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Dreamland site fire 'believed to be started deliberately'

The fire which broke out last night at the Dreamland site in Margate is believed to have been started deliberately.

The fire started in a building within the Scenic Railway site but no damage has been caused to the Grade II listed structure itself.

A statement from Thanet District Council said: "The council is working with Kent Fire and Rescue Service and Kent Police to establish the cause of the fire, which is believed to have been started deliberately."

Work is now underway to see if additional security measures are needed around the site.


Dreamland visitor centre opens today

Dreamland closed in 2003 Credit: ITV Meridian

The Dreamland visitor centre will open today paving the way for the reopening of the historic theme park. Dreamland was one of the country's oldest amusement parks and at one time included a zoo, miniature railway, a cinema, a 2,000-capacity ballroom and Europe's largest big wheel.

But as tastes changed the amusement park fell on hard times, before it finally closed in 2003.

The amusement park closed in 2003 Credit: ITV Meridian

Kent man jailed for citing girl to engage in sexual activity

A man from Kent has been imprisoned for more than five years after inciting a 13-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity.

21-year-old Terry Loader, who's from Poets Corner in Margate, was sentenced to five years and two months imprisonment at Canterbury Crown Court.

Loader pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing indecent images of children and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

He was arrested in September last year and data was downloaded from his phone which included sexualised conversations with young children - as well as 55 indecent videos.

This case acts as a reminder to parents of children who have mobile phones to speak to them and help them understand the precautions they should take when using the internet, or the many instant messaging services that are available. These services are fantastic for connecting people around the world, but it is inevitable there will be a minority of people who will use these services for the wrong reasons. Children should only communicate with people that they know personally, and report any suspicions or inappropriate advances from strangers to the police."

– Jon Baker, Detective Constable at Kent Police


Concerns for missing 9-year-old boy

Zachary Longley was last seen leaving school in Margate Credit: Kent Police

Kent Police is concerned for the welfare of a nine year-old boy who is missing from his home in Margate.

Zachary Longley was last seen at around 3.30pm today heading in the direction of Osbourne terrace.

He had finished school, but had walked off following an argument.

Zachary is around 4ft 9ins tall and has fairly long blond hair.

He is of slim build with blue eyes and was last seen wearing black trousers, black shoes, a black coat and a white shirt. He was carrying a black, red and grey Umbro sports bag.

Guilty plea: Man who hit Nigel Farage with placard

Political activist Andrew Scott has been given a community service order after admitting a charge of assault by beating against UKIP leader Nigel Farage in Kent.

Scott, who's 38 and from Margate, was captured on film by an ITV News Meridian camera striking Mr Farage with a wooden placard as he entered a hotel in the town for a political meeting last January.

Meridian's footage was viewed in open court before District Judge Justin Barrow passed sentence.

Mr Farage was being jostled by protestors and later admitted he'd been shocked and scared following the incident, which came weeks after he underwent major spinal surgery.

At Margate Magistrates' Court Scott apologised via his lawyer for his ''reckless act.''

He will undergo 80 hours of unpaid community work and was ordered to pay a total of £145 in costs and as a victim's surcharge.

Margate gets on its bike to launch new rickshaw service

Now, hopefully the warmer weather's on its way in the next few months. So the tourist season will soon be upon us and businesses are gearing up all over the region for a bumper season.

In one Kent seaside resort they're already getting on their bikes to make sure it's a summer to remember. Andrea Thomas explains. She talked to rickshaw operator Geoff Spencer and cafe owner Jean Beswick.

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