pay for new GCSE textbooks because changes to exams mean they fear they'll be left with a bill of more than £20,000.

The headteacher of The Skinners School in Tunbridge Wells has suggested a contribution of £60 per student.

It comes as schools across the South East warn of cuts to school days and subjects in the face of tighter budgets. 

Here's analysis from BBC South East Today's Education Correspondent Bryony MacKenzie.

This is one of the country's best performing secondaries asking for £60 for compulsory science textbooks. Its all because GCSEs have been overhauled meaning current books will be outdated and, according to the school, 'useless' for teaching. If parents decide not to contribute then the school faces a bill for £20,000 for compulsory text books.

The letter comes as a result of financially difficult times in education funding. Whilst the government has re-distributed cash between schools to make it fairer, critics say all bigger class sizes and reduced school days are all on the table as all schools are facing overall cuts of 8% to their budgets

There's an assumption that grammar schools, with a high proportion of middle class parents, would have healthy budgets, but selective schools, which have fewer children from disadvantaged backgrounds, are set to be on average the least well funded. The Department for Education says there are clear guidelines which state schools cannot charge for the cost of books unless the parent want their child to own them. This would be the case at Skinners...

Bryony Mackenzie Education Correspondent, BBC South East Today
Paul Konchesky

Non-league Billericay Town sign former England left-back Paul Konchesky from League One Gillingham, BBC Essex reports.

Read more

Kent Police to use spit hoods

Rajdeep Sandhu

Political Reporter, BBC Radio Kent

Spit hoods are coming to Kent. They're used by police officers and put on a person's head to stop them spitting or biting the officer. 

But they are very controversial and not all police forces use them.

Two years ago Kent Police's chief constable, Alan Pughsley, said he hadn't been a fan. In fact just a few months ago Kent Police had said it wasn't using them because of "the impact on the person having a spit hood placed on them and the potential issues after their use".  

But now he's changed his mind saying these spit hoods would be more "humane".  

Ian Pointon, chairman of the Kent Police Federation, told me it was "inhumane and cruel" for people to spit at officers and quite simply "if you don't spit then you don't get to wear the hood". 

What are your kids dressing up as for #WorldBookDay?

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

If you're a parent we're sure you won't have forgotten it's  #WorldBookDay  tomorrow...

So which literary character is your child dressing up as this year?

If you're struggling for an idea here are a few snaps from last year that might give you some last minute inspiration...

Here are Ava, Flynn, Oliver, Zanthe, William and Mya.

We'd love to see your photos or videos of this year's World Book Day tomorrow. Send them to us on  Twitter , Facebook , or by sending us an  email .

Ava, 3, as the witch from Room on the Broom
Marc Dumbleton
Ava, 3, as the witch from Room on the Broom
Flynn, 10, as Mrs Twit
Darren Edwards
Flynn, 10, as Mrs Twit
Oliver, 7, as Where's Wally
Wendy Davis
Oliver, 7, as Where's Wally
Zanthe, 5, as the star from Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
Marc Dumbleton
Zanthe, 5, as the star from Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
William, 3, as Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs
Kerry Hartley
William, 3, as Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs
Mya, 7, as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz
Anushka Rampling
Mya, 7, as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz

People can have their say on radical plans to reorganise healthcare in Kent

Kent Messenger

Generic shot of a hospital ward
Kent Messenger

A series of public meetings will be held on plans to carry out a radical shake-up of health and social care in west Kent.   

Read the full story here .

Karl Robinson

Charlton boss Karl Robinson admits there are "deep" problems in the team and some players "don't deserve" to be picked.

Read more

Severe accident: A249 Kent northbound

BBC News Travel

A249 Kent northbound severe accident, between Old Ferry Road and B2231 Lower Road.

A249 Kent - A249 Sheppey Way in Swale closed and slow traffic northbound between Lower Halstow Turn Off and Leysdown Turn Off, because of an accident. Diversion in operation - via Kings Ferry Bridge.

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

Thieves steal parking machine - but only get £2

Kent Messenger

A hole where parking machine was stolen
Kent Messenger

It happened at a council car park in Canterbury and police are investigating.

Read the full story here .

Severe accident: A26 Kent both ways

BBC News Travel

A26 Kent both ways severe accident, at A2014 Pembury Road.

A26 Kent - A26 Quarry Hill Road in Tonbridge blocked and slow traffic in both directions at the A2014 Pembury Road junction, because of an accident.

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

Top state schools 'dominated by richest families'

As about 500,000 families in England are allocated secondary school places, research shows that the richest children dominate top state schools.

Analysis of official data shows 43% of pupils at outstanding secondaries are from the wealthiest 20% of families.

The study from education charity Teach First also shows poorer pupils are half as likely as the richest to be heading to an outstanding secondary school.

Ministers said plans for new grammars would create more good school places.

Read our full story here .

Kent seek interim coach because of Donald visa issues

Ben Watts

Sports reporter, BBC Radio Kent

Kent cricket are in talks to appoint an interim coach to deputise for newly appointed assistant coach Allan Donald.

The 50-year-old was announced as number two to head coach Matt Walker in January and is currently working towards the ECB level three qualification he needs to gain the visa necessary to take up the role.

Donald did not link up with the squad for the recent tour to the West Indies and the club say they are frustrated that the ruling is delaying Donald’s arrival, considering the former South African fast bowler’s vast international experience.

Kent are hopeful of announcing a stand-in for Donald by the end of the week in time for the start of pre-season later this month, but it could be “weeks or months” before Donald is able to join up with the squad.

Read the background  here .

Allan Donald
Getty Images

Bad night for the Gills and the Addicks

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Gillingham failed to build on Saturday's win, despite taking an early lead at Swindon through Cody McDonald.

But second-half goals from Rohan Ince, Jon Obika and Raphael Rossi-Branco left the Gills two spots and three places above the League One relegation zone.

Read the full Gillingham report here .

Charlton also lost in a seven-goal thriller at Shrewsbury, despite Ricky Holmes hitting a hat-trick.

The result leaves Shrewsbury one point behind the Addicks, who are fifteenth.

Read the full Charlton report here .

Severe congestion: M25 Kent clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Kent clockwise severe congestion, between J5 for M26 and Clacket Lane Services.

M25 Kent - Queuing traffic on M25 clockwise between J5, M26 (Sevenoaks) and Clacket Lane Services.

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

Severe disruption: M20 Kent westbound

BBC News Travel

M20 Kent westbound severe disruption, at J5 for A20.

M20 Kent - M20 lane closed on exit slip road, one lane closed and slow traffic London-bound at J5, A20 (Aylesford), because of emergency repairs.

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

Severe disruption: M20 Kent westbound

BBC News Travel

M20 Kent westbound severe disruption, between J9 for A20 Ashford and J8 for A20 Leeds Castle.

M20 Kent - Lane blocked on M20 westbound between J9, A20 (Ashford) and J8, A20 (Leeds Castle), because of a broken down lorry. Traffic is coping well.

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

More talks after rejected deal

Lizzie Massey

BBC Live reporter

The train drivers' union Aslef is due to resume talks with Southern rail managers today, in the ongoing dispute over driver-only operated trains.

A previous deal struck between union bosses and the rail company was rejected by ASLEF members earlier this month. 

Yesterday, the RMT union announced they will stage another 24-hour walkout on 13 March.

Severe accident: M20 Kent westbound

BBC News Travel

M20 Kent westbound severe accident, at J5 for A20.

M20 Kent - M20 lane blocked on exit slip road and slow traffic London-bound at J5, A20 (Aylesford), because of an accident.

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

#ICYMI: MPs take part in pancake race - but did they win?

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

A Kent MP has led her team to victory at Westminster's annual Parliamentary pancake race outside the Houses of Parliament.

The Shrove Tuesday charity event pits MPs, peers and the press pack against each other.

Multi-car accident on M2

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

There's been a six-vehicle collision on the M2 this morning.

It happened on the London-bound carriageway between junctions five and six, for Sittingbourne and Faversham, just before 07:40 GMT.

Police say congestion will continue with one car needing to be recovered.

Severe disruption: M25 Kent clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Kent clockwise severe disruption, after J3 for M20.

M25 Kent - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M25 clockwise after J3, M20 (Swanley Interchange), because of a broken down lorry.

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

Update: Lines reopen after serious accident

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Southern says all its lines are now open again between Hastings and Eastbourne after a person was hit by a train at Bexhill just before 06:30 GMT this morning.

Ongoing disruption is expected though, with other operators accepting Southern tickets.

⚠️ All lines now open between #Hastings & Eastbourne. Cancellations & delays up to 20 mins expected twitter.com/SouthernRailUK…

⚠️ @Se_Railway will accept our tickets between #Hastings/Ashford Intl & London (but not on High Speed services) twitter.com/SouthernRailUK…

Severe congestion: M25 Kent anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Kent anti-clockwise severe congestion, at the Dartford Tunnel.

M25 Kent - Queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise at the Dartford Tunnel. All lanes have been re-opened.

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

Severe accident: M2 Kent westbound

BBC News Travel

M2 Kent westbound severe accident, between J6 for A251 and J5 for A249 Sittingbourne.

M2 Kent - M2 partially blocked and queuing traffic London-bound between J6, A251 (Faversham) and J5, A249 (Sittingbourne), because of an accident involving six vehicles.

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

Rail disruption set to continue through rush-hour

British Transport Police is investigating after a person was hit by a train at Bexhill this morning.

They say it happened at 06:27 GMT.

Southern says it's having a serious effect on its services in East Sussex.

⚠️ All lines blocked between #Hastings & Eastbourne due to a person being hit by a train twitter.com/SouthernRailUK…

⚠️ @Se_Railway will accept our tickets between #Hastings/Ashford Intl & London (but not on High Speed services) twitter.com/SouthernRailUK…

Serious accident blocks rail line

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Southern rail says its lines are blocked between Hastings and Eastbourne after a person was hit by a train at about 07:00 GMT this morning.

The accident happened between Eastbourne and Ashford International.

Southern says it's calling in replacement buses, and that Southeastern trains will be accepting Southern tickets.

It's the first day of #onegooddeed month

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

What will your  #onegooddeed  be in March?

Join us as we try to make Kent a better place.

A dry start to Wednesday...

Rachel Mackley

Weather Presenter

But then it's looking like heavy rain in the afternoon.

Watch my forecast here.

Sideswipe crash: 'Lives flashed before our eyes'

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

A Kent couple have told of the terrifying moment their car was hit by a foreign lorry in a so-called "side-swiping" incident. 

Paul and Suzanne Marshall from Lamberhurst, near Tunbridge Wells, say their car span out of control, and travelled backwards at speed on the M25.

They're calling for foreign lorries to be fitted with better mirrors on British roads - and said their "lives flashed before their eyes".

More bad news for many Southern commuters

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Commuters at London Victoria station
PA

If you're heading to the station this morning, or maybe you're already on a train heading to work, this may not make pleasant reading. 

Almost nine out of every 10 Southern rail passengers will not be compensated for poor service, it's been claimed.

The government  announced compensation packages in December  for season ticket holders hit by long-running disruption.

About 84,000 passengers are eligible for refunds compared to an estimated 590,000 who are not, according to the London Assembly's Labour group.

A Southern train
Philip Toscano

Annual season ticket holders will receive a payment equivalent to one month's travel, with quarterly, monthly and weekly season ticket holders able to claim an equivalent payment for the ticket type.

But those who pay as they travel with cash or cards will receive no payment under the scheme.

A Labour spokesperson said it was "damned insulting" to exclude passengers who pay as they go.

Govia Thameslink Rail (GTR), which runs the rail line, apologised for "many months of disruption and misery".  

Read our full story  here .