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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

Shorts and t-shirts option for detainees

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

Prison
Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner

Shorts and t-shirts are now being given to people arrested and held in police cells to help provide more dignity to vulnerable detainees.

The two-piece sets replace smock-type clothing that was offered but considered to be undignified for those at risk of self harm.

The new clothing issued in 2018/19 to vulnerable detainees is one of the changes imposed after volunteers inspected custody suites in Surrey.

Other improvements to how people are treated in police cells include making sure embassies have been notified of the arrest of a foreign national and more female detainees being offered sanitary products.

Surrey is said to be “leading nationally” with its treatment of females in custody with more than 80% of those asked saying they were offered sanitary products by a female officer.

Independent Custody Visiting is carried out by volunteers to check on the welfare of detainees and the changes made were highlighted in the ICV annual report.

Surrey Police has three custody suites in Guildford, Staines and Salfords with 15 spare cells in Woking.

Today's South East news website headlines

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The Argus:Toilets to become cafe, despite objections

Kent Online:Pensioner accused of killing biker by careless driving in Ramsgate 'didn't see him'

Get Surrey:County council says rail link to Heathrow must be built before airport is expanded

Chichester Observer: Chichester driver jailed after crashing head-on into car with children inside

Eastbourne Herald:Eastbourne man suffers life-threatening injuries after 'vicious attack'

Crawley and Horley Observer:Crawley man sent to prison for threatening police and sending offensive messages

Worthing Herald:Man suffers ‘multiple serious injuries’ in mystery Worthing incident

Mid Sussex Times:Man who raped young girl in Horley jailed for 21 years

Brighton & Hove News:Spread of parking zones described as 'death by a thousand cuts'

Hastings Observer:Man arrested after collision involving car and pedestrian in Hastings

Brighton & Hove Independent:Hove man jailed after string of summer burglaries

Today's South East news website headlines

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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

'No link' between tunnel closure and crashes

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

Hindhead Tunnel
BBC
The tunnel under the Devil's Punch Bowl in Surrey opened in 2011

There is no link between a tunnel closure and lorries hitting a bridge on a diversion, according to figures collected by Highways England.

Data shows that since the Hindhead Tunnel under the Devil's Punch Bowl in Surrey opened in 2011, a railway bridge in Farnham has been struck by HGVs 39 times.

But when dates of it being hit were compared to the dates the tunnel was closed, it was found that although some matched, the diversion routes had not been activated.

The data was presented to Surrey councillors on Friday.

Matthew Salt, service delivery manager for Highways England, said: “No identifiable strike occurred on the diversion route when the tunnel was closed.”

This came as a surprise to county councillor Wyatt Ramsdale, who said he was “utterly convinced” of a link.

And in a written question, the meeting heard of a “nightmare traffic scenario”.

Councillor Peter Clark, Wrecclesham ward member for Waverley, said signs warning lorry drivers to turn back were “too late”.

He wrote: “This results in complete traffic chaos, danger to pedestrians, broken-up pavements and damage to private property."

Councillors will now meet to discuss the problem again.

Investigation into councillors 'professional homosexuals' comment

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

An internal investigation has been carried out into a district councillor's comments duing a debate about a rainbow pedestrian crossing.

At a full Mole Valley District Council meeting in July Patricia Wiltshire said people should celebrate their achievements and not their sexuality and made references to how she felt uncomfortable when watching “professional homosexuals” on television.

During the debate she stressed she would always protect people from being “castigated because of their sexual orientation”, but if people “flaunted it all the time” they would be “bound to come up against prejudice”.

Ms Wiltshire, who is deputy chairman of the council, said it was the word “celebrate” in the motion that she said had a problem with and that people should “celebrate human diversity”.

According to information released in a Freedom of Information request, an internal investigation was carried out by Mole Valley District Council’s deputy monitoring officer.

The council would not comment on the outcome of the internal investigation.

Ms Wiltshire said she was satisfied with the outcomes of the investigation.

New school places for children with special needs

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

More than 880 school places for children with special needs are to be created in Surrey by 2023, Surrey County Council has said.

The authority said it aimed to reduce travel time by placing children in schools closer to home.

It currently provides about 3,000 places in special schools and dedicated units within mainstream schools.

Some 12 per cent of 8,732 children in Surrey with Special Education Needs and Disabilities currently attend special schools which charge fees, costing the council £49m last year.

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

Report released on impact of Brexit

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

Vulnerable adults who rely on the support of care workers could be affected if Britain leaves the EU on 31 October, Surrey councillors have been told.

Staff shortages and tracking illegal goods through trading standards are among the problems Brexit could create for Surrey County Council according to a report.

The council has been given £87,500 from a £20m pot from central government to aid Brexit preparations.

Residents parking permit price hike

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

The cost of resident parking permits could rise by 60%, Surrey councillors have been told.

A report into the parking strategy was presented at the county council's communities, environment and transport meeting.

The cost of the first permit for households in Surrey could increase from £50 to £80.

Second permits will increase from £75 to £100 with a third one costing £130 in a bid to deter multiple applications per household.

But it provoked opposition from some who said there needed to be more work on enforcing penalties for anti-social parking such as cars parking on pavements.

Visitor permits could also change from £2 a day to £1 for two hours and all-day permits for £3.

The changes will go out for public consultation and then considered by cabinet early next year before being implemented.

There are no changes planned for carer and medical permits or for business permits.

Firefighters threaten strike over 'cuts'

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

Firefighters could strike after plans to close seven Surrey fire stations at night were approved.

The changes have been described as "cuts" by opponents, but Surrey County Council has insisted the number of firefighters will not be reduced.

Surrey Fire Brigades Union has begun a trade dispute and said it would ballot members on strike action if their concerns are not addressed by 7 October.

Under the Making Surrey Safer Plan, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service says it will focus more investment on prevention and protection work, leading to changing shift patterns.

The service will also begin charging for some call outs, such as animal rescues and people trapped in lifts.

Chief fire officer Steve Owen-Hughes said: "We are really sure this is the right plan and we know this will save lives."

Today's South East news website headlines

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The Argus:Dad paralysed in weightlifting accident

Kent Online:Mum took her own life a day after being sent home from mental health unit

Get Surrey:'Degrading' conditions found at HMP Coldingley including prisoners using buckets as lavatories

Chichester Observer: Sussex Police officer seriously injured after being hit by car on A27

Eastbourne Herald:Decision made surrounding fishing at Eastbourne Pier

Crawley and Horley Observer:Sainsbury's to close dozens of Argos branches, supermarkets and convenience stores

Worthing Herald:A259 collision: Wick man appears in court after police officers 'hit with stolen car'

Mid Sussex Times:Ex Thomas Cook staff at Gatwick ‘could be in line for extra redundancy pay’

Brighton & Hove News:Council accused of hiding £1m cut to school transport budget for vulnerable children

Hastings Observer:Bexhill woman given three year ban for drink driving

Brighton & Hove Independent:Man banned from Brighton for five years for ‘significant anti-social behaviour’

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

Thomas Cook customers react to holiday firm collapse
Passengers at airports in England share their stories after the collapse of travel firm Thomas Cook.

Thomas Cook Gatwick flights now cancelled

BBC international business correspondent Theo Leggett reports that all Thomas Cook flights out of Gatwick have been cancelled.

Some 16 flights had been due to depart today carrying 3,500 customers.

For help, go to the CAA website here

Today's South East news website headlines

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The Argus:'We're no burden' say family who home school children, live in in council house and do not use NHS

Kent Online:Boy tried to hang himself aged nine after racial abuse at special needs

Get Surrey:More than 13,000 drivers caught speeding since M23 average speed cameras introduced

Chichester Observer: Arundel bypass consultation 'full of errors', campaigners say

Eastbourne Herald:Expensive seafront hotel in Eastbourne taken off the market

Crawley and Horley Observer:Crawley stabbing: police release CCTV images of two men they would like to talk to

Worthing Herald:Worthing taxi owner speaks out over ‘damaging’ licence regulations

Mid Sussex Times:Retired Balcombe teacher jailed for child sex offences ‘hid laptop in shed’

Brighton & Hove News:Armed officers standing by for Labour Party conference duty in Brighton

Hastings Observer:Bexhill woman sentenced for improper use of Blue disabled badge

Brighton & Hove Independent:Council apologises over home to school transport ‘fiasco’

Conservative councillor defects to Brexit Party

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

Mike Bennison
LDRS

A long-standing Conservative councillor in Elmbridge has defected to the Brexit Party.

Mike Bennison, who represents Hinchley Wood, Claygate and Oxshott on Surrey County Council, said he would continue to serve his constituents to the “high standard” he feels he has shown. He becomes the county’s first Brexit Party councillor.

He said he had no choice but to leave the Conservative Party after he was told he would not be re-selected for the next local elections.

Mr Bennison, who has been a councillor for 20 years, also represents Cobham and Downside on Elmbridge Borough Council.

He said he was “absolutely dumbfounded” when he was told he had been turned down to represent the Tories in the borough elections next year and county elections in 2021.