News & Politics Podcasts

The top stories from the KentOnline news team

The top stories from the KentOnline news team


United Kingdom


The top stories from the KentOnline news team








Podcast: Analysis and reaction to the 2021 budget delivered by Chancellor Rishi Sunak

The Chancellor has been under the spotlight today as he announced a budget to try and help the country's economy recover from the pandemic. Businesses have been crying out for support measures to be extended as lockdown restriction begin to be eased. There were also big questions as to what could be done to boost the jobs market after a surge in redundancies. Business editor Chris Britcher looks at the main points from today's announcement and we also hear from Jo James, chief executive...


Podcast: Covidiots caught stuck in mud on Sheppey after travelling from London for a walk

More Covidiots have been fined after being caught breaking lockdown rules in Kent. Among the latest to get a telling off by police were a couple who needed rescuing from mud in Sheerness after travelling from London for a walk. Also in today's podcast, hear what some business owners in Kent want the Chancellor to say in tomorrow's budget. A Kent man has filmed his journey on part of the A2 and counted the number of potholes as he went - find out why Josh Magill is so concerned about the...


Podcast: Rail ticket prices go up in Kent by above inflation

The cost of a train ticket in Kent has gone up above inflation for the first time since 2014. The price hike normally comes into force in January but was delayed because of the pandemic. But some claim key workers will be hit hardest. We've been speaking to We Own It which campaigns against privatisation of public services. Also in today's podcast, we have analysis and advice for parents as 10 and 11 year-olds find out which secondary school they'll be going to in September. A man who...


Podcast: Grieving families react to A&E at Medway Maritime Hospital being rated inadequate

The families of two men who died after contracting coronavirus at Kent's biggest hospital have reacted to the A&E department being rated inadequate. We told you yesterday how inspectors had raised concerns about patients being left for too long in ambulances and care not being escalated quickly enough when necessary. They were also worried about infection control. Amanda Baker's father and Samantha Tucker's husband died at the hospital last November - they have spoken out. Also in...


Podcast: Emergency department at Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham rated inadequate

The emergency department at Kent's biggest hospital as been rated inadequate. Inspectors visited A&E at Medway Maritime in Gillingham in December. In today's podcast, hear from the Care Quality Commission and a local GP. We've got reaction to new data showing how many people are sleeping rough in Kent. Parents are being warned about an online chat site that's becoming increasingly popular with children. And it's the end of the season for a number of football clubs in Kent after their...


Podcast: Treasurer who stole £37k from Kent pre-school avoids jail

A treasurer who stole more than £37,000 from a Kent pre-school has avoided being sent to prison. Kerry Goldsmith, 49 of Laurence Close, Bapchild, was taking the money from the Owl and pussycat pre-school in the village near Sittingbourne. The charity chairperson has spoken to the KentOnline Podcast about the impact it's had. Also in today's episode, there are more calls for the result of Covid surge testing in part of Kent to be made public. A mum shares her experience of having a baby...


Podcast: Owners of Adventure Kidz in Aylesford call for support in next week's budget

The owners of a soft play centre that has only been able to open for six weeks in the past year, are calling for support to be made available in next week's budget. Elizabeth and Andrew Moody run Adventure Kidz in Aylesford which has been shut during most of the pandemic. The roadmap out of lockdown announced yesterday by the Prime Minister will see them have to stay closed until at least May. Also in today's podcast, a leading Kent scientist says he hopes the roadmap will prevent future...


Podcast: Prime Minister Boris Johnson sets out roadmap out of lockdown

The Prime Minister has set out the government's roadmap for coming out of lockdown. As expected, Boris Johnson has confirmed all schools will reopen on March 8. Other key dates for venues to reopen and more socialising to happen have been announced between now and June. But, it's only if certain criteria linked to Covid data are met. Also in today's podcast, hear from the boys who have already passed GCSE maths several years early. Gillingham's assistant boss reacts to their win over...


Podcast: Twelve arrests and homes raided in sexual exploitation operation

12 people have been arrested following police raids in Kent and London tackling the exploitation of sex workers. Officers have searched eight properties in areas including Canterbury and Maidstone this week. Also in the podcast, a foster carer in Medway says she 'doesn't feel at all safe' - because she is not classed as a 'critical worker'. And, financial help is on the way for grassroots sports clubs after being heavily affected by the pandemic.


Podcast: Care home visits could resume before residents receive second vaccine dose

A Kent MP has suggested care home visits could go ahead even if residents have not yet received their second Covid-19 vaccine. Helen Whately, Faversham and Mid Kent MP and Social Care minister, said she is determined to restart face-to-face visits as the UK begins to ease out of the third lockdown. Also in the podcast, hear from a scientist who says there's no data to show crowded beaches last summer led to any coronavirus outbreaks. The brother of a woman who died in a car crash on the...


Podcast: Covid-19 variant surge testing under fire as only 1 in 4 screened

Residents in Maidstone are still awaiting results from Covid-19 surge testing in the area, which was completed more than 10 days ago. A council leader says he was told that analysis to see if they were the South African variant would take four days - but only around a quarter have been sequenced so far. Also in the podcast, a man has been convicted after spitting at a traffic warden and claiming he had coronavirus. And, we look at the three Kent football teams considering putting players...


Podcast: Former prisoner still haunted by involvement in man's death

A woman who was sentenced to six years in prison for her involvement in the murder of a man has spoken about how a charity has helped turn her life around. Mundill Mahil's future fell apart after luring a man to her student digs, who was beaten in her bedroom by two 'hitmen' before being burned to death in the boot of a car. She tells us about life on the inside and the work she is now doing to help rehabilitate women offenders. Also in the podcast, a Kent academy boss says marquees could...


Podcast: Parents urged to stick to lockdown rules during half term

Kent's health bosses are reminding parents not to break lockdown rules this half term, and to stay local if they plan on going out during the break - hear from Medway’s director of public health, James Williams. Also in today's podcast, we find out why there are calls to close a military barracks housing asylum seekers in Folkestone. Dover Athletic announce they won't be playing any more National League games without being offered a funding package. And, hear from the 16-year-old author...


Podcast: Number of Covid hospital patients in Kent falls as infection rate also drops

The number of people in hospital in Kent being treated for coronavirus has fallen significantly over the past month. Figures also show the infection rate in the county is continuing to drop as lockdown 3 continues. But, with half term taking place next week, there's a warning not to break the rules - hear from Medway's director of public health, James Williams. Also in today's podcast we have details on how much council tax we're going to have to pay from April. Find out why there's a...


Podcast: Pub chain boss wants venues to be able to reopen without social distancing at Easter

The boss of Britain's oldest brewery, based in Faversham, wants pubs to be able to reopen at Easter - and without any social distancing. Shepherd Neame's chief executive says the industry has been hit incredibly hard by the pandemic. While the government's primary objective has been to save lives and protect the NHS, Jonathan Neame says in the not too distant future it will be time to save jobs and save livelihoods. Also in today's podcast, it's thought the Kent strain of coronavirus...


Podcast: Jail for Broadstairs woman who faked cancer and used online donations to fund gambling habit

A Broadstairs woman who faked having cancer then used money donated online to fund a gambling habit has been jailed. Nicole Elkabbas set up a gofundme page in 2017 claiming she needed life-saving surgery after being diagnosed with the disease. Hear from the fraud investigator involved in the case which has ended with the 42 year-old from Edge End Road being locked up. Also in today's podcast, has the Kent brand been damaged by the Covid variant named after the county? We speak to the boss...


Podcast: Covid cases in Kent fall below national average as lockdown 3 takes effect

There's a warning not to get Covid complacent as cases in Kent fall below the national average. New data shows how the third national lockdown has seen a dramatic drop in the number of people with coronavirus in the county. But the man in charge of public health in Kent is warning it's still far too early to ease restrictions and infection rates need to fall even further. Also in today's podcast, find out why conservation groups are urging the government not to build a theme park on land...


Podcast: Snow causes disruption across Kent

Schools have been closed, rubbish collections cancelled and even limits brought in on how much bread and milk can be bought in some shops as Kent shivers under a blanket of snow. A weather warning is in force until Wednesday night with forecasters saying temperatures will struggle to get much above freezing. And an icy wind will make it feel even colder if you're venturing outside. We've been speaking to South East 4x4 Response who are on standby to help anyone who gets stranded, highways...


Podcast: Manston uncovered: claims of sex, drugs and fake Covid results at lorry site

A letter leaked to the KentOnline Podcast warns staff working at a Covid testing site in Kent about drug taking, illicit sex and fake test results. The runway at the former Manston airport was turned into a lorry park shortly before Christmas when French authorities insisted on hauliers having a negative test before entering the country. Hear from a worker at the site. Also in today's podcast - there's yet another call for Folkestone's Napier Barracks to be evacuated as soon as...


Podcast: Family of Dartford woman say she's been cheated of justice after taking her own life before bullying boyfriend was jailed

The family of a Dartford woman who took her own life after suffering at the hands of her bullying boyfriend say she's been cheated of justice. Gemma Robinson was left with a fractured eye socket and covered in bruises after one attack. She died last summer, seven months before 34-year-old Joseph Falconer, who now lives in St Leonards, was locked up for the brutal attack, fraud and casing criminal damage. Hear from her sister and dad who spoke outside court. Also in today's podcast, it's...