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  1. Our live coverage has ended for the day
  2. Updates on Monday 8 May 2017

Live Reporting

By Claire Cottingham, Kathryn Langley and Bob Dale

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's it from us

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

It's the end of our live coverage for today - we'll be back at 06:00 BST tomorrow with all the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

Is there anything you'd like to tell us about? You can get in touch on Twitter, on Facebook or by sending us an email.   

Rooting out the next generation


Kids playing All Stars Cricket

Know any young children who might be interested in having a go at cricket?

Now's the time to get them involved with the England & Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) grassroots programme for five- to eight-year-olds called All Stars Cricket.

All Stars Cricket is an eight-week course that is being introduced in May through local cricket clubs and centres, offering youngsters a first experience of the sport.  

Sign up here and children will receive a backpack of cricket gear. 

#ICYMI: Memories made from paper

Robin Gibson

BBC South East Today reporter

It's a unique exhibition reflecting memories of the Second World War, created in intricate, lifesize paper dresses.  

New boss for British Airways i360

Lizzie Massey

BBC Live reporter

British Airways i360 has a new boss, Steve Bax.

The world’s tallest moving observation tower opened on Brighton beach in August 2016, but has suffered a number of breakdowns and technical hitches.

Steve, 46, who was born and raised in Margate, Kent, said the seaside holds “a special place in his heart”. 

130 tower

I am thrilled to be joining this innovative and record-holding attraction [and] excited about becoming part of the city’s business community and working with other attractions and businesses to promote Brighton and all it has to offer.”

Steve Bax

Steve has worked in the visitor attraction sector for more than 10 years and is currently a historic properties director for English Heritage.

He will start his new role on 3 July taking over from former chief executive Eleanor Harris.

Will the weather get better this week?

Rachel Mackley

Weather Presenter

After a cool, cloudy day, things are brightening up tomorrow.

Here's my forecast.

Have you got a question about the general election?

Throughout the election campaign, our News Correspondents will be taking your questions about the big issues and talking points.

If you've got something you'd like to ask, then let us know.

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

A year of #Southernstrikes

Can you believe that we've had more than a year of Southern rail strikes? 

Here we take a look at the strike in numbers… 

Pioneering photographer's work goes on show

Robin Gibson

BBC South East Today reporter

The Beatles, Edith Piaf, Indira Ghandi all came before her lens - and her ground breaking photo journalism led to travels around the world. 

Now 91-year-old Marilyn Stafford lives the Sussex coast, and an exhibition of photos she took during the 1950s opens in St Leonards. 

#ThisIsMe: 'I love theatre'

This 26-year-old theatre technician says he's "living his dream". 


Arrests made over hold-ups

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Police have arrested two people in connection with a series of armed robberies across West Sussex.

A Co-op in Bolnore Village was targeted on 9 April, a Premier Convenience store in Crawley on 29 April and another Co-op in Cowfold on 30 April.

A 33-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman, both from Crawley were arrested this afternoon and are now being questioned.

Are you sure it's still spring?

Kate Kinsella

BBC Weather

Cool and cloudy today, but the middle of the week looks better.

Here's my forecast.

Labour candidate steps down

Ben Weisz

Political reporter, BBC Sussex

The Labour candidate for Brighton Pavilion has stepped down, BBC Sussex can reveal.

Michelle Thew is the CEO of animal welfare charity Cruelty Free International. I understand it became clear that her commitments there were not compatible with standing as a candidate in the general election.

Photo of Solomon Curtis
In 2015, BBC Newsbeat spoke to Solomon Curtis as one of the youngest Parliamentary candidates.

She is replaced by Solomon Curtis, a 20-year-old student at the University of Sussex. He stood in 2015 in Wealden, losing to Conservative Nus Ghani.

He joins Tory Emma Warnham and independent candidate Nick Yeomans in challenging the incumbent - Caroline Lucas of the Green Party.

Five myths about last week's local elections

Coming so close to a Parliamentary election, last week's local poll has been chewed over, analysed and regurgitated in various ways over the weekend. 

So, just in case you find yourself in the middle of a political discussion this week - here are five myths you might have heard about the Sussex vote - and what really happened. Swot up on this lot and we'll have you sounding like a pundit in no time!

1. 'Labour lost because they lost support to the Tories'

Cllr Tania Charman leaves the stage after being re-elected to East Sussex County Council

Labour lost three seats in East Sussex - all in Hastings - and one seat in Crawley, West Sussex. All were won by Conservative candidates. So was that because Labour voters switched to the Tories?

Possibly not - and that's certainly not the full explanation. Labour actually increased its share of the vote in Hastings and in Crawley. 

But as UKIP's vote collapsed, those voters turned to the Conservatives more readily than to Labour. In West Sussex, there was a 12.5% swing from UKIP to Labour, but 18.2% from UKIP to the Conservatives. 

2. 'Fewer people bothered to vote'

the count is prepared for Lewes District at East Sussex County elections

You'll hear it said that few people turn out to local elections - and it's true that turnout at these elections was much lower than it would be for a general election.

However, turnout was up in more than four in five divisions in East Sussex compared to 2013, while over 30,000 more voters turned out in West Sussex than did last time. 

3. 'The Lib Dems only gained votes in areas that voted to remain in the EU'

chart showing how the Lib Dem vote share had changed in individual districts in West Sussex

Not so. In West Sussex, their biggest gains were in Arun and Chichester, which voted to leave.

4. 'Left-wing parties can't win in Sussex if several of them target the same council seat'

There's been a lot of talk about left-wing parties standing aside for each other at elections this year, to avoid "splitting the progressive vote". 

Worth noting, then, that Ringmer & Lewes Bridge turned into an exciting three-way race between the Lib Dems, Greens and Tories - which the Lib Dems won. 

Green candidate Johnny Denis rejected the idea his party should have stood aside to make it easier for the Lib Dems to win. 

Green @JDenisAssoc nearly took Ringmer. He rejects Lib Dem suggestion Greens should have tactically voted Lib Dem……

5. 'UKIP lost because of Brexit, and their members agree that's a price worth paying'

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall turned heads last week when he said that "if the price of Britain leaving the EU is a Tory advance after taking up this patriotic cause then it is a price UKIP is prepared to pay".

UKIP lost all their county councillors in Sussex, and while some of them may be as relaxed as their leader sounds - that's not true of all of them. 

Their leader in West Sussex, Sandra James, left the count without giving interviews. Meanwhile, in East Sussex, where UKIP failed to field candidates in towns like Hastings, their group leader Philip Howson blamed defeat on the central party for failing to support his campaign.

BREAKING: Ukip leader Philip Howson looks set to lose his seat to Tories. He blames UKIP leadership for lack of sup……

Fire crews tackle major house fire in Lewes

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

Up to 30 firefighters are fighting a major fire at a house in Lewes.

Fire engine

Eight fire engines were sent to Prince Edward's Road just after 14:00 BST.

The residential road is just under a mile north of Lewes town centre.

Ten firefighters wearing breathing apparatus are tackling the blaze with an aerial ladder.

Nobody has been injured.

BreakingEight fire crews at Lewes blaze

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

Eight fire engines are at the scene of a fire in Lewes. 

East Sussex Fire and Rescue were called to a building in Prince Edward's Road just after 14:00 BST.

They say the fire is on the first floor.

It's not known yet if anyone has been injured.

Have you got a story that needs to be investigated?

If so, get in touch with the award-winning BBC South East Today investigations team.  

Could there be a summer drought?

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

With winter rainfall in the South East at its lowest for two decades, one water company has already had to top up a major reservoir.  

Which South East constituencies are most vulnerable to change?

The electoral map of the South East is almost exclusively blue at the moment, but whilst there are several very safe seats, there are also plenty of constituencies that could see a change in the upcoming election.

We've compiled this list of the most vulnerable seats in Kent and Sussex.


Investigation after man stabbed in Eastbourne

Scene of stabbing in Eastbourne
Dan Jessup

Police are appealing for witnesses after a man was stabbed in Eastbourne on Sunday.

Officers were called at about 11:35 BST after reports that a man had been stabbed in Longstone Road.

They found a 32-year-old man in Langney Road who had suffered a stab wound to his right arm.

He was taken to Eastbourne District General Hospital and received a number of stitches before being discharged later in the day.

Anyone with information should report it here or call police on 101 quoting serial 499 of 07/05.

Does that make them birds of pray?

This year's batch of peregrine falcon chicks have hatched at Chichester Cathedral.

You can follow their progress here.

#ICYMI: ‘Wheelchair rugby changed my life’

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

Ben, who has cerebral palsy, says wheelchair rugby league has changed his life.

We interviewed Ben as part of our #thisisme series.

Lifeboat saves two from water

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Shoreham Lifeboat was called to reports of a man in the water off Splashpoint, East Worthing on Saturday 6 May at 15:30 BST.

When the crew arrived on scene, they found the man aged in his early 60s in a distressed state 100 metres off shore

Two hours later the boat was launched again to a report of a man unconscious in the mud on the riverbank south of Shoreham Footbridge. 

When the crew arrived on scene, the man aged in his twenties was conscious but in a distressed state. They pulled him from the mud and took aboard the lifeboat. 

#ICYMI: Meet Charlie, the seven-year-old cancer survivor

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

When Charlie Hewson from Lindfield, near Haywards Heath, was just a baby his parents noticed a swelling on his left leg. 

It turned out to be a rare form of cancer - and ultimately he had to have it amputated.

But that hasn't stopped him from doing anything - especially playing football. 

#ICYMI: Your guide to election results in the South East

Take a look at this graphic which outlines who won what in the local elections.


West Sussex schools campaigners rally over funding cuts

Tanya Gupta

BBC News

West Sussex education campaigners

Hundreds of parents in West Sussex have rallied at a public meeting to campaign against school funding cuts.

More than 300 parents, teachers and campaigners gathered in Worthing to call for a protected education budget.

The National Union of Teachers said cuts would have "a devastating impact".

In April the government said school funding was at its highest ever level. The Tories said schools had been given "record funding", but Labour said the party could not hide the cuts.

Save Our Schools (SOS) West Sussex, which organised Saturday's meeting, said current funding arrangements translated to a reduction of 6.5% funding per pupil by 2019.

You can read our full story here. And you can hear more on the BBC Sussex Breakfast Show with Neil Pringle by listening here.  

Have you suffered from mental health issues?

Danny Pike

Presenter, BBC Sussex

This morning, at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, I want to hear from you.

Have you experienced mental health problems? What help has been available? 

Give me a call.

Village campaign against speeding drivers

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

30mph sign

Villagers in Boxgrove near Chichester are starting a week of protests this morning - fed up with the number of speeding motorists zooming past their homes.

Campaigners say as much as 40% of all traffic coming into the village breaks the 30mph speed limit - with speeds of up to 55mph recorded in the built-up area.

This week the main street through the village will have bunting up as residents try to raise awareness of the issue. 

There will be more on this story on the BBC Sussex Breakfast Show with Neil Pringle. You can listen here.

Brighton pipped to the title

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Sure, the Seagulls were promoted.

But who says the title doesn't matter?

'It's really daunting not knowing who to vote for'

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

We've been speaking to first-time voters across the South East to find out what the key issues are for them in the forthcoming general election.


Missing two-year-old found after two hour search in crop field

About 50 police officers and members of the public helped to search for a two-year-old boy who went missing after running into a crop field.

It happened near Littlehampton yesterday afternoon (7 May).

The boy went missing just after 15:00 BST when he ran into the field to look for a dog which was being walked by his dad. Despite being able to hear him for some time, he couldn't be found and the alarm was raised.

Inspector Gav Whitehouse, who led the search, said: "It was hampered by the height of the crop, which meant that those looking for him were also unable to see each other. 

Sussex Police officer (generic)

"Shortly before 17:00 BST the boy could be heard crying by a PCSO, but they could not see him. A police helicopter was directed to the area and spotted the boy using an infra-red camera, just 20ft or so from the PCSO.

"He was reunited with his family and checked over by paramedics, but did not seem to be any the worse for wear following his ordeal. Indeed, I could hear him crying from some distance and that's always a good sign!

"I would like to thank everyone who responded, including HM Coastguard and other emergency services and especially local members of the public who volunteered to help."  

Promoted - but not as champions

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Jack Grealish's last-minute equaliser for Aston Villa denied Brighton and Hove Albion the Championship title yesterday.

The Premier League-bound Seagulls were beaten by Bristol City and Norwich in their previous two games with only three points required to seal top spot.

Anthony Knockaert, the Championship's player of the year, was in tears at full-time.
Getty Images

Anthony Knockaert, the Championship's player of the year, was in tears at full-time.    

Police concerned about missing teenager

Leon Anderson
Sussex Police

A 13-year-old boy who has gone missing from his home in Peacehaven could be in Brighton.

Leon Anderson went missing between 17:30 and 18:00 BST on Friday 5 May and police say he used his bus pass in Brighton that evening.

Anyone with information should email or call 101 quoting serial 619 of 06/05.

Is it really May?

Kate Kinsella

BBC Weather

The weather still hasn't improved, and it looks like we've got more of the same to come.

Here's my morning forecast.

Six month wait for mental health treatment 'sets you up for failure'

Tom Darby

BBC Live reporter

Sophie tried to kill herself three times in the space of a week, months later she's still waiting for specialist treatment.

She told us her experiences of the mental health system in our special feature to mark the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week. #sophiesstory

Details of organisations offering information and support with mental health are available at, or you can call for free, at any time to hear recorded information on 08000 564 756.

Southern cuts late-night services

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Southern Rail has announced cuts to its late-night services between London Victoria and Brighton on Sundays through to Thursdays.

At the moment there are direct trains at 00:05, 01:00 and 04:00 BST.

When the new timetable kicks in on 21 May, the last direct train from Victoria will be at 00:07 BST.

There'll be no more direct services until 04:52 BST. Travelling from Brighton to London, the last direct train will leave 13 minutes earlier than at the moment - at 22:57 BST.

You'll have to wait until 05:23 BST for the next direct service. That's just for Sundays through to Thursdays - the busier Friday and Saturday services will continue as they are. 

Southern trains
Getty Images

Passenger numbers have doubled in the past two decades and Network Rail simply needs this extra time to carry out essential maintenance and improvement work overnight to give passengers at busier times of the day a more punctual and reliable journey across the Southern network.

It will also help Network Rail deliver critical elements of a £300m improvement plan that was announced by the Government in January, which will improve our services on this, the UK's busiest, most congested network.

Just 14 trains in total are being affected overnight into and out of Victoria and the busy Friday and Saturday night trains won't be altered at all. Also, we'll have alternative Thameslink services from London Blackfriars that will get passengers south from East Croydon where they need to be.

Southern RailSpokesman

You can hear more on this on the BBC Sussex Breakfast Show with Neil Pringle by listening here.

What do you think? You can get in touch on Twitter, on Facebook or by sending us an email.  

Happy Monday

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Well, hopefully you're feeling happy this morning. 

Here's a picture which should brighten up your day a little bit.

It's a stunning shot of bluebells taken near Plumpton by Michael Cracknell. It's our Sussex #photooftheday

Bluebells near Plumpton
Michael Cracknell

Is there anything you'd like to tell us about? Or have you got any lovely pictures of Kent taken over the weekend to send us?

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