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  1. Our live coverage has now ended
  2. Live updates on Wednesday 3 May 2017

Live Reporting

By Bob Dale and Claire Cottingham

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good night from the BBC Live team

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

We'll be back tomorrow morning from 06:00 with the county's news, sport, travel and weather.

If you'd like to get hold of us in the meantime you can get in touch on Twitter, on Facebook or by sending us an email.  

Thanks for joining us.

Efit released after attempted abduction

Police investigating a report that a man grabbed a girl as she walked to school through Hove Cemetery last month have released an efit of the suspect.

Sussex Police
Sussex Police

The man dragged the 13-year-old a short distance before she managed to break free and run away at around 08:00 BST on Wednesday 26 April.

The suspect is described as a tanned man, approximately 6', aged between 40 and 50. He was of very large build, with dark hair which was long enough to tuck behind his ears.   

'It was nearly curtains, but it wasn't'

Robin Gibson

BBC South East Today reporter

Hastings artist Danny Pockets was given just six months to live after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

He's now in remission. 

Throughout his illness he kept working, and planning for an art exhibition.  

Meet the seven-year-old avid Addick with a Charlton-themed prosthetic leg

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Charlie Hewson, a Charlton Athletic season ticket holder from Lindfield, loves the club so much he has Charlton’s colours painted on his new leg.  

A grey day ahead

Rachel Mackley

Weather Presenter

It's looking like tomorrow will be cold and a bit soggy.

Find out more in my latest forecast.

St Richard's Hospital

David Harris offered a man £250,000 to kill his partner while she had her ovaries out, a jury hears.

Read more

Police seek witnesses after failed robbery

Police are appealing for witnesses after a robbery in a convenience store in North Road, Crawley, on Saturday 29 April.

Sussex Police

At around 18:00 BST a man entered Premier convenience and threatened staff with a suspected firearm, demanding money from the till. He left the store empty handed and headed off in the direction of Hazelwick Avenue. 

Police are particularly interested in speaking to two witnesses who entered this store as the offence was being committed.

The suspect is described as white, in his late twenties, 5' 10" - 6' and of stocky build. 

He was described as wearing a hooded top and a face covering. It's linked to previous robberies in the area. 

South covered in blanket of cloud

Toby Wadey

BBC South

Some parts of the UK have been enjoying sunshine and highs of 19C but, as you can see from this striking satellite image, the south has not.

View more on twitter

Plug pulled on Brighton's John Lewis

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

After much debate, John Lewis has decided against opening a shop on North Street in Brighton. 

The company say, after exploring all options, they cannot deliver a shop on this site with the extent of demolition and rebuilding required.

The property will remain occupied for the long term though as they've secured a new lease with Boots. 

John Lewis owns the freehold of the site and will be putting 129-133 Queens Road on the market for sale shortly, with all its existing tenants in place. These include Boots, Krispy Kreme and First Choice.

#ICYMI: ‘Wheelchair rugby changed my life’

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

Ben, who has cerebral palsy, says Wheelchair Rugby League changed his life.


Who'll be voting on Thursday?

Although there's a lot of talk at the moment about the General Election, we mustn't forget that many of us have Local Elections on Thursday.

So what areas are going to the polls? Here's what you need to know.


Here are links to local candidates in each area:

Kent County Council here.

East Sussex County Council here.

West Sussex County Council here.

Surrey County Council here.

It's been a grey day

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

Cloud and drizzle today, with a slight improvement tomorrow.

Here's my forecast.

BBC South East Today lunchtime headlines

BBC South East Today logo

Here are this lunchtime's headlines from BBC South East Today:

  • Parliament is dissolved and now there are no MPs - just candidates - until the votes are counted following the 8th June General Election. So today marks the official start of the battle to win your votes.
  • Medway Council has apologised after its Twitter account was hacked. Someone took control of the authority's feed last night and posted false messages offering free council tax and parking.
  • Winemakers in the South East say that some of their crops have been "decimated" by last week's frosts, despite drastic attempts to keep the vines warm.

Motorcyclist killed in three-vehicle accident

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

A motorcyclist's died after a collision in Crawley during the rush hour.

It happened on the Gatwick Road just before 08:15 BST earlier.

The drivers of two cars, which were also involved, a Vauxhall and a Mercedes, were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Several roads were closed as part of the investigation, but have now been reopened.

Gatwick Road, Crawley

#ThisIsMe: 'I love theatre'

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

This 26-year-old theatre technician says he's "living his dream". 


The #Southernstrikes one year on...

Can you believe that we've had more than a year of Southern rail strikes? 

Here we take a look at the strike in numbers… 

Today's Sussex newspaper headlines

Newspaper printing press
Getty Images

The Argus: Motorcyclist hospitalised after collision with car closes A259 Bishopstone Road, Seaford

Eastbourne Herald: Tributes after charity stalwart passes away

Chichester Observer: Selsey ‘inundated’ with vehicles due to Bunn Leisure rule

Brighton and Hove Independent: Lifeboat called to boat stuck underneath Brighton Palace Pier  

Hastings Observer: Jack comes alive for May Day celebrations

Sussex Express: Appeal after bottle-throwing incident

Severe accident: West Sussex northbound

BBC News Travel

West Sussex northbound severe accident, between A2004 Northgate Avenue and Manor Royal affecting A2219 London Road.

West Sussex - Gatwick Road in Crawley closed and queuing traffic northbound between the A2004 Northgate Avenue junction and the Manor Royal junction, because of an accident involving Two vehicles and a Motorbike and recovery work. Congestion on A23 Crawley Avenue to Tushmore Roundabout.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Which South East constituencies are most vulnerable to change?

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

The electoral map of the South East is almost exclusively blue at the moment, but whilst there are several very safe seats, there are also plenty of constituencies that could see a change in the upcoming election.

We've compiled this list of the most vulnerable seats in Kent and Sussex.


Take a step back in time

Steps are back and are performing at the Brighton Centre in November.

But did you know they once supported Britney Spears?

Here are 5, 6, 7, 8 things you (probably) don’t know about the band.  

Does that make them birds of pray?

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

This year's batch of peregrine falcon chicks have hatched at Chichester Cathedral.

You can follow their progress here.

It's nearly party-time in Brighton

The Brighton Festival kicks off this weekend. 

Here the guest director Kate Tempest talks about Brighton, the Mercury Prize and the festival.  

Missing man: 'Search your sheds'

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Police searching for a man missing from Balcombe say they're now extremely concerned for his welfare.

Ervin Underdown, who's 32, had been staying with relatives, but disappeared while they were out during the day on 30 April.

It's thought he could still be in the Ardingly or Balcombe area, and are asking the public to check garden buildings.

Ervin Underdown
Sussex Police

We are becoming more and more concerned for Ervin as time goes by. We are appealing to the public to search any sheds, barns or outbuildings for him where he maybe sheltering, particularly in rural areas. If anyone sees him or knows where he is, please phone 999 immediately and quote Operation Stacker.'

Inspector Roy HodderSussex Police

Who'll be voting on Thursday?

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Although there's a lot of talk at the moment about the General Election, we mustn't forget that many of us have Local Elections on Thursday.

So what areas are going to the polls? Here's what you need to know.

There will be more on this story on the BBC Sussex Breakfast Show with Neil Pringle - you can listen here.


South Downs drilling plans put on hold

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Plans to drill for oil at Markwells Wood in West Sussex have been withdrawn - for the moment at least - the South Downs National Park Authority has announced.

The application, by UK Oil and Gas Investments PLC had been due to be decided at a meeting of the authority's planning committee next week.

The company behind the plans, UK Oil and Gas Investments PLC, says it's a temporary withdrawal, while research is carried out to address concerns over contamination to the water supply, raised by the Environment Agency.

Markwells Wood, South Downs

But UKOG says it intends to resubmit its application later this year.

Given the potential sensitivity of the Markwells Wood site to the adjacent chalk groundwater system, it is in the public interest that this subject be investigated as thoroughly as possible prior to any further site activity.

Our target of drilling Markwells Wood by Q2 2019 is unlikely to be affected."

Stephen SandersonExecutive Chairman, UK Oil and Gas Investments PLC
Markwells Wood, South Downs

#ThisIsMe: 'I love theatre'

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

Theatre technician Oliver, who's 26, says he's living his dream.


Rikki Clarke has rejoined his first county Surrey, from Warwickshire

With the 2017 county season in full swing, keep up to date with the latest signings, departures and rumours ahead of next season.

Read more

Signal failure

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

If you live in Brighton, how's your smartphone reception?

Councillor admits planning breaches

Barby Dashwood-Morris

A senior Sussex councillor has admitted making illegal and irreversible changes to her 600-year-old grade II listed home.

Barby Dashwood-Morris made the alterations to her Hellingly home while chair of Wealden District Council's planning committee.

The renovations - including a grand entrance hall with glass staircase - featured on a Channel 4 show in 2013.

In a statement to the court, Councillor Dashwood-Morris said: "We strongly believed at the time these works were authorised or didn't require authorisation."  

But prosecutors called the work a substantial erosion of the house's history.

Ms Dashwood-Morris admitted six counts of breaching planning law and is due to be sentenced on Wednesday.

A grotty Wednesday

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

Cloudy with drizzle for today, and not looking much better for tomorrow, I'm afraid.

Here's my forecast.

Haseeb Hameed

The availability of England players for their counties up until July is announced by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Read more

BBC South East Today morning bulletin

BBC South East logo

Here are this morning's headlines from BBC South East Today:

  • A man from Kent has been jailed after filming people in their homes using secret cameras. Stuart Wynne from West Malling was sentenced to 30 months in prison after hiding cameras in bathrooms and behind mirrors for his own sexual gratification.
  • Kent's busiest food bank says it may have to give out less in donations because demand is now outstripping supply. Last year, more than 17,000 food parcels were handed out across the county by the Trussel Trust - nearly a third of those were in Medway.
  • New research has found that Brighton is one of the worst places in the country for mobile internet connection. The report found that although people are paying for faster 4G speeds, many are not able to use it for downloads.

Seagull's stadium gets £5m boost

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

American Express Community Stadium
Getty Images

Brighton and Hove Albion's American Express Community Stadium will undergo £5m worth of upgrades this summer to be ready to host Premier League football from August.

Executive Director Martin Perry, who celebrated his 20th anniversary with the club this week, will be overseeing the improvements.

He'll be speaking to Neil Pringle on the BBC Sussex Breakfast Show just after 08:45 BST - you can listen here.

A great picture to start the day...

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

It's not a great start to the day so this should brighten your mood a bit.

This picture of the South Downs has been sent to us by Pete Woj - it's our Sussex #photooftheday.

South Downs
Pete Woj

Is there anything you'd like to tell us about? Or have you got any lovely pictures of Kent to send us?

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