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Plans for so-called Kent 'super council' put on hold

Credit: ITV Meridian

Plans for a so-called 'super council' in East Kent have been put on hold.

Shepway District Council voted against going forward to the next stage of public consultation at a council meeting this evening.

The shake up would have meant merging Thanet, Canterbury, Dover and Shepway councils to cut costs.

The plans could only move forward if all four councils agreed.

One hundred jobs could be lost if the proposals were to go ahead.

They will now have to consider alternative options.

The Last Word, March 2017

It's not been a great week for the Government: a u-turn on the budget, and a £70,000 fine for spending too much on elections - including two in Kent. You might think the Tories would be suffering in the polls as a result ... not a bit of it!

And Brexit: Theresa May say Article 50 will be triggered this month - in fact the Bill received Royal Assent today. But as the Brexit Secretary admits he doesn't know what the implications will be if we leave the EU without a deal, we ask what it could mean for our economy.

And the famine in Africa: how should we respond? Is the Government doing enough? Will the British public respond in the way they need to, to alleviate the dreadful suffering?

To debate all that and more:-

  • Baroness Brinton from Kenardington in Kent for the Lib Dems
  • Alan Mak MP, the Tory MP for Havant in Hants
  • Baroness Smith from Sussex, the Labour Leader in the Lords
  • and Tim Aker MEP for UKIP, from Thurrock in Essex

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Cauliflower crisis: growers destroy year's supply

Farmers in East Kent have spoken of their anger at having to destroy a year's worth of crops by ploughing them back into the soil.

The food's perfectly edible, but there's no market for it.

Supermarkets have been stocking imported vegetables and farmers say they can't compete with the foreign imports.

They blame rigid supermarket supply policies intended to avoid sudden shortages that may drive away shoppers.

They say they're on the edge of despair. As Tony Green reports.

Tony spoke to farmer Geoffrey Philpott.

Rehearsal of ship arrival delayed due to fog

A United States Navy cargo ship was due to be the first vessel to moor at the jetty that HMS Queen Elizabeth will call home.

Thick fog this morning meant she had to anchor outside the harbour, delaying an exercise to test staff and the equipment they'll use.

As Richard Jones reports.

Richard spoke to Chris Alcock from BAE Systems and Commodore Jeremy Rigby, Naval Base Commander.

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'Fuel bank' scheme used by 500 children in Hastings in less than a year

A 'fuel bank' that's been running for just under a year in Hastings has already helped more than 1,100 people - including 500 children.

The scheme gives foodbank users vouchers for gas or electricity so families don't have to choose between keeping the lights on and heating their home.

Jeffery Beale, manager, said: 'During the last few months, we’ve seen an increase in people coming through our doors for both food and fuel support, largely due to the roll out of Universal Credit in our area.

'With waiting times of up to six weeks before receiving any benefit means that not only those out-of-work are struggling, but also those in-work and on low incomes.'

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