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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

Kent County Council elects new leader

Guy Bell

Cllr Roger Gough

The new leader of Kent County Council (KCC) has been announced.

Councilor Roger Gough took over from Paul Carter after winning a four-way battle for the Conservative group leadership two weeks ago.

A cabinet reshuffle is expected and could see Mr Carter on the back benches after 14 years as leader of KCC.

Mr Gough was elected during a full council meeting at Maidstone's County Hall.

Paul records in Norwich Cathedral cloisters

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News online

A musician has spent several months cycling thousands of miles to record the sounds of the UK.

Read more

'You can't hide £170m', lottery winner says

Neil Trotter

A man who won almost £108 million on the lottery says the winner of last Friday's Euromillions jackpot should go public.

Neil Trotter, who now lives in Kent, won the Euromillions jackpot in March 2014.

"I've always worked all my life so going from having to work to not having to work was a strange thing to adjust to," he told BBC Breakfast.

"I soon found out that sitting at home watching telly all day was going to be quite boring so I bought a house that needed lots of work,"

Neil Trotter

Mr Trotter said he had had help from other lottery winners and lottery operators Camelot, who said: "Stop and don't do anything straight away."

He offered some advice for the winners of this week's Euromillions jackpot. "If you want to live the dream which is have the house and the money and spend it you've got to go public.

"People have said you can hide the money, but I think £170 million is going to be impossible to hide."

He said: "It has taken me probably five years to get my life to where I want it.

"It has been a bit of a struggle adjusting to having so much money. I'm living the dream now."

Sunrise across Kent and Sussex

Guy Bell

The home counties were showered in sunlight this morning and photographers, amateur and professional, captured the red sky in all its glory.

Eastbourne's beach turned red and was snapped by B Fowler.

Red sky
B Fowler
Eastbourne covered by the red sky

Meanwhile, Eddie Mitchell captured the red sky above the iconic Worthing Wheel.

Worthing Wheel
Eddie Mitchell
Sunrise over Worthing
Goring sky
The sky shone bright in Goring By Sea

@Msiggsy was able to take a picture of the stunning sky above Goring By Sea while Iain Gowers was able to do the same from his home in Hove.

Hove sky
Ian Gowers
Ian Gowers captured this stunning view in Hove

Paddock Wood FC supporters were up early this morning to help show off the sunrise at the village's railway station.

Paddock Wood
Paddock Wood FC Supporters
Paddock Wood's sky was a sight to behold at the break of dawn

Today's South East news website headlines

Printing press
Getty Images

The Argus:Number of bus lane fines issued increases by 774 per cent

Kent Online:Students are being offered free meals to commute between university campuses after chiefs struggled to attract new students to its Medway site

Get Surrey:'No evidence' of how Surrey Police will make £10m of required savings, report finds

Chichester Observer:Earnley Concourse fire ‘under control'

Eastbourne Herald:Two rescued by the RNLI near Eastbourne

Crawley and Horley Observer:Person who fell onto shop roof rescued in Crawley town centre

Worthing Herald:Downton Abbey star helps raise an Earl’s fortune at Chichester to protect the South Downs

Mid Sussex Times:Burgess Hill development for more than 3,000 homes given permission

Brighton & Hove News:Brighton pub’s bid to create new city centre roof terrace sparks fears of flying fag ends

Hastings Observer:Witnesses sought after ‘gunshots’ heard in St Leonards

Brighton & Hove Independent:Two rescued from house fire

Video: The Channel Tunnel journey in 68 seconds

Take a trip through the Channel Tunnel in 68 seconds.
As the Channel Tunnel celebrates its 25th anniversary, the BBC has been given unprecedented access to life behind the scenes and beneath the sea bed.   

Normally it takes 35 minutes to travel from the UK terminal to the terminal in France.  

But, thanks to the first ever continuous shot from one side to the other, you can now take a high-speed ride through the longest undersea tunnel in the world in just 68 seconds.

New Conservative leader at Kent County Council

Roger Gough has been elected as the new leader of the Conservative Group at Kent County Council.

Paul Carter steps down as council leader at the next meeting of the full council on 17 October with Mr Gough expected to be endorsed as the new leader of the council at this meeting.

He is the Member for Sevenoaks North and Darent Valley and was first elected to KCC in 2005.

Mr Gough is currently the cabinet member for children, young people and education.

Roger Gough
Kent County Coucil

Photo of suspect issued after woman's skull is fractured

Peter O’Brien, 22,
Metropolitan Police

Police have released images of a man wanted in connection with an attack on a woman which left her with a fractured skull.

Peter O’Brien, 22, is wanted in connection with the robbery and assault of a woman in Greenwich in July where the female victim was punched and strangled.

Officers believe Mr O’Brien is also wanted for an attempted murder and arson that occurred in West Kingsdown, Kent on 19 August. A man sustained serious head injuries during the incident.

He is also wanted in connection to the supply of class A drugs.

Mr O'Brien is known to frequent Charlton, Woolwich, Eltham and Kidbrooke, as well as Gravesend and West Kingsdown in Kent.

Members of the public are advised not to approach Mr O’Brien.

Restructuring plans for healthcare provision

Ciaran Duggan

Local Democracy Reporter

A health boss has been criticised by councillors after saying an east Kent town had become a “beacon” for GP healthcare provision across the county.

Kent County Council’s health reform and public health cabinet committee was told a number of general practices in Thanet have “merged into bigger practices” to cope with staff shortages and “maximise productivity”.

Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership’s chief executive, Glenn Douglas, said: “The way GPs have been organised in Thanet is a model that could be used elsewhere.”

If approved, Kent’s eight existing clinical commissioning groups would be converted into a single authority.

More than 40 primary care networks would also be set up, enabling local GPs to work more closely with each other and provide “extended” services that individual GPs struggle to deal with alone.

Extra policing for a no-deal Brexit

Ciaran Duggan

Local Democracy Reporter

More than 300 police officers and staff will be deployed in Kent on a daily basis in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Nearly half of these, 140 officers and staff, will come from other counties.

Up to 100 Highways England officials will also provide support, according to Ch Con Alan Pughsley.

Police will be tasked to manage any disruption resulting from congestion at Eurotunnel, motorways and east Kent’s ports.

They will also support local councils with the enforcement of traffic management plans, such as Operation Brock.

Lorries at Port of Dover
PA Media

Increase in complaints against Kent County Council

Ciaran Duggan

Local Democracy Reporter

The number of complaints made against a council service has risen by around 45% in the last four years.

New figures show 780 people submitted complaints to Kent County Council about its adult social care service between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019.

A KCC report reveals the number has grown since 2015, when the local authority received 538 complaints between April 2014 and 31 March 2015.

The data was released as part of an annual report ahead of Friday's KCC adult social care cabinet meeting at Maidstone County Hall.

Several factors have been cited for contributing to the 12-month rise, including a growth in the number of council enquiries and significant increase in the number of complaints relating to the blue badge service, with 76 received.

The complaints related to different themes, including frustrations about poor communication, charging disputes, and staff conduct and behaviour.

KCC’s official disclosure also shows that 39% of complaints were not responded to in time, between 1 April 2018 and 31 March.

Extra training is currently being organised for KCC staff to help tackle this, the report adds.

Care home closure 'a mistake'

Ciaran Duggan

Local Democracy Reporter

A decision to close Wayfarers care home in Sandwich is a "mistake", Kent County Council’s adult social care cabinet committee has been told.

The home’s 14 elderly residents will be relocated over the next few months, some to an unused wing of Westbrook House, 13 miles away near Margate, but others could move to alternative care or family homes.

Conservative councillor Sue Chandler told the committee the retention of Wayfarers was “not the right way forward” but Labour's John Burden disagreed, saying: “To give up the unit is a mistake.”

The future of the council-owned facility has been considered on at least three occasions since October 2010 but two failed attempts have been made to sell the home.

Since 2015, Wayfarers has seen a sharp drop in the numbers of residents using the care home.

The care home also lacks en-suite facilities and the unit cost of Wayfarers is about three times higher than the average unit cost in Dover.