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Homeless man beaten unconscious for tablets

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

A man is seriously ill after being attacked and robbed in Bexhill-on-Sea.

The 38-year-old, who police say is from the street community, was attacked by three other men as he left a pharmacy in Devonshire Square.

He was punched unconscious when he refused to hand over prescription tablets he had just collected.

It happened between 14:15 and 15:15 BST on 9 August, but the victim was not taken to hospital until the evening of 11 August when he was found to have suffered a head injury.

Today's South East news website headlines

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The Argus: East Grinstead pervert used phone to spy on women in toilet

Kent Online: Driver arrested after vehicle driven the wrong way on the A2

Get Surrey: Nurse traumatised after rocks thrown at car twice while driving on M3

Chichester Observer: Man wanted in connection with serious assault could be in Selsey

Eastbourne Herald: Long-awaited Eastbourne community centre is opening soon

Crawley and Horley Observer: Wasp warning for Sussex with huge numbers of the insects active in late summer

Worthing Herald: Georgina Gharsallah: police treat Worthing mother's disappearance as homicide

Mid Sussex Times: Deliveroo set to launch in Haywards Heath

Brighton and Hove News: Ambulance services comes out of special measures

Hastings Observer: Hastings hero is honoured with blue plaque unveiling

Brighton and Hove Independent: Call for road safety measures on busy Brighton road

Go-ahead for specialist school in Hailsham

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

Proposals to build a new special school in Hailsham have been given the go-ahead by council planners.

East Sussex County Council’s planning committee unanimously approved an application to build a specialist school for children with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs at Reef Way in Hailsham.

While the application had been put forward by the county council itself, the school is expected to be run as an academy free school by The Beckmead Trust.

Anthony Julian of the East Sussex Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities team said: “In January 2016, out of 2,756 children with special educational needs, 420 had SEMH. But by January 2019 there were 605 pupils with SEMH.

“While many of these children are placed within mainstream schools, that isn’t always satisfactory. It is not always a good provision and cannot always meet their needs."

He said the site had been set aside for a school for some time.

Plans for new school
East Sussex County Council

While the application was approved unanimously, some concerns were raised over the potential disruption to residents of Reef Way from school traffic.

Councillors heard the authority would be seeking a traffic regulation order to prevent parking there and any other measures considered to be appropriate by the highways department.

The school would also be expected to operate staggered timings for drop-off and pick-up times, which is intended to avoid overspill of parking into Reef Way.

It will provide places for about 80 pupils between the ages of four and 16.

Unemployment at 2.9%

Unemployment in the South East was 2.9% in the three months ending June 2019.

The UK’s unemployment rate edged up slightly to 3.9%. Employment was estimated at 76.1%, the joint highest since comparative records began in 1971.

Wage growth also picked up to 3.9%, the highest rate for 11 years, however figures released last week showed the economy shrank 0.2% in the second quarter, the first fall since 2012.

Read more:

South east unemployment rate

Today's South East news website headlines

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The Argus: Brighton thug hit neighbour with bicycle fork in parking

Kent Online: Homeless father jailed after attacking four officers at Chatham railway station

Get Surrey: 'I couldn't lift a pint of beer': Father now wheelchair-bound as terminal disease takes hold

Chichester Observer: 18-month child falls ill after trip to the beach

Eastbourne Herald: Hampden Park level crossing to close this bank holiday weekend

Crawley and Horley Observer: Sinkhole drama for Sussex motorist

Worthing Herald: Hundreds raised for charity as bowls captain hosts fundraiser

Mid Sussex Times: Celebrations for village school after Ofsted visit

Brighton and Hove News: Police ask Met to help identify anti-social youth mob filmed cycling through Asda

Hastings Observer: Python spotted loose at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

Brighton and Hove Independent: Teenager suffers head injuries after attack by 'up to ten young people' in East Sussex

Man robbed by group

Lizzie Massey

BBC Live reporter

An 18-year-old man had to be treated in hospital after being robbed by a group of up to 10 young people.

Sussex Police is now appealing for information after the victim was attacked in Sackville Road, Bexhill-on-Sea, and suffered head injuries.

His black-and-brown bag was stolen, containing his wallet, mobile phone and other personal items.

It happened at 22:00 BST on 23 July.

A 21-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of robbery, interviewed and released under investigation.

Double blow for crematorium plans

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Crematorium plans

Plans for a crematorium south of the A259 in Climping have been rejected while a second for nearby Yapton will be looked at again following a road safety audit.

The applications, for sites within yards of each other, were considered by members of Arun District Council’s development control committee on Wednesday 7 August.

The Yapton site, a 10-acre field off of Grevatts Lane West, was considered first, with concerns raised about the safety of the junction leading on to the A259.

If the application was allowed, the main road would be widened to create a "ghost lane" for traffic waiting to turn into the lane.

Members were told that West Sussex County Council’s highways team had no objections to the plan. But it was pointed out by councillor Hugh Coster that the road safety audit had been carried out at 09:30 on 28 December – hardly peak time.

There was even less support for the Climping application, which included a new junction directly on to the A259.

Members were split over the safety of the junction, with some preferring it to the Yapton plan, but many felt the site was simply the wrong place for a crematorium.

The application was refused.

Appeal to trace man who breached restraining order

A police head shot of Robert William Mansfield
Sussex Police

A man from Hastings wanted in connection with two domestic abuse incidents is being sought by police.

Robert William Mansfield, 28, of Milward Road, has also breached a restraining order, Sussex Police said.

He is described as white, of medium build, around six foot tall with short dark hair.

He has tattoos on both sides of his neck, one of three feathers and the word "mum".

Hungry red pandas cause bamboo shortage

Guy Bell

Red panda
Drusillas Park

Hungry red pandas at a zoo have eaten all of their food prompting an urgent appeal for more bamboo.

Drusillas Park's Mulan and Maja have left their keepers desperate to find more supplies.

The two red pandas at the 10-acre East Sussex zoo are known to eat up to 2kg each per day.

Sophie Leadbitter, head zookeeper, said: "Our own plantation has been struggling to keep up with the pandas' enormous appetite."

Miss Leadbitter and her colleagues are keen to hear from anybody with any bamboo as long as it is tall, fresh and healthy.

Weather warnings in place for rain and wind across the South East

Met Office warnings are in place for rain and wind for the next couple of days in the South East of England.

A yellow warning for rain is in force all day today.

The band of heavy rain followed by heavy showers or thunderstorms has the potential to bring disruption.

A yellow warning for strong winds is in force from 15:00 BST today and will continue all day on Saturday, with gusts up to 60mph.

Some disruption is expected, including delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport with fallen trees possible.

Gareth Fuller/PA Media

Today's local news website headlines

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The Argus: Met Office warns winds could hit 60mph in parts of Sussex

Kent Online: Kingsdown Toilets cleaned up by volunteers

Get Surrey: 'I found him hanging': Surrey Police's response to someone who said cannabis was not harmful

Chichester Observer: Man arrested on suspicion of attempted rape in Bognor

Eastbourne Herald: Eastbourne dealers jailed for ‘one stop’ drug shop in seafront hotel

Crawley and Horley Observer: Crawley nightclub Moka could be demolished and replaced with flat

Worthing Herald: Shoreham residents demand to be heard over beach café plans

Mid Sussex Times: Haywards Heath church housed charity fundraiser to help eradicate baby infection

Brighton and Hove News: Brighton supermarket branch to double in size

Hastings Observer: Man had offensive weapon in Hastings at Queens Road

Brighton and Hove Independent: Police eliminate man from enquiries over sudden death in Hove

Man punched by teenager near Eastbourne Pier

A man was left with a cut lip after he was punched in the face by a teenager near Eastbourne Pier.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the attack, which happened on Wednesday 24 July at about 18.40 BST.

The 20-year-old victim was on the lower promenade on the west side of the pier when he was approached by four youths aged between 14 and 17.

They got into an altercation with him and one of them assaulted him, before running off.

The first suspect is described as about 5ft 5 with tanned skin, black curly hair and a goatee board.

He was wearing a red T-shirt, khaki coloured trousers and a Nike bag.

The second suspect had short brown hair, and a third one had short blond hair and was wearing a white T-shirt.

PC Ian Williams said: "There were lots of people around at the time of the incident and we are sure someone may have seen this happen."

Police hunt for water colour thieves

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Detectives are hunting two men who stole valuable art materials from a shop in Bexhill.

One of the men distracted staff at the In Perspective arts and crafts shop, while his accomplice stole two water colour sets worth £120.

Bexhill water colour thief
Sussex Police

Police have issued a CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to.

The theft happened just before 17:00 BST on 21 June.

Witness appeal after unexplained death

Police investigating the unexplained death of a man in Hove have issued a photo of another man who they believe may have vital information.

Emergency services were called to a block of flats in Cambridge Road at 03:45 BST on Sunday, where a 39-year-old man from Haywards Heath had been found with injuries in the communal hallway.

He was treated by paramedics but died at the scene.

His death is being treated as unexplained, though not suspicious.

The CCTV image shows a man leaving the AmPM store in London Road, Brighton, just after 01:05 BST on that Sunday morning.

The man who died had been with him in the store.

Det Sgt Gavin Arnold said: "We emphasise that the man in the photo is sought solely as a witness at this time."

CCTV image of a man in a white, blue and red Nike t-shirt
Sussex Police

Police find crystal meth in crashed car

Guy Bell

Two men have been arrested after a police chase and crash in East Sussex.

At 20:00 BST yesterday police were drawn to a car being driven south down the M23 and A23 towards Brighton.

As it approached the Patcham interchange it accelerated away from officers and went into Old London Road, where it collided with a car being driven by a member of the public, and with two parked cars, before being abandoned.

The two men in the car ran off but were pursued and quickly arrested by officers on foot.

In the car police found a quantity of drugs, including cannabis and crystal meth.

Two men aged 19 and 24 from south east London, were arrested and are in custody.

The 19-year-old was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft, possession of drugs with intent to supply, and allowing himself to be carried in a stolen vehicle. The 24-year-old was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft and drug driving.

Biker killed in crash with Range Rover

A259 and Millbank Lane junction

A motorcyclist has been killed in a crash with a Range Rover and another motorbike on a Kent road, police say.

The 55-year-old man from East Sussex died at the scene in Old Romney at about 11:50 BST on Sunday.

A Kawasaki, a Yamaha R1 and a Range Rover crashed on the A259 near the junction of Millbank Lane. Kent Police said.

Another biker was seriously injured and taken to hospital.

Bus and van drivers trapped in crash

Guy Bell

Eddie Mitchell

A bus and van driver were trapped and several people injured in a crash in Crawley, West Sussex.

Emergency services, including an air ambulance, were called to the junction of Hawth Avenue and Furnace Drive at 11:22 BST.

The drivers of both vehicles were released and treated by paramedics. Nobody suffered serious injuries. The road was shut while police dealt with the incident but it has since been reopened.

Today's local news website headlines

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The Argus: Seed nightmare for dog owners

Kent Online: Hospital patients forced to share drip

Get Surrey: 'Berlin Wall' blockade is killing shops

Chichester Observer: Bakery fined for selling pastry containing maggots

Eastbourne Herald: ‘Concerning’ rise in people jumping from Eastbourne Pier

Crawley and Horley Observer: Fallen tree causes fire and power cut

Worthing Herald: 'Unknown man approaches teenage girl'

Mid Sussex Times: Tributes to Burgess Hill community champion

Brighton and Hove News: Portslade murder victim’s family slam ‘sham’ police disciplinary hearing

Hastings Observer: Man had knuckle duster which gives electric shock

Brighton and Hove Independent: Brighton climate youth strikes win councillors’ backing

9,700 government-funded trees planted in Rother in eight years

There have been 9,700 government-funded trees planted in Rother between 2010 and 2018, Forestry Commission data shows.

This works out at 102 trees per 1,000 people.

Between 2010 and 2018 the government funded about 15 million trees in England. Figures for trees planted with private funds or by local councils are not included and the data only covers new trees, not replacements for any that were cut down.

Overall tree planting rates across the UK would need to more than double to combat rising temperatures and climate change, according to official figures.

Last year 13,400 hectares of new trees were planted across the UK, most of them in Scotland, but the Committee on Climate Change says this should rise to at least 30,000 hectares a year.

Campaign group The Woodland Trust said more trees were needed to provide summer shade, reduce air pollution, improve water quality and manage flooding.

The government said it had made it "much easier" to apply for planting grants.

Find out about tree planting across the UK here.

This story has been generated using Forestry Commission data, BBC analysis and some automation.

Severe disruption: A259 East Sussex both ways

BBC News Travel

A259 East Sussex both ways severe disruption, at A269 Dorset Road.

A259 East Sussex - A259 King Offa Way in Bexhill On Sea blocked in both directions at the A269 Dorset Road junction, because of a fallen tree.

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

Christmas lights display could be saved

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

Rother District Council is looking to work with a community group which it hopes will step in to organise Bexhill’s Christmas lights display.

Earlier this month the council's cabinet agreed to terminate a funding agreement with Shining Lights (Bexhill) Limited, due to concerns around its "lack of transparency and engagement".

At the same time, cabinet members agreed to enter into an alternative funding agreement with the Bexhill Chamber of Commerce and Tourism (BCCT), which had expressed interest in taking over the annual Christmas lights display.

Since then however, BCCT says it is no longer in the position to take on the task due to changes in its executive membership and a lack of capacity and time as a result.

Council leader Doug Oliver said: “I am aware there are a group coming together. It is a bit early to announce that at this moment in time.

“But there are some genuine community groups out there that want to support this and I am sure we will have something quite soon, in the next few weeks, which we will have to present to officers.”

Builders merchants evacuated in chemical incident

Guy Bell

Emergency services in Uckfield
Eddie Mitchell

A builders merchants was placed in lockdown following a burglary and the discovery of a mystery substance.

Parker Building Supplies, at Bellbrook Industrial Estate, in Uckfield, was broken into at 01:30 BST and insulation sheeting worth thousands of pounds was stolen.

Workers were evacuated from the building after a grey substance, left behind by the suspects, was found at the scene. Several people reported to be suffering from sore throats and headaches.

They were checked over by paramedics and Sussex Police has since confirmed the substance was non-corrosive and is believed to be from a fire extinguisher.