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Floating restaurant on fire

A boat on the River Medway in Maidstone has been damaged by a fire.

The floating restaurant close to Archbishops Palace was engulfed by flames at about 08:00 GMT.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service said two fire engines were sent to put out the fire.

Boat Fire
@Nick_De_W

Today's South East news website headlines

Paper review
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The Argus: Council says 'sorry' for missed bin collections

Kent Online: Drivers using lay-by as toilet

Get Surrey: Image of missing boy released in police search

Chichester Observer: Rail services disrupted due to 'overrunning engineering works'

Eastbourne Herald: Overtaking ban and 40mph speed limits in place for six-month roadworks

Crawley and Horley Observer: No trains from East Grinstead due to two landslips

Worthing Herald: Ex-homeless musician repays woman’s act of kindness with a song

Mid Sussex Times: Local dancer through to The Greatest Dancer live shows

Brighton & Hove News: Nearly 8000 runners brave wind and rain for half marathon

Hastings Observer: Hastings Pier has new timber-framed cabins for rent

Brighton & Hove Independent: ‘Dangerous sea conditions’ close off Brighton beach

East Kent baby deaths: 'It felt like a murder charge'
Helen Gittos lost her baby Harriet when she was eight days old, and she believes the death was preventable.
Farmers face violent threats from hare coursing gangs
Landowners say their property is being broken into and crops damaged by gangs staging illegal hare coursing.

Police force must save millions

Kent Police must cut £9m from its budget in the next financial year.

About £3m has been achieved through the retirement of long-serving police officers who had reached a higher salary band than those replacing them.

Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott said the force was having to be "smarter" in finding savings.

Ch Con Alan Pughsley said: “The police service nationally has faced unprecedented financial challenges in recent years, with Kent Police alone having to identify more than £110 million worth of savings since 2010."

Closures of police stations are not expected, but other savings include a £100,000 reduction in police expenses spending, a £78,000 decrease in fuel costs, and a review of police uniforms.

The move comes despite rises in the police precept of the council tax in Kent, which is expected to generate about £8.4m from April 2020 to March 2021.

Kent Police is also set to recruit an extra 147 officers over the next financial year, as part of the government’s planned 20,000 new officers.

Girl in hospital after collision

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

A 12-year-old girl's been airlifted to hospital in London after being hit by a car.

It happened in Sturdee Avenue, Gillingham, just before 08:30 GMT earlier.

Police say the car involved was a blue Ford Fiesta.

Today's South East news website headlines

A pile of newspapers
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The Argus: Young man died after falling from roof of historic hotel

Kent Online: Kent man speaks of life in Coronavirus quarantine

Get Surrey: Surrey hospital trust becomes first in country to appoint nurse to prevent patient falls

Chichester Observer: ‘Traumatic memories’ brought back for Chichester dog owner after long journey to have pet treated

Eastbourne Herald: Next Sussex superfood trend could be free and growing on trees

Crawley and Horley Observer: M23 smart motorway "will not open" until safety checks are made

Worthing Herald: Warning after "solid waxy substance" found on coastline

Mid Sussex Times: Beavers set to return to Sussex ... after hundreds of years

Brighton & Hove News: Fuel poverty leaves thousands to choose between eating and heating, says councillor

Hastings Observer: Hastings homeless captured in portraits as new seafront social project launches

Brighton & Hove Independent: Teens' quick thinking led to arrest in Brighton

Veterans' love letter to EU on white cliffs

Lizzie Massey

BBC Live reporter

Star projected on the white cliffs
PA Media

A love letter from two Second World War veterans to the EU has been beamed on to the White Cliffs of Dover on Brexit Day.

The Kent landmark was lit up early on Friday by the faces of Stephen Goodall and Sidney "Sid" Daw.

The pair are seen lamenting the UK's departure from the Union, on the same stretch of coastline which welcomed soldiers returning from Dunkirk in 1940.

The video was the brainchild of Led By Donkeys, a group of four activist fathers famed for their giant billboards of politicians' tweets.

In the tribute - also translated into French and German - Mr Goodall , 97, said: "I like to be called a European. And the feeling that one has of comradeship as one goes round Europe is really quite something."

Projection of Mr Goodall
PA Media
Mr Goodall

In the tribute - also translated into French and German - Mr Goodall , 97, said: "I like to be called a European. And the feeling that one has of comradeship as one goes round Europe is really quite something."

Mr Daw, 95, fought in France, Holland, Belgium and Germany during the war.

He said: "I feel very, very sad about it all because we don't know which way things are going."

Projection of Mr Daw
PA Media
Mr Daw

Kent council leader pledges to strengthen links with Europe post-Brexit

Tom Pugh

BBC South East Digital Reporter

The leader of Kent County Council – one of the gateway counties to mainland Europe – said the authority would continue to strengthen and build on its relationship with Europe post-Brexit.

Councillor Roger Gough (Con) said recent meetings with counterparts from France underlined a desire to continue to work together to maintain strong links.

Mr Gough said: “With Britain leaving the EU tonight, our bilateral relationships with neighbouring authorities across the Channel has become even more important.

“We have a number of shared interests on which we need to work together from the economy, transport and environmental issues, to young people and promoting the culture, heritage and attractiveness of coastal and local communities.”

Meanwhile, Kent County Council’s Cabinet member for economic development, Mike Whiting, said Brexit “isn’t the end of our relationship” with Europe. He added: “We want to create new partnerships.”

Pictures released in hunt for heritage railway arsonists

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Police investigating an arson attack on a steam railway have released CCTV images of two men they want to speak to.

Spa Valley railway arson suspects
Kent Police

The break-in happened at the Spa Valley Railway's West Station late on New Year's Eve or early on New Year's Day.

It's thought fireworks were used to set fire to two carriages.

Two stabbed in city centre

Two men have been treated for stab wounds during a disturbance in the centre of Canterbury.

A third man was also assaulted.

It happened in Canterbury Lane, just after 16:00 GMT on 22 January, and involved a group of men.

Two men, aged 19 and 20, have been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm.

Canterbury Lane, Canterbury
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The men were stabbed in Canterbury Lane