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Devastated family homeless after fire rips through house

Mother and four children lucky to scape unhurt A family has been left homeless and in shock after a fire ripped through their home. The blaze began at the back of Wendy Southall’s home in Stanley Gardens, Herne Bay, at 5.30pm on Thursday. Firefighters battled the flames for four hours, then workmen boarded up the house which has been badly …

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Objectors lose battle to stop homes

Almost 100 objections and claims of “parking anarchy” were not enough to dissuade the city council from granting permission for a new housing estate at the end of Puffin Road in Herne Bay. Developer Kitewood applied for outline permission to build 40 homes on the land which has now been approved by the planning committee. At a meeting last week, …

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I can’t afford a luxury yacht so I built this…

Pensioners catamavan looks like a fish out of water A Herne Bay pensioner is the man behind a bizarre contraption which has been raising eyebrows along the north Kent coast. Last week pictures appeared on social media websites showing a caravan fixed onto a catamaran being towed along the Swale near Sittingbourne. Now 81-year-old Peter Thurston has revealed that he …

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Pragmatic politician’s continuing journey to make a difference

As the election campaign begins to heat up the Gazette is continuing a series of interviews with the main candidates vying to be Herne Bay’s next MP. This week our reporter Aidan Barlow went to Sandwich to meet George Cunningham, the candidate for the Liberal Democrats ABOUT THE CANDIDATE George Cunningham is 59 years old and is originally from London. …

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Now it’s my chance to change lives

Tina Cousins is about to launch a new Slimming World group in Herne. Here the 45-year-old tells Aiden Barlow how a cancer scare changed her life for the better, and how she hopes to help others. Tell us about yourself. I live in Seasalter with my son who is 21 and disabled. He suffers from symptoms which are like having …

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Wildwood founder recalls his early search for a job

It can be a tough task for current students to land a job after completing their studies at university, with dozens of job applications, CVs to prepare and cover letters to write. But imagine applying for 500 jobs, attending hundred of interviews, and applying for countless PhD programmes – only to be turned down every time. That was the story …

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Men face charges over plot to steal 23 vans

Four men will appear in court accused of plotting to steal vans worth more than £100,000. Steven Boden, from Chartham, Lee Chapman and James Steel, both from Maidstone and Wayne Byrne, from Dagenham in Essex, are accused of conspiring to take 23 vehicles from a number of locations throughout Kent. Steel, 30, of Ashford Road, Harrietsham; Chapman, of Bell Road, …

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Consequences of failing to register to vote

by Canterbury city council chief executive Colin Carmichael On Thursday, May 7, you will be able to vote in the general city council and – in some parts of the district – parish council elections. Unless, that is, you haven’t registered to vote. Because if you’re not on the electoral register by Monday, April 20, the opportunity to vote at …

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Orchard has big plans to save save the conference pears

A Kent-based fruit company has completed the first phase of planting a new pear orchard near Canterbury. A.C. Goatham & Son says the site at Elmstone, near Preston, is the largest to be planted in more than 40 years, in a direct bid to compete with European growers and importers. When complete the site will include as many as 63,000 …

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Warning of police force ‘meltdown’ if cuts are brought in

Policing in Kent could go into ‘meltdown’ and able only to deal with emergencies if £46.5m of government cuts to the force are implemented. The Kent Police Federation issued the warning after the police commissioner Ann Barnes set out her spending plans for the year, including cuts of £14.5m and a tax hike of 1.99%. The commissioner said the force …

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