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Summary

  1. Updates on Wednesday 15 March 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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That's it from us

Thank you for joining us today. We'll be back at 06:00 GMT with more news, sport, weather and travel.

Don't forget, if you've got a story for us, please get in touch.

You can get in touch on  Twitter , on  Facebook  or by sending us an  email

£1m funding to help businesses in East Sussex

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

Businesses in East Sussex are being given a £1 million funding boost thanks to new council funding.

East Sussex County Council has allocated the extra cash to help new companies set up or existing firms to expand over the next three years.

Since May 2013, the council has already supported 210 businesses.

Southern rail passengers give their reaction to Aslef strike deal
Southern rail passengers in Eastbourne have been giving their reaction to the Aslef strike deal.

Do you want to manage Hastings Castle?

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

Expressions of interest for an operator to develop and manage Hastings Castle are being sought. 

It was the first Norman castle to be built in England, and is featured on the Bayeux Tapestry. 

Hastings Borough Council says it needs more investment to provide a better visitor experience there. 

The council's Heritage Lottery Fund bids to improve the castle weren’t successful, and it says it doesn't have the resources to invest in it.

Hastings Castle
BBC

Southern rail passengers give their reaction to Aslef strike deal

Southern rail passengers give their reaction to Aslef strike deal
Southern rail passengers in Eastbourne give their reaction to the Aslef strike deal which was announced today. Parent company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) said both sides had secured a "recommended deal" after "constructive talks".

Have you got a story that needs to be investigated?

If so, get in touch with the award-winning BBC South East Today investigations team.       

Waxwings at Wakehurst

John Rieley of Lindfield has sent us these lovely pictures taken at Wakehurst Place.       

Waxwing
John Rieley

One bird that my wife and I have always wanted to see is the Waxwing so when we heard that some had been seen at Wakehurst, only just up the road from us in Lindfield, we decided to become 'Twitchers' and see if they were still there. We were not disappointed. Not only was it a beautiful morning but about half a dozen were present and I was able to get these photos of them in the 'Pocket Handkerchief tree'.

If anyone decides to visit ask at the desk and you will be directed to where they are. Don't delay - they may decide to return from whence they came. I believe morning and late afternoon are the best times.

John Rieley
Two waxwings
John Rieley
A waxwing
John Rieley

Southern strike deal: Analysis

Paul Clifton

Transport correspondent, BBC South Today

This is not a done deal – yet. 

Last month the drivers rejected a deal that had been brokered by their own union. Neither the union nor the company had expected that.

The margin wasn’t large – 55% against – and the two sides have been talking ever since to find a way of bringing a majority of the union members back on board.

Aslef picket line
PA

We’ve not been told the details of the revised agreement.

But it’s likely to include further improvements to the CCTV monitoring systems that drivers use when closing the train doors.

That agreement will now be put to a second ballot among drivers, with the result due on 3 April.

Passengers will be crossing their fingers that this time the deal will be strong enough to stick.

But the separate dispute involving train guards is not part of this deal, and the year-long action by the RMT union continues.

Crowded Southern train
PA

Southern strike deal: RMT statement

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

RMT has not seen the detail of the proposed outline agreement between GTR and Aslef and we are of course requesting a full copy as it goes to the heart of our disputes with the company. In the meantime RMT is pressing yet again for urgent talks with the company in our guards and drivers disputes.

Mick CashGeneral Secretary, RMT

BreakingDeal agreed over Southern strike

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), the parent company of Southern railway, and Aslef today announced they have agreed a deal to settle their dispute.

The agreement will now be put to Aslef members in Southern in a referendum, with a recommendation from the union's Executive to accept.

The two sides say that subject to securing the support of Aslef members, the dispute between the union and Southern will be over.

Mick Whelan, General Secretary of Aslef, said: "Aslef members now have the opportunity to decide on the new terms of the agreed resolution with GTR Southern.

"This agreement has the full support of the negotiating team and the executive committee, and offers solutions to our concerns, as well as restoring the confidence of all parties, and the travelling public".

Southern trains
Getty Images

GTR Director Andy Bindon said: "We've had constructive talks with Aslef and we're pleased we've been able to secure a recommended deal, subject to approval from its members, to end their dispute.

"It's been an extraordinarily difficult period for passengers, staff and the regional economy and we are glad we've found a way to move forward together. We look forward to restoring good industrial relations with Aslef".

The result of the referendum will be on 3 April. Until then, GTR and Aslef intend to make no further statements.

#ICYMI: Your amazing pictures

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

Thank you for all of the amazing pictures you've been sending us on  TwitterFacebook  and by  email .

We loved them so much that we decided to create a music montage of just some of the best.

Please keep them coming.

Open verdict recorded after woman's death

Emma Crowhurst
Family handout

A coroner has recorded an open conclusion at the inquest into the death of Emma Crowhurst who died in Eastbourne in April 2015.

The 36-year-old, of Albion Road, was found on the pavement in Chawbrook Road on 26 April.  

She was taken to hospital with a head injury, but died two weeks later.  

An inquest into her death was held in Eastbourne today.  

Albion manager to start Brighton Marathon

Chris Hughton
Brighton Marathon

Brighton and Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton will be sending more than 12,000 runners on their way as he officially starts the 2017 Brighton Marathon on Sunday 9 April.

Chris says he is delighted to have been asked to start the race.

He said: "It’s a huge honour for me to be the race starter for the Brighton Marathon in 2017 and it’s a testament to what the team has done this season.

"The support that we’ve had through some difficult periods this last year shows how much the team mean to the area and it’s great to be able to do this in their name.”

This dog is lucky to be alive

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Police are hunting for a callous driver who threw a dog out of a van on a busy motorway near Gatwick Airport. 

Police believe the vehicle was travelling at up to 70mph, and the dog was left with severe injuries including two broken legs. 

Ex-West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul is returning to Lancashire as a Kolpak player

With the 2017 county season here, keep up to date with the latest signings, departures and rumours ahead of the new campaign.

Read more

Visiting the South East's beautiful gardens

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

Gardens across the South East that are opening to the public under the banner of the National Gardens Scheme have been announced. Details here

Concern for missing Ferring teenager Verbi Shehu

Concern is growing for 17-year-old Vebi Shehu from Ferring, near Worthing, who went missing on Friday 3 March.

Concern for missing Ferring boy Verbi Shehu
Sussex Police

Vebi, of Elm Park, was last seen preparing to go to bed at his home at 23:59 GMT.

Conservative MP questions over funding formula

PMQs

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative Jeremy Quin congratulates the government for a Budget which secures the radical reform of technical education.

He asks for a minimual level of funding for all schools.

Theresa May says the Budget does address technical education, and the government is investing in further education.

The prime minister says the DfE is considering the funding formula, and "we will be looking at it carefully".

Second man charged in connection with Brighton hit and run

A second man has been charged in connection with a hit and run in Brighton in January.

Pedestrian Jonos Sasvari, 78, died after being involved in a collision on the Old Steine at around 22:00 GMT on 10 January 10.

Richard Woolgar, 35, of Donald Hall Road, Brighton,has been charged with dangerous driving, having no insurance and no licence.

He has been bailed to appear at Brighton Magistrates' Court on 13 April.

Gavin David Dawes has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving and two additional counts of dangerous driving. He has been remanded to appear on April 7 at Lewes Crown Court.

Have you got a story that needs to be investigated?

If so, get in touch with the award-winning BBC South East Today investigations team.         

This morning's newspaper headlines

Printing press
Getty Images

The Argus : Knife alert at school as police are called twice within 24 hours

Brighton and Hove News : Snowcat trail hits Brighton in May

Chichester Observer : Appeal after horsebox stolen from Walberton

Worthing Herald : Goldie films music video in Climping and Ford

Hastings Observer : Capture a moment to help the hospice

Fire exercise on Brighton Pier

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

If you spot fire engines outside Brighton Pier tonight this is probably why... 

Part of the iconic structure is being shut off for a training exercise. 

Six fire engines from East Sussex Fire and Rescue are expected to take part. 

One side of the pier will be closed off to the public but the other side is staying open.

Brighton Pier
BBC

We want to ensure we fully understand the challenges we might face if there was a real fire. We hope visitors and locals will appreciate that we will need to shut off certain areas for safety reasons while we carry out our emergency planning and training event."

Nigel Cusack Brighton and Hove Borough Commander

Missing: Have you seen Paige?

Concern for missing Paige Barrett-Brakespear from Newhaven
Sussex Police

Police are concerned for the welfare of missing 16-year-old Paige Barrett-Brakespear from Newhaven.

Paige was last seen at home in Newhaven at 13:00 GMTon Sunday March 12 and left a note to say she would be home by 19:00 GMT. She has not returned and not been to school.

#ICYMI: Your amazing pictures

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

Thank you for all of the amazing pictures you've been sending us on  TwitterFacebook  and by  email .

We loved them so much that we decided to create a music montage of just some of the best.

Please keep them coming.

This dog is lucky to be alive

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Police are hunting for a callous driver who threw a dog out of a van on a busy motorway near Gatwick Airport. 

Police believe the vehicle was travelling at up to 70mph, and the dog was left with severe injuries including two broken legs. 

Have you ever been a victim of identity fraud?

Danny Pike

Presenter, BBC Sussex

That's what we're discussing on my phone-in this morning.

Join me on BBC Sussex from 09:00 GMT.

Amy starts a new life thanks to Sussex charity

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Snatched from the wild and locked up until she was crippled, Amy the orangutan has been rescued from her life as a pet in Borneo by Uckfield charity International Animal Rescue. 

Misty and murky start to the day

Kate Kinsella

BBC weather

The mist will lift this morning, and we should see some brighter spells this afternoon. I've got the details. 

Running for dystonia

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Meet the eight-year-old from Shoreham who's running the Brighton Marathon mini mile in memory of his very special grandad.

Foster family's concerns over teen's death

Kyle Birchall, 17, took his own life in 2014 after social workers in Brighton and Hove agreed he could live more than 100 miles away with the biological father he'd never met.

His foster family family has told BBC South East Today they believe he'd still be alive if the proper procedures had been followed. 

A review of Kyle's case found a series of failings by social services.

We're soaring through the week...

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Like this buzzard snapped above Haywards Heath by Jeff Penfold - it's a great shot and our #PhotoOfTheDay.

We'll be here until 22:00 GMT bringing you all the latest news, sport, travel and weather for the county.  

Hawk over Haywards Heath
Jeff Penfold

Is there something you'd like to tell us about? We'd love to hear from you.

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