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Today's South East news website headlines

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The Argus: Impulsive student books a holiday with girl he has never met

Kent Online: Catapult-wielding seagull hunters blamed for smashed windows in Herne Bay

Get Surrey: Woman victim of upskirting after being followed in Woking Morrisons

Chichester Observer: Bognor Regis murder investigation — Pair have bail extended

Eastbourne Herald: Woman pretends to help then steals from disabled teenager in Eastbourne Lidl

Crawley and Horley Observer: Teenager stabbed in Horsham

Worthing Herald: Worthing property searched as five men arrested 'for smuggling migrants into the UK'

Mid Sussex Times: Mystery disappearance of Burgess Hill father and son to feature on TV

Brighton & Hove News: Simple Minds fan says she feared for her husband's life

Hastings Observer: Hastings man who stole clothes from Bexhill Marks and Spencer was drunk and disorderly in supermarket

Brighton & Hove Independent: Police release image of man they want to interview in connection with a rape in Brighton

Today's South East news website headlines


The Argus: The terrible secret of a mother who 'sexually abused her twin boys' told in new Netflix show

Kent Online: Former Kent Police special constable and ambulance boss accused of 'crime ring'

Get Surrey: Road closures on M25, M23, M3 and A3 set to disrupt traffic in the week ahead

Chichester Observer: Guns found in rucksack hidden in bushes in Sussex

Eastbourne Herald: Police ‘extremely concerned’ for missing Eastbourne man who could be in Mid Sussex

Crawley and Horley Observer: Halloween: The 11 ‘spookiest spaces’ in the UK revealed

Worthing Herald: Worthing seafront 10k in pictures

Mid Sussex Times: Duck fair organiser wins community award

Brighton & Hove News: Burglars steal cameras, computers and cash from Brighton charity for disabled children

Hastings Observer: Hastings Bonfire In Pictures

Brighton & Hove Independent: Why we should attract hedgehogs to our gardens

Today's South East news website headlines

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The Argus: Brighton mother 'devastated' after vandals wreck her baby's grave

Kent Online: Family deported and banned from US after 'accidentally' crossing border from Canada

Get Surrey: Horse trapped on Haslemere bridge following fall through wooden slats

Chichester Observer: Chichester school seeking permission to make changes to ‘impractical’ building

Eastbourne Herald: Eastbourne’s first ever cat café opens

Crawley and Horley Observer: Arrests made after spate of deliberate damage in Crawley and Horsham

Worthing Herald: Tributes paid to former Emmerdale star from Worthing

Mid Sussex Times: Burgess Hill Brownies create eco bricks in a bid to reduce plastic waste

Brighton & Hove News: Mixed signals in the battle over 5G technology in Brighton and Hove

Hastings Observer: Hastings community group given go-ahead to re-open library

Brighton & Hove Independent: Two Brighton drug dealers jailed for 32 months

Today's South East news website headlines

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The Argus: Sussex Police refuse to investigate after boy assaulted at PACA

Kent Online: Boy, 16, charged and victim named after 'road rage attack'

Get Surrey: Guildford woman with incurable cancer strips off to 'open conversation' on killer disease

Chichester Observer: Bosham residents warned to be vigilant after thieves target garages

Eastbourne Herald: Eastbourne street attack: Police seek man in connection with incident

Crawley and Horley Observer: Gatwick drones investigation under the spotlight

Worthing Herald: High visibility patrols outside Worthing schools follow 'increase in violence involving young people'

Mid Sussex Times: Sussex curate invites congregation to put plasters on map to heal Brexit wounds

Brighton & Hove News: Brighton students' neighbours demand compensation

Hastings Observer: Trio arrested after Hastings police pursuit

Brighton & Hove Independent: Man arrested after Brighton property is searched for firearms

Council approves children’s services changes

Ringmer Children's Centre

Plans to pull out of 10 children’s centres and two nurseries have been approved by East Sussex County Council under changes to its early years’ service.

Councillor Sylvia Tidy, East Sussex County Council’s lead member for children and families, approved the revised Early Help Strategy following a public consultation.

Ten of the county’s 26 children’s centres face closure by April 2020 unless alternative providers can be found.

They include: High Weald, Seaford, Chailey, Ringmer, Battle, West St Leonards, Old Town (Eastbourne), Crowborough, Rye and Egerton Park.

At Ringmer Children’s Centre, parents expressed dismay at the news. Suzanne Harling told BBC South East: “It’s a crying shame, absolute crying shame.”

But Ms Tidy said: “It is just buildings that we are closing, we are not cutting down the services."

Today's South East news website headlines

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The Argus:Brighton and Hove's most burgled streets

Kent Online:Rainham murder: Man arrested after woman found dead in Oast View Terrace off Mierscourt Road

Get Surrey:Driver threatened with knife and robbed in Woking after brick thrown at his head

Chichester Observer: Police investigate after two Chichester vehicles have their fuel lines cut

Eastbourne Herald:East Sussex fostering support charity picks up MBE for volunteer groups

Crawley and Horley Observer:Man fighting for his life after being found unconscious in Crawley park

Worthing Herald:Parents defend Worthing school facing potential changes

Mid Sussex Times:Tributes to Haywards Heath murder victim

Brighton & Hove News:Vegan campaigner appeals conviction for spitting at woman wearing fur coat

Hastings Observer:Woman, 23, assaulted by group of people on St Leonards seafront

Brighton & Hove Independent:Brighton man among 3 charged after London assault

Plans for 220 homes and 'spine road' approved

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

Site in Battle

Long-awaited proposals for a major housing development in Battle have been given the go-ahead by Rother planners.

On Thursday, Rother District Council’s planning committee approved an outline application to build up to 220 homes at the Blackfriars site near Battle – land partly owned by the council which has been set aside for housing for many years.

The committee also gave full planning permission for the construction of a “spine road” between The Spinney and Harrier Lane, which would effectively connect Marley Lane and Hastings Road.

Concerns raised by residents included fears over traffic in the area, impact on the High Weald AONB and over-development of the site.

Following a short discussion the application was approved by the committee. Details of the housing scheme were only approved in outline and will require further planning permission at a later date.

Last year, Rother District Council was awarded £3.25m of government funding in an effort to "kickstart" the building process.

The majority of this funding was set aside for the development of the new road included in the application.

Today's South East news website headlines

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Kent Online:Sandwich mum died of blood clot after taking oral contraceptive pill

Get Surrey:Man dies in A3 Guildford two-car crash near cathedral slip road

Chichester Observer: Awards for team members who saved the life of fellow player on Arun Sports Arena pitch

Eastbourne Herald:Seaford man who had knife and cocaine narrowly avoids prison sentence

Crawley and Horley Observer:Crawley woman assaulted police officer

Worthing Herald:Car bursts into flames in Worthing

Mid Sussex Times:Revised regeneration plans for Burgess Hill town centre submitted

Hastings Observer:Hastings man guilty of stalking woman at her place of work

Brighton & Hove Independent:Man, 19, charged with Brighton Marina Asda cycling offences

The Argus:Seashell is spitting image of Osama bin Laden

Hastings Old Town Hall to be sold

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

The sale of Hastings' listed Old Town Hall building has been given the go-ahead by councillors.

On Monday Hastings Borough Council’s cabinet agreed proposals to put the Grade II listed building in High Street on to the market.

According to meeting papers, the council-owned building has been vacant since October 2018, with the authority looking at significant costs for both day-to-day maintenance and longer term works.

Council leader Peter Chowney said: “We tried for over a year to lease it and find a tenant for it. It is a difficult building to do anything with really and because it is a listed building you can’t divide it up.

“We haven’t written off the idea of leasing it, if somebody does want to do that then we would still be up for that as well.

According to the council, the building needs costly major works to carry on as a rental property in the long term, including redecorations worth about £30,000 and energy efficiency improvements costing about £16,000.

The council said there have also been several incidences of lead theft from the building’s roof and while there is planning permission to replace it with zinc, the cost to do so is likely to come to about £32,000.

While supportive of the proposals, Conservative group leader Rob Lee warned these features may make it difficult to sell on.

Funding cut for council-run nurseries

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter


A controversial decision on the future of two council-run nurseries in Bexhill has been met with anger from residents and Rother councillors.

On Monday, East Sussex County Council’s lead member for children and families Sylvia Tidy approved a raft of measures intended to cut £2.6m from the authority’s early help budget.

As part of these plans, the council will cease its funding of the Cygnets and Rainbow child care centres – the only county council-run nurseries.

According to the council the move comes as part of a wider change to early help services, intended to “focus limited resources on services rather than buildings.”

As part of its decision, the council has promised to work with other providers to secure sufficient nursery places in Bexhill “so far as is reasonably practicable". This could see the nurseries taken over by a private provider, councillors heard.

The council has also promised – following angry responses from residents in the public consultation – not to close the nurseries before September 2020, ensuring families can enrol their child for a full school year if needed.

Sunrise across Kent and Sussex

Guy Bell

The home counties were showered in sunlight this morning and photographers, amateur and professional, captured the red sky in all its glory.

Eastbourne's beach turned red and was snapped by B Fowler.

Red sky
B Fowler
Eastbourne covered by the red sky

Meanwhile, Eddie Mitchell captured the red sky above the iconic Worthing Wheel.

Worthing Wheel
Eddie Mitchell
Sunrise over Worthing
Goring sky
The sky shone bright in Goring By Sea

@Msiggsy was able to take a picture of the stunning sky above Goring By Sea while Iain Gowers was able to do the same from his home in Hove.

Hove sky
Ian Gowers
Ian Gowers captured this stunning view in Hove

Paddock Wood FC supporters were up early this morning to help show off the sunrise at the village's railway station.

Paddock Wood
Paddock Wood FC Supporters
Paddock Wood's sky was a sight to behold at the break of dawn

Today's South East news website headlines

Printing press
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The Argus:Number of bus lane fines issued increases by 774 per cent

Kent Online:Students are being offered free meals to commute between university campuses after chiefs struggled to attract new students to its Medway site

Get Surrey:'No evidence' of how Surrey Police will make £10m of required savings, report finds

Chichester Observer:Earnley Concourse fire ‘under control'

Eastbourne Herald:Two rescued by the RNLI near Eastbourne

Crawley and Horley Observer:Person who fell onto shop roof rescued in Crawley town centre

Worthing Herald:Downton Abbey star helps raise an Earl’s fortune at Chichester to protect the South Downs

Mid Sussex Times:Burgess Hill development for more than 3,000 homes given permission

Brighton & Hove News:Brighton pub’s bid to create new city centre roof terrace sparks fears of flying fag ends

Hastings Observer:Witnesses sought after ‘gunshots’ heard in St Leonards

Brighton & Hove Independent:Two rescued from house fire

Council to 'continue subsidising' under threat nurseries

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

Two Bexhill nurseries may have avoided the threat of immediate closure.

East Sussex County Council is set to decide on whether or not to continue subsidising Cygnets, in Egerton Road and Rainbow in Ninfield Road.

The council began consultation on proposals to withdraw its subsidy of the two nurseries earlier this year, as part of a wider set of changes intended to save £2.6m from the authority’s children’s services budget.

The proposals, however, have proven to be controversial with Bexhill residents, who raised fears for the future of the nurseries should the council subsidy cease.

According to council papers, the objections from residents included a petition signed by more than 1,100 people.

In light of these concerns, council papers say, the authority intends to continue subsidising the nurseries for a 12-month period.

Both nurseries have been rated as outstanding by the education watchdog Ofsted.

Walk-in centre to stay open as trial plans revealed

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

Walk-in medical services are to continue to be available in Hastings town centre as NHS commissioners move ahead with plans to trial a "primary care led hub", councillors heard this week.

On Thursday, East Sussex’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) were told about details of revised plans for the future of the Station Plaza Walk-in Centre in Hastings.

The centre had previously been earmarked for closure as part of wider proposals from both the Hastings & Rother and Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG).

After working on the proposals, however, the CCGs are now looking at trialling a “primary care led hub” at the centre instead, which is expected to see walk-in services retained.

The trial is expected to begin in December and is not expected to last more than 16 months, although the CCG says it will be looking at commissioning a service based on the trial's results.

Today's South East news website headlines

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The Argus:Brighton council leader: We struggle to empty bins

Kent Online:Staff sacked at Elvy Court Care Home in Sittingbourne after abuse

Get Surrey:Gatwick Airport drone attack: £790,000 spent on investigation but police still don't know who's responsible

Chichester Observer: Electric fence around Bognor bowling green 'utterly over the top'

Eastbourne Herald:Lewes MP hits out after car tyres are damaged for the second time

Crawley and Horley Observer:Call to tweak plans for ID checks at West Sussex rubbish tips

Worthing Herald:Concern for missing Worthing man who discharged himself from hospital

Mid Sussex Times:Burgess Hill woman convicted of benefit fraud after dishonestly claiming thousands of pounds

Brighton & Hove News:Student campaign to end unpaid trial shifts prompts public consultation

Hastings Observer:New Hastings lifeboat to honour mum and son’s shared love of the sea

Brighton & Hove Independent:Extinct moth makes amazing return to Sussex

Rising number of children in unregulated care places

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

The number of children placed into unregulated care in East Sussex has more than tripled in the last four years.

East Sussex County Council's use of unregulated care places for children and young people over the age of 16 – also known as semi-independent or supported accommodation – has risen year-on-year since 2015-16.

The figures show the council placed a total of 63 children into unregulated care places in 2018-19 - rising from 13 in 2015-16.

Some of these children were placed outside of the county.

According to the council, the rise is due to a move away from using other types of accommodation.

Police officer seriously injured after being hit on A27

Police officer hit on the A27

A police officer has been seriously injured when he was hit by a vehicle as he helped the driver of a broken down lorry on the A27 near Falmer.

He was struck at about 20:30 BST on Wednesday as the lorry on the eastbound carriageway was just about to move again, Sussex Police said.

The officer received serious but not life threatening injuries.

The collision is not being treated as a deliberate act and the driver, who has not been arrested, is cooperating with the police investigation, a police spokesman said.

Boy, 13, injured in hit-and-run

Guy Bell

BBC Reporter

Brooks Road

A 13-year-old boy has suffered head injuries during a hit-and-run.

The boy was hit by the car, believed to be a silver or grey BMW, on Brooks Road, Lewes, at about 08:20 BST.

He was taken to Lewes Victoria Hospital for treatment and police are searching for the driver of the car.

Today's South East news website headlines

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The Argus:Man jailed for spouting homophobic and racist abuse in Queen's Road, Brighton

Kent Online:Rare PANDAs disorder left Ashford teenager suffering fits of laughter and four-hour seizures

Get Surrey:Firefighters could strike as modernisation plan for Surrey Fire and Rescue approved

Chichester Observer: Man dies in hospital after two-vehicle Petworth collision

Eastbourne Herald:Man jailed after making threats to kill in Eastbourne

Crawley and Horley Observer:Tesco in plans to open new Horsham town centre store

Mid Sussex Times:‘Delight’ as Haywards Heath Golf Club not allocated for development

Brighton & Hove News:School transport consultants given £500k contract to cut £300k from service

Hastings Observer:Hastings Pier owner speaks out on plans to sell businesses

Brighton & Hove Independent:Calls to provide tenants in temporary housing with basic essentials and Wifi

Meals-on-wheels cut back

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

Meal on a tray
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East Sussex County Council is to cut its meals on wheels subsidy, leaving all but the most vulnerable of users to pay for the service in full.

While the council had originally proposed scrapping the subsidy entirely, the proposals were rethought in light of a public consultation earlier this year.

As a result, the council will continue to help with the costs for its most vulnerable residents, meaning between 100 and 150 of the service’s 679 users will keep their subsidy.

The final proposals were approved by lead member for adult social care Carl Maynard at a meeting on Tuesday.

During the meeting, councillors heard how each service user would be assessed on a case-by-case basis, to decide whether they will continue to receive the subsidy.

This would involve assessments both in person and on the telephone, councillors heard.

However, this saw concerns raised by Angharad Davies in her role as chairman of the council’s scrutiny committee, who said: “We did feel very strongly about the fact that telephone assessments in many instances wouldn’t be good enough and that face-to-face interviews are important."

Coast could have first 'caravan hotel'

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

Developers have put forward plans to convert a vacant former bank building in Hastings into the UK’s first “caravan hotel”.

In an application submitted to Hastings Borough Council, developers are seeking permission to convert a former HSBC branch in Norman Road into “a hotel using caravans as indoor accommodation.”

According to developers, the hotel – to trade as Sleeper – would be the first of its kind in the UK, with seven caravans for rent surrounded by communal living space.

The proposal also includes plans to renovate the outside of the building, creating a hotel shopfront.

Council approves plan for road crossing

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

Conservative councilor Martin Clarke with a resident calling for the crossing
Councillor Martin Clarke said local people would be delighted

Plans for a long-called-for pedestrian crossing on a busy Hastings road have been approved by East Sussex County Council.

Clare Dowling, East Sussex County Council’s lead member for transport and environment, approved the proposal for a crossing at The Ridge on Monday.

Residents had made numerous requests for the crossing in recent years, council documents said.

Conservative councillor Martin Clarke said: "I know residents will be delighted."

In a public consultation earlier this year, 79% of the respondents, (56 out of 71) supported the scheme.

There were several objections, with some residents taking issue with the plans to place the crossing near to St Helen’s Church, rather than near Hastings Cemetery.

However, according to council data, there have been four accidents on The Ridge in the three years to April 2019, all of which were reported to have happened near the St Helen’s Church and Chowns Hill junction area.

Councillor Dowling said: “I can understand why we have gone for this crossing in particular and the data backs that up."