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  1. Live page coverage has ended
  2. Updates on Thursday 16 February 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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That's all for today

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

We're back at 06:00 GMT with more news, travel, weather and sport from the county. 

Is there something you'd like to tell us about? We'd love to hear from you.

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

Police appeal over Littlehampton attacks

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

Officers in Arun are asking for help over a series of assaults in the town.

View more on twitter

Brighter skies tomorrow

Rachel Mackley

Weather Presenter

A mild day ahead across the South East. Watch my forecast to find out more.

Commuters at Brighton station react to latest Southern strike news
The train drivers' union has been arguing over driver-only operated trains.

Council budgets: A Sussex look

Ben Weisz

Political reporter, BBC Sussex

We're right in the middle of budget season - and with all our district councils putting together their budget plans at the moment, I thought I'd put together a handy guide to what they're all up to. 

Here's what's happening to your council tax next year. 

A screenshot of the BBC Sussex interactive budget map.
Click the link to find out what's happening to council tax in your area

RMT union: 'We need further talks'

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

General Secretary of the RMT, Mick Cash, says future talks with both unions are the only way forward.

Aslef vote: RMT releases statement

Lizzie Massey

BBC Live reporter

This ballot was entirely a matter for Aslef and their Southern members. We have remained focused on the industrial and public campaign to protect the safety of the travelling public and to put access and safe operation before profits.

We will now look to take that campaign into its next phase working with our sister rail unions, the wider trade union movement and the passengers who use the railway.

We repeat the call to Southern to give the guarantee of a second, safety critical member of staff on their trains and to sit down with the unions in new talks around the issue of safe train dispatch."

Mick CashGeneral secretary of the RMT union

Caroline Lucas: 'It's time for the government to step in'

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas says she's not surprised Aslef members have voted to reject a deal with Southern.

Arriva Trains North warns of possible strike action

The Rail Workers union RMT has confirmed it is balloting 1,200 of its members at  Arriva Trains North for both strike action and action short of a strike. 

The latest row over staffing levels escalated after the company failed to give assurances on the future of the guard on their services. The ballot closes on 28 February.  

"Our focus is on protecting the jobs and pay of our people as we work to implement a modernisation programme that will maintain high safety standards, deliver better journeys and improve customer service."

Arriva Trains NorthSpokesperson

The union’s position on driver-only operation (DOO) is perfectly clear. We will not agree to any extensions of DOO and will fight to retain the safety critical role of the guard and to keep a guard on the train."

Rail, Maritime and Transport workers unionGeneral Secretary Mick Cash
Southern train

One in 10 trains in the UK was not on time last year, the Office of Rail and Road says.

Read more

'Ministers must get a grip'

Lizzie Massey

BBC Live reporter

Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green Party, has responded to a decision by drivers from the Aslef union to reject a deal with Southern.

It's no surprise that the drivers have rejected this proposed deal as the offer didn't include maintaining the presence of a guard on every train, which is key to safety.

It's now time for the government to step in and bring this line into public hands. Southern are running our service into the ground - and passengers deserve much better than warm words from ministers who have utterly failed to get a grip on the rail crisis.

Caroline Lucas Green MP for Brighton Pavilion

How warm can it get?

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

It's unseasonably mild out there. And there's no end in sight. Here's my latest forecast.

Department of Transport 'disappointed' by deal breakdown

Lizzie Massey

BBC Live reporter

It is disappointing that Aslef members have rejected the offer negotiated by their leaders at the TUC. The union leadership must now return to talks and work with their members on a deal they can back."

Department of Transport spokesman

Southern strike: Your views

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

There've been some mixed reactions to the latest news from these passengers at Brighton station.

Where next for the Southern dispute?

Ben Weisz

Political reporter, BBC Sussex

There we have it. Aslef drivers voted by a small majority to reject the deal their leaders had struck with Southern. 

That's not entirely surprising. Many saw the announcement of the deal as the end of the dispute. But that was wishful thinking. 

Aslef drivers

Once we saw the details, it was clear some drivers wouldn't be happy. That deal gave a list of "exceptional circumstances" under which a train might run without its scheduled Onboard Supervisor, or OBS. 

Even assurances that those 'exceptional circumstances' didn't include RMT strike action proved insufficient. This wasn't just about solidarity with striking guards. 

Many drivers remain unconvinced that trains can be run safely without an OBS on board. 

Rail board

What happens next depends on the reaction of key players. Southern moved quickly to offer fresh talks, and Aslef's Mick Whelan promised to "work to deliver a resolution" - with a relatively small 54.1% majority of drivers rejecting the deal, they'll hope it won't take too many tweaks to produce an acceptable deal. 

But commuters will be painfully aware of the disruption further strikes would cause. This dispute has run for months and there's no longer much cause to feel like it's coming to an end. 

Aslef driver expresses safety concerns

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

This Aslef driver, who wanted to remain anonymous, told our reporter Juliette Parkin why he was against the deal with Southern to end the strike.

Aslef vote: Southern responds

In the last few moments Southern's parent company has issued a statement reacting to the Aslef vote rejecting their deal.

Naturally we’re saddened and hugely disappointed, as will be our passengers, with today’s decision by drivers, particularly as the agreement carried the full support and recommendation of the Aslef leadership. We now need to understand the issues which led to this outcome and we’ll be seeking to meet with the union as soon as possible to see how we can agree a way forward.”

Nick BrownChief Operating Officer, Govia Thameslink Railway

How Aslef voted

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

Here's a breakdown of how Aslef members voted over the Southern strike deal.

In favour of deal: 317: [45.9%]

Against deal:  374 [54.1%]

Turnout: 72.7%

We understand and support the decision arrived at democratically by our members and will now work to deliver a resolution in line with their expectations."

Mick WhelanAslef General Secretary

BreakingAslef workers reject Southern deal

Members of the Aslef union have voted against a deal with Southern that would've ended to their long-running dispute. 

More to follow.

Assaults at Brighton property

A number of people were assaulted when four men stormed into a house in Brighton last night. 

The men, all dressed in black and wearing balaclavas, pushed into the house in Princes Terrace at 21:30 GMT.

They sprayed the occupants with an unknown substance, before being driven back out of the property.

One of the occupants, a 30-year-old man, suffered a head injury that required treatment. 

Revamp for popular Brighton park

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

A popular Brighton Park is getting a £50,000 revamp. 

William Clarke Park, which is also known as "The Patch",  is going to get new play equipment, pathways, fencing and an improved drainage system. 

The work is expected to be completed by mid April.  

William Clark Park
Brighton and Hove City Council

This morning's Sussex newspaper headlines


The Argus: Decision on corruption case after four years

Brighton and Hove News: Brighton man wanted for recall to prison

Chichester Observer: Butterflies declining more rapidly in urban areas

Woman slashed in Worthing 'razor attack'

More details have emerged about a serious assault on a woman in Worthing town centre last night. 

The 31-year-old victim, believed to be homeless, was found to have serious hand injuries, thought to have been inflicted with a razor during the attack in Chapel Road at about 18:45 GMT.

Worthing attack
Eddie Mitchell

She was taken to hospital where she was detained for treatment. 

Four women were arrested on suspicion of wounding offences. 

They were a 21-year-old, a 20-year-old and a 17-year-old, all from Worthing, and a 19-year-old from Lancing.

'It's the storm we've never had'

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

Scientists are using computer modelling to try and predict future coastal flooding.  

Is there a doctor in the house?

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

Casualty and Holby City star Clive Mantle in is in theatre in Eastbourne this week.  

Two arrested over attack in Worthing

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Woman attached in Worthing
Eddie Mitchell
Homeless woman attacked
Eddie Mitchell

Police have arrested two people after a  woman was attacked in Worthing town centre.

Police were called to the Guildbourne Centre at 18:45 GMT. 

It's reported that the victim was a homeless woman, and that the attack involved a razor blade.

The victim was found to have an injury to the hand. 

Police are appealing for witnesses. 

Eddie Mitchell

Caught on camera

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Police in Sussex are looking for a man who was captured on film by a doorbell camera seemingly breaking into a house.

Footage shows the man at the address on Valley Drive in Seaford on Sunday night. The owner of the house noticed a door was open the following morning. 

They found a wireless internet router - worth a couple of hundred pounds - had been stolen from the porch.   

This morning's BBC Sussex phone-in

Danny Pike

Presenter, BBC Sussex

I'd like to know about the big experiences you've had in your life.

Join me on BBC Sussex from 09:00 GMT.

Bullying review at ambulance service

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

An independent review is to be carried out into concerns about bullying and harassment at the South East Coast Ambulance Service.  

Concern over rise in anti-depressant prescriptions

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

More and more people in the South East are being prescribed anti-depressants, according to the NHS.

The biggest rises were in areas associated with social deprivation, such as Thanet and Hastings and Rother.

Brighton Festival 2017 is launched

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

The full programme for this year's Brighton Festival - the largest annual, curated multi-arts festival in England - has been unveiled with the acclaimed recording artist, poet, playwright and novelist Kate Tempest as Guest Director.  

Kate Tempest
Brighton Festival

The programme, which runs from 6-28 May, celebrates what Tempest calls the ‘Everyday Epic',  "art that helps us connect to ourselves and others, explores our individual stories and differences, and encourages audiences to take a walk in someone else's shoes."  

The Odyssey
Brighton Festival

Many of Tempest's interests, passions and inspirations are explored in an eclectic line-up spanning theatre, dance, visual art, film, music, debate, comedy and spoken word. 

Full line-up here.

Put the umbrellas and warm jumpers away

Rachel Mackley

Weather Presenter

There's a real mixed bag of weather on the way. But it should stay dry and mild.  

Good morning

It's one step closer to the weekend and we'll be here until 22:00 GMT.

To start the day here's a great pic of Hastings by Kristie Heath - it's our #photooftheday.

Kristie Heath

Is there something you'd like to tell us about? Or have you got a lovely picture to send us? We'd love to hear from you.

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