Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Updates on Wednesday 15 March 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's it from us

Thank you for joining us today. We'll be back at 06:00 GMT with more news, sport, weather and travel.

Don't forget, if you've got a story for us, please get in touch.

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

#ICYMI: What does Sun Baby look like now?

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

It's 20 years since the Teletubbies first bounced onto TV.

So what does the Sun Baby - Jess Smith from Medway - look like now?  

Southern rail passengers give their reaction to Aslef strike deal
Southern rail passengers in Eastbourne have been giving their reaction to the Aslef strike deal.

Lucky escape air for this deer...

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

And for BBC Radio Kent journalist Alex Ward who caught this video on her dash-cam as she drove to Tunbridge Wells yesterday.  

Hot Hot Hot

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

It's been the warmest day of the year out there, with temperatures peaking at 18.6C in Gravesend.

Don't forget to send us your spring photos.

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

Sunshine and clouds
SPL

Southern rail passengers give their reaction to Aslef strike deal

Southern rail passengers give their reaction to Aslef strike deal
Southern rail passengers in Eastbourne give their reaction to the Aslef strike deal which was announced today. Parent company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) said both sides had secured a "recommended deal" after "constructive talks".

Have you got a story that needs to be investigated?

If so, get in touch with the award-winning BBC South East Today investigations team.       

The National Trust's biggest restoration project

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

A £20m investment is underway to restore historic Knole House in Sevenoaks.

You can read the full story  here .  

Southern strike deal: Analysis

Paul Clifton

Transport correspondent, BBC South Today

This is not a done deal – yet. 

Last month the drivers rejected a deal that had been brokered by their own union. Neither the union nor the company had expected that.

The margin wasn’t large – 55% against – and the two sides have been talking ever since to find a way of bringing a majority of the union members back on board.

Aslef picket line
PA

We’ve not been told the details of the revised agreement.

But it’s likely to include further improvements to the CCTV monitoring systems that drivers use when closing the train doors.

That agreement will now be put to a second ballot among drivers, with the result due on 3 April.

Passengers will be crossing their fingers that this time the deal will be strong enough to stick.

But the separate dispute involving train guards is not part of this deal, and the year-long action by the RMT union continues.

Crowded Southern train
PA
Southern worker on platform

A deal aimed at ending the dispute between Southern Railway and the Aslef union over driver-only trains is agreed.

Read more

Severe disruption: M2 Kent eastbound

BBC News Travel

M2 Kent eastbound severe disruption, at J3 for A229 Chatham.

M2 Kent - M2 lane closed on exit slip road and slow traffic coastbound at J3, A229 (Chatham), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Southern strike deal: RMT statement

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

RMT has not seen the detail of the proposed outline agreement between GTR and Aslef and we are of course requesting a full copy as it goes to the heart of our disputes with the company. In the meantime RMT is pressing yet again for urgent talks with the company in our guards and drivers disputes.

Mick CashGeneral Secretary, RMT

BreakingDeal agreed over Southern strike

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), the parent company of Southern railway, and Aslef today announced they have agreed a deal to settle their dispute.

The agreement will now be put to Aslef members in Southern in a referendum, with a recommendation from the union's Executive to accept.

The two sides say that subject to securing the support of Aslef members, the dispute between the union and Southern will be over.

Mick Whelan, General Secretary of Aslef, said: "Aslef members now have the opportunity to decide on the new terms of the agreed resolution with GTR Southern.

"This agreement has the full support of the negotiating team and the executive committee, and offers solutions to our concerns, as well as restoring the confidence of all parties, and the travelling public".

Southern trains
Getty Images

GTR Director Andy Bindon said: "We've had constructive talks with Aslef and we're pleased we've been able to secure a recommended deal, subject to approval from its members, to end their dispute.

"It's been an extraordinarily difficult period for passengers, staff and the regional economy and we are glad we've found a way to move forward together. We look forward to restoring good industrial relations with Aslef".

The result of the referendum will be on 3 April. Until then, GTR and Aslef intend to make no further statements.

Severe accident: M2 Kent westbound

BBC News Travel

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

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

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

#ICYMI: Your amazing pictures

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

Thank you for all of the amazing pictures you've been sending us on  TwitterFacebook  and by  email .

We loved them so much that we decided to create a music montage of just some of the best.

Please keep them coming.

#ICYMI: What does Sun Baby look like now?

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

PM VERSION

It's 20 years since the Teletubbies first bounced onto TV.

So what does the Sun Baby - Jess Smith from Medway - look like now?  

Rapist jailed over girl's 1996 attack

A "predatory" rapist who plied a girl with alcohol before subjecting her to a " horrific ordeal " has been jailed for more than 20 years.  

John Tracey
Lancashire Police

John Tracey, of Station Road in Gillingham, Kent, denied raping the 14-year-old at a flat in Thornton, near Blackpool.

But the 42-year-old was found guilty at Preston Crown Court of the November 1996 attack and jailed for 10 years.

#ICYMI: Hat-trick hero: 'Over the moon'

I spoke to Gillingham FC's Josh Wright - brother of Towie's Mark - who described the incredible moment he scored a hat-trick of penalties, to grab victory over Scunthorpe United at the weekend.    

What's your #onegooddeed?

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

All this month BBC Radio Kent is asking you to do #onegooddeed.

Maybe it could be donating to a food bank?

Visiting the South East's beautiful gardens

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

Gardens across the South East that are opening to the public under the banner of the National Gardens Scheme have been announced. Details here

Severe disruption: M25 Kent anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Kent anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J1A for A206 and J31 for A1306.

M25 Kent - Stationary traffic on M25 Dartford Tunnel anticlockwise between J1a, A206 (Erith) and J31, A1306 (West Thurrock), because of a broken down vehicle and a rolling road-block.

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

Severe accident: M25 Kent clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Kent clockwise severe accident, between J4 for A21 and J5 for M26.

M25 Kent - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M25 clockwise between J4, A21 (Orpington) and J5 M26, because of an accident.

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

Severe disruption: M2 Kent eastbound

BBC News Travel

M2 Kent eastbound severe disruption, between J3 for A229 Chatham and J4 for A278.

M2 Kent - One lane closed on M2 coastbound between J3, A229 (Chatham) and J4, A278 (Gillingham). Traffic is coping well.

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

'Hardworking family man' killed in motorbike crash

Lizzie Massey

BBC Live reporter

Arturas Butkus
Mr Butkus’ family

The family of a motorcyclist who died in a collision in Manston have paid tribute to him.

Father-of-two Arturas Butkus died when his black Triumph Speed Triple was involved in a collision with a white Citroen Berlingo travelling in the opposite direction.

Arturas was a hardworking family man. He left behind a loving wife and two young children.

A local businessman, he worked hard within the community and was a good friend to many. He was loved by everyone who knew him."

Mr Butkus’ family

The 37-year-old died after the crash on the B2190 Spitfire Way, Manston, at 11:25 GMT on Sunday 12 March 2017.  

Kent Police is appealing for witnesses to the incident to come forward.

PC Jamie Woodhams said: "It appears that for some unknown reason the motorbike was travelling on the wrong side of the road."

Family issue tribute following death of Giles Metcalfe

The family of a man who died in Tunbridge Wells have paid tribute a 'kind and generous' person.

Giles Metcalfe, who was 43, is believed to have died as a result of the effects of a fire.

His body was found during the early hours of Tuesday 7 March in a stairway at the Torrington car park. 

We are devastated and shocked at what has happened to Giles and the way he has died. Giles was loved very much by family and friends. He was kind at heart and very generous."

Giles loved all animals and will be missed by all that knew him in and out of his workplace. He is at rest now and we ask that our privacy is respected at this difficult time."

Giles Metcalfe's family statement
Family issue tribute following death of Giles Metcalfe
Kent Police

Officers are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death.

James Marshall-Gunn, 29, of of Hadlow Road, Tonbridge, and 34-year-old Dean Lewis, of no fixed address, have both been charged with murder and are currently remanded in custody until their next court appearance. 

Football

Bolton score four away from home for the second time in four days to stay firmly in the hunt for automatic promotion.

Read more

This morning's newspaper headlines

Newspaper press
Getty Images

Kent Online : Toilet bins in food trolleys at supermarkets in Sittingbourne and Sheppey

Kent News:  Police watchdog to start interviewing officers as probe into Met’s handling of Stephen Port case steps up

Kent Live:  A pervert from Gillingham took advantage of a child for his 'selfish and despicable needs'

Have you got a story that needs to be investigated?

If so, get in touch with the award-winning BBC South East Today investigations team.         

Three charged over £40,000 of counterfeit currency

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Three men have been charged as part of an investigation into the alleged supply of counterfeit currency.

In November 2016 Officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate seized about £40,000 worth of £20 notes that were believed to have been forged, at a property in The Downage, Gravesend.

Fake money
Fake money

The following men have all now been charged with conspiracy to deliver counterfeit currency, they've all been bailed to appear before Medway magistrates on Tuesday 11 April 2017:

  • James Brennan, 35, of Eastern Gardens, Willesborough – also charged with possession of a stun gun, two counts of offering to supply cannabis and one count of producing cannabis.
  • Daniel Chapman, 42, of The Downage, Gravesend – also charged with possession of criminal property and controlling counterfeit currency.
  • Frazer North, 32, of Tillingbourne Green, Orpington – also charged with possession of criminal property, two counts of possession with intent to supply cannabis, and one count of controlling counterfeit currency.

#ICYMI: Your amazing pictures

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

Thank you for all of the amazing pictures you've been sending us on  TwitterFacebook  and by  email .

We loved them so much that we decided to create a music montage of just some of the best.

Please keep them coming.

Lucky escape air for this deer...

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

And for BBC Radio Kent journalist Alex Ward who caught this video on her dash-cam as she drove to Tunbridge Wells.  

Severe congestion: M20 Kent westbound

BBC News Travel

M20 Kent westbound severe congestion, between J4 for A228 Leybourne and J6 for A229.

M20 Kent - Very slow traffic on M20 London-bound between J4, A228 (Leybourne) and J6, A229 (Chatham). All lanes have been re-opened.

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

#ICYMI: Hat-trick hero: 'Over the moon'

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

I spoke to Gillingham FC's Josh Wright - brother of Towie's Mark - who described the incredible moment he scored a hat-trick of penalties, to grab victory over Scunthorpe United at the weekend.  

Evening to forget for the Gills

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

A disjointed Gillingham let four past them,  as Bolton kept their automatic promotion hopes firmly alive.

After their heroics at the weekend saw Josh Wright put his name in the history books for scoring a hat-trick of penalties the Gills struggled at home. 

They were reduced to small bursts but could not convert much into a solid chance, eventually losing 4-0 to the promotion chasing team. 

Ady Pennock
Getty Images

Elsewhere Dover were thrashed 5-0 at Boreham Wood.

Knole in Sevenoaks

Hundreds of objects will be restored in the biggest conservation project in the National Trust's history.

Read more

Misty and murky start to the day

Kate Kinsella

BBC weather

The mist will lift this morning, and we should see some brighter spells this afternoon. I've got the details. 

#Onegooddeed

Severe accident: M2 Kent westbound

BBC News Travel

M2 Kent westbound severe accident, after J2 for A228 Strood.

M2 Kent - Two lanes blocked and queuing traffic for two miles on M2 London-bound after J2, A228 (Strood), because of an accident involving three vehicles.

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