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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 January, 2004, 13:01 GMT
Former councillor charged with theft
Scenic Railway, Dreamland
Housing and retail plans have been unveiled for the Dreamland site
A former councillor has been charged with theft in connection with the disappearance of money from the campaign to save the Scenic Railway rollercoaster.

Colin Kiddell, 45, of Valley Road, Margate, is due to appear before magistrates in the town on 16 January.

Mr Kiddell represented Margate Central ward as a Tory councillor on Thanet council.

He also acted as treasurer to the Scenic Railway Trust, which was set up to try to preserve the attraction in Margate - the second-oldest working rollercoaster in the world.

Some of the cash from collection boxes in support of the campaign - thought to be about 1,000 - went missing.

The Scenic Railway
The Scenic Railway was built in 1920 and given listed status last year

The Save Dreamland Campaign, a separate organisation, was not affected.

Dreamland closed in November after 84 years in business.

Question marks existed over plans to redevelop the site because the Scenic Railway rollercoaster, the park's most famous ride, had listed status.

Built in 1920, it was given Grade II listed status in 2002 after a recommendation from English Heritage, which made it the only listed rollercoaster in the UK.

In September, campaigners rode the Scenic Railway for 200 minutes in 1920s costumes to draw attention to its plight and raise money for their campaign.

A Kent Police spokeswoman said: "Mr Kiddell has been charged with theft, which relates to an unknown amount of cash taken from the Scenic Railway trust."

She said the sum of money was unknown, as it related to collection boxes, but was thought to be in the thousands.

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02 Nov 03  |  Kent
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05 Oct 03  |  Kent
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