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KCC pension investment losses as Woodford crisis deepens

Ciaran Duggan

Local Democracy Reporter

County Hall, Maidstone

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
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
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Kent Online: Church faces closure after 900 years

Get Surrey: Major accidents causing hours of delays

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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.

Woman arrested after man stabbed

Guy Bell

Gordon Road

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?

Today's South East news website headlines

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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

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.

Today's South East news website headlines


The Argus: The terrible secret of a mother who 'sexually abused her twin boys' told in new Netflix show

Kent Online: Former Kent Police special constable and ambulance boss accused of 'crime ring'

Get Surrey: Road closures on M25, M23, M3 and A3 set to disrupt traffic in the week ahead

Chichester Observer: Guns found in rucksack hidden in bushes in Sussex

Eastbourne Herald: Police ‘extremely concerned’ for missing Eastbourne man who could be in Mid Sussex

Crawley and Horley Observer: Halloween: The 11 ‘spookiest spaces’ in the UK revealed

Worthing Herald: Worthing seafront 10k in pictures

Mid Sussex Times: Duck fair organiser wins community award

Brighton & Hove News: Burglars steal cameras, computers and cash from Brighton charity for disabled children

Hastings Observer: Hastings Bonfire In Pictures

Brighton & Hove Independent: Why we should attract hedgehogs to our gardens

Clampdown on suspects linked to county lines

A total of 118 people have been arrested in Kent this month as part of an operation to tackle the supply of drugs through county lines.

Between 4 and 17 October officers across the county targeted those involved in class A drug supply and other related offences including knife crime and the exploitation of vulnerable people.

The arrests came as part of a nationwide operation led by the National Crime Agency.

Kent Police worked with the Metropolitan Police and British Transport Police to carry out a number of intelligence-led stop checks to vehicles, addresses and individuals.

Drugs and cash
Kent Police
Drugs and cash were seized during the enforcement activity