An energy company's plans to drill for gas at four sites in Kent risks the contamination of drinking water supplies to thousands of homes.
That's the claim, tonight, from residents, farmers - and scientists - campaigning to kill off proposals for exploratory drilling at a former quarry at Tilmanstone... a farm in Guston... and woodland at Sheperdswell. A licence has already been granted for drilling on land at Woodnesborough.
Exploratory drilling at Balcombe in Sussex - again for gas - was abandoned after months of mass protest. There had been fears that any exploration would lead to the controversial method of fracking.
Andrea Thomas reports. She spoke to retired university lecturer Geoff Mead, Graham Warren from the Council for the Protection of Rural England, Rosemary Rechter from East Kent Against Fracking and Andrew Wiseman, an environmental lawyer.
East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust has issued a statement concerning problems with patient transport services in the county.
Hospital managers have apologised for delays in getting patients to and from routine appointments in Kent. A new contractor has taken over their transport system and 'teething problems' are being blamed on a failure to keep up with demand.
East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust says it's also experiencing issues with a new computer system which has been causing problems for non-urgent scans and x-rays.
Dundee, Hull, Leicester and Swansea Bay have made the shortlist to become UK City of Culture 2017. Sadly, the following bids from our region have not been successful.
- East Kent
- Portsmouth and Southampton
- Southend on Sea
The East Kent bid to be the UK City of Culture 2017 has not made it through to the second phase of the selection process, having been excluded from the final shortlist of four from the 11 applicants.
A major Kent Police operation ended today, with members of an East Kent criminal network being jailed for a total of 16 years. Marcus Vella (below), aged 39, was appearing at Canterbury Crown Court to be sentenced for his role in a setting up a cannabis factory and for handling stolen metal.
Vella, also known as Marcus Davies, from Burlington Drive, Herne Bay, had admitted, at an earlier hearing, a cannabis production conspiracy charge and was sentenced to six years and three months in prison and is to serve a further year for the stolen metal offences.
Also admitting the conspiracy charge was Margate builder Barry Smith (below), aged 49, of King Street, who was sentenced to four years in prison, and Curtis Woolley, aged 36 of Cheney Road, Minster, who had admitted a cannabis production charge and was jailed for 32 months.
The sentencing brings to a close a lengthy police investigation and three court processes that have resulted in seven members of a criminal network facing a total of 16 years behind bars.
DCI Fotheringham said: 'We welcome the sentences which bring to an end this investigation. It is by no means the end for Marcus Vella. He faces a lengthy prison sentence and Kent Police will pursue the seizure of his assets to ensure that he does not profit from the crime."
Traders and shopkeepers in East Kent say new car parking charges are killing their town centre, at what should be the busiest time of the year. They say Shepway Council's decision will drive shoppers from Folkestone. John Ryall reports.
Kent's first female brewer has joined a campaign urging the region's beer producers to use home grown hops over cheaper foreign imports. Karen Goody is one of a growing number of brewers promoting a new way of using hops as Tom Savvides explains.
The NHS in East Kent has launched a consultation to improve care for older people with dementia and other mental health problems. The aim is to support more people with dementia to live well in their homes for longer.
There are plans to invest £600,000 in improving home treatment services and provide a round the clock dementia crisis service. It's hoped that hospital wards in Canterbury, Ashford and Margate will be remodelled too.
Roadshows are to take place at the following venues where you can find out more:
- 17 April: St Mary Bredin Church, Nunnery Fields, Canterbury. 10am - 12:30pm
- 17 May: The Landmark Centre, 129 High Street, Deal. 10:30am - 12:30pm
- 14 June: Norman House Event Centre, Beaver Industrial Estate, Beaver Road, Ashford. 2:30pm - 4:30pm