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  1. Council may be unable to recover £3m from bust firm

    Sarah Booker-Lewis

    Local Democracy Reporter

    Brighton and Hove City Council may be unable to recover £3m that it is owed by a defunct company, it has been warned.

    Coin Co International, which collected cash from parking metres, council offices and schools, went into administration in November 2014 owing its creditors more than £10m.

    Councillors have been told that taking legal action against Coin Co International, or its bank and administrators, would create a "very high financial risk to the authority".

    A council report said: "Both are large, well-resourced organisations who would therefore be able to mount strong legal defences."

    The council ended its contract in August 2014, citing poor performance and slow payments. It was owed £3.243 million.

    In June 2018, four members of the family which ran the company were each banned from running any business for eight years. They agreed a £500,000 settlement with the company's administrators, which had begun breach of duty proceedings.

  2. Envelope update

    Severe accident: A273 West Sussex both ways

    BBC News Travel

    A273 West Sussex both ways severe accident, between Charles Avenue and York Road.

    A273 West Sussex - A273 Jane Murray Way in Burgess Hill closed and very slow traffic in both directions between the Charles Avenue junction and the York Road junction, because of a serious accident involving two vehicles.

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

  3. Drink-drive arrests increase over Christmas

    Beer and car keys

    Sussex Police has arrested 240 people during the force's "Christmas crackdown" on drink and drug-drivers.

    The operation ran from 1 December and ended on New Year's Day, with the number of arrests having increased for the second consecutive year.

    Of those arrested 29 have been convicted and 81 have been charged and are yet to appear in court, a Sussex Police spokesman said.

    Chief Inspector Andy Gooch, said: “It is bitterly disappointing to see so many people arrested on suspicion of drink or drug-driving in such a short period of time.

    "Of course we want people to have fun and enjoy the festivities, but don’t let that be at the expense of risking your life – and others’ – on our roads."

  4. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M25 Surrey clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Surrey clockwise severe accident, at J8 for A217 Brighton Road.

    M25 Surrey - Queuing traffic on M25 clockwise at J8, A217 (Reigate), because of an accident earlier on. All lanes have been re-opened.

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

  5. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M20 Kent westbound

    BBC News Travel

    M20 Kent westbound severe disruption, before J10 for A292 Hythe Road.

    M20 Kent - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M20 westbound before J10, A292 (Ashford South), because of a broken down lorry.

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

  6. Manston Airport to host lorry park trial

    lorries

    Plans to tackle post-Brexit traffic queues by holding lorries in a disused Kent airport will be tested on Monday, it has been revealed.

    More than 100 HGVs will travel the 20-mile route from Manston Airport, near Ramsgate, to the Port of Dover.

    Hauliers fear that a no-deal Brexit will create additional border checks, leading to queues of up to 29 miles.

    The government said it had to "prepare for all eventualities... including a possible no deal".

    There's more here.

  7. Cash boost for anti-flooding work

    Karen Dunn

    Local Democracy Reporter

    West Sussex County Council is to hand out almost £175,000 to 11 projects as part of its Operation Watershed anti-flooding scheme.

    Operation Watershed was launched after the county was swamped by floods in 2012-13. Since then it has funded more than 360 projects to the tune of over £3m.

    This latest batch includes more than £29,000 for Albourne Parish Council for ditch and gully work on Henfield Road, near Oak Vale Cottages, which is prone to flooding.

  8. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M25 Kent clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Kent clockwise severe disruption, at J1A for A282 Dartford Crossing.

    M25 Kent - M25 lane closed on entry slip road clockwise at J1a, A282 (Swanscombe), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

  9. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M26 Kent both ways

    BBC News Travel

    M26 Kent both ways severe disruption, from J2A for A20 London Road to J5 for M25 J5.

    M26 Kent - Stationary traffic on M26 in both directions from J2a, A20 (Wrotham) to J5 M25 J5, because of a broken down vehicle, all traffic being temporarily held and animals on the road.

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

  10. Surrey Police help woman in distress in Canada

    Sue Nicholson

    BBC News

    Surrey Police helped a woman in distress nearly 5,000 miles away in Canada on Christmas Day.

    The suicidal woman, who was in Surrey, British Columbia, had inadvertently contacted the UK force for help via its Facebook page.

    Coincidentally, PC Antoinette Rowe from Toronto Police, who is on attachment with Surrey Police, was in the contact centre that day.

    She called her Vancouver counterparts and police were able to find the woman alive before taking her to hospital.

    Contact centre operator Ellie Benson managed to keep the woman talking until help arrived.

    “We get a number of messages from people who have mixed up Surrey, England, with Surrey, Canada," she said.

    “I was trying to get information out of her in order to provide the help she needed. We spent half an hour trying to work things out."

    PC Rowe added that the 23-year-old woman had wrongly believed that she was communicating with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Facebook page, located in Surrey, British Columbia.

    "She was clearly distraught, and having suicidal thoughts," she said.

  11. Witness appeal after teenagers stabbed

    Sue Nicholson

    BBC News

    Detectives in Brighton are appealing for witnesses after two teenagers were stabbed in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

    A 17-year-old boy suffered a chest wound and an 18-year-old man had injuries to his right forearm and left hand, police said.

    Both victims were taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital following the incident in Temple Street at about 03:50 GMT.

    A 36-year-old local man has been charged with committing grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.