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Missing teens could be in Kent

Melanie Abbott may have travelled to Kent to be with Jonathan Culwick. Credit: Hertfordshire Police

Police are appealing for information about the whereabouts of a 13-year-old girl from Hertfordshire who's believed to be with a 17-year-old from Kent.

Melanie Abbott was last seen on February 19 in Hertford.

It's thought she may have travelled to Kent and could be with Jonathan Culwick from Rochester.

Melanie is described as white, 5ft7ins tall and of a medium build.

Whilst Melanie’s family have had some contact with Melanie we need to trace her and Jonathan as soon as possible.

We believe that Melanie and Jonathan maybe using trains around the London and North Kent area.

– Detective Inspector Jon Dick

Rochester Airport expansion set to create hundreds of jobs

Rochester Airport has received millions of pounds in funding Credit: ITV

Rochester Airport is set to expand thanks to a £4.4 million funding boost which will create hundreds of jobs.

The money will be used to create new innovation space at the airport and is part of a £46.1million package announced under the South East Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal.

A planning application to remove one of the two grass runways and to construct a new hard-surfaced runway is currently being considered by Medway Council’s planning committee.

The airport was built in 1933 and is owned by Medway Council.

“We are delighted funding has been announced for the airport and this will help secure its long-term future.

“The money will be used to create new space which will in turn create new jobs in the area.

“It will help establish Rochester Airport as an economic location of real significance.”

– Cllr Alan Jarret, deputy leader of Medway Council


Dean of Rochester Cathedral resigns

The Very Reverend Dr Mark Beach has resigned voluntarily from his post as Dean of Rochester Cathedral.

He is taking on a new role outside ordained ministry, and has been appointed to the post of Director of the Blackfriars Settlement.

He will be leaving the Cathedral with immediate effect.

I am also able to announce today that the Reverend Canon Philip Hesketh has accepted my invitation to take on the role of Acting Dean, and I ask your prayers for him and for all who share with him in leadership at Rochester Cathedral.

– The Bishop of Rochester

Pair jailed for burglary in Rochester

Two Rochester burglars have been jailed for a combined total of almost six years after officers found them hiding in bushes.

Peter Hemsworth, 23, has been sent to prison for two years and six months after he was found guilty of burglary.

Peter Hemsworth, 23, jailed for two years and six months. Credit: Kentpolice

Daniel Arnold, 29, was also convicted and received a jail sentence of three years and four months on the same day.

The pair broke into a property in Frobisher Gardens on April 6 while the owner was away on holiday and stole around £500.

Daniel Arnold, 29, ailed for three years and four months. Credit: KentPolice


Controversy over Reckless' 'Polish plumber' comments

Ukip's Mark Reckless is under fire today after suggesting that EU migrants who had lived in the UK for a long time would be considered sympathetically. Others, he said, might only be allowed to stay for a "transitional period".

Meridian had invited four of the candidates to a special hustings at the University of Kent in Medway.

It was one of the last opportunities for the residents of Rochester and Strood to quiz them before polling day.

Tories choose Kelly Tolhurst as by-election candidate

Kelly Tolhurst has been announced as the Tory candidate for the by-election in Rochester and Strood Credit: ITV Meridian

The Conservative candidate for the upcoming by-election in Rochester and Strood has been announced.

Medway councillor Kelly Tolhurst has been crowned the winner in the two-way vote with Anna Firth for nomination. She may face an uphill battle though, as a poll commissioned by UKIP today gave Nigel Farage's party a 13 point lead over the Conservatives.

The Conservatives are desperate to avoid another seat falling to Ukip in a by-election triggered by Tory defector Mark Reckless's decision to stand down and run as a Ukip candidate.

Following the announcement of the result, Ms Tolhurst said: "I'm honoured that thousands of local people have voted to select me as the Conservative candidate for the upcoming by-election. I will be a strong local voice, standing up for Rochester and Strood - my home."

The chairman of the Rochester and Strood Conservatives, Andrew Mackness, said: "Kelly will make a great MP for our great constituency, and I look forward to supporting her in the coming weeks to ensure a Conservative win and a bright future for this area."

  1. Phil Hornby

The Last Word, October 2014

In this month's Last Word, Baroness Angela Smith, Mike Thornton MP, Janice Atkinson MEP, and Damian Green MP debate the upcoming Rochester & Strood by-election.

After UKIP's success in Essex, are they on target for a second political upset within a few weeks?

And the Leaders' TV Debates - do they distort our political campaigns? And why should we include UKIP, but not the Green Party? Caroline Lucas MP tells us what she thinks of that!

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