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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

Replacement wheelchair-friendly minibuses for West Sussex

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Dozens of replacement wheelchair-accessible minibuses costing about £2m in total will soon be added to the West Sussex County Council fleet.

The minibuses, which will be used by adults services as well as for taking children to and from school, will replace older vehicles and will be paid for out of the council’s capital programme.

The 33 minibuses will be brought in during the 2020/21 financial year.

Councillors decide on preferred bypass route

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Bypass options

A 30-year bypass saga is moving towards its final chapter as a decision was made on the preferred route.

Two proposed routes had given support, denoted by colours red and magenta.

During a special meeting of the full Arun District Council on Thursday, the magenta route was the clear winner by 31 votes to five, with three abstentions. The crimson route received five votes.

Leader Dr James Walsh said: “We’re one huge step closer to having it delivered in two or three years’ time which will benefit the residents of Arundel, benefit residents of the whole of the Arun district and improve the south coast trunk road for millions of motorists every year.”

The magenta route would see around 4.4 miles (7.3km) of new dual carriageway to the south of the existing A27, from the Crossbush junction to just west of Yapton Lane.

It would include a new bridge over Binsted Rife, with around 3.7miles (6.1km) of the existing A27 being downgraded.

Highways England's consultation continues until 24 October.

Arun District Counciml will now work alongside West Sussex County Council, Arundel Town Council, Walberton Parish Council, Lyminster and Crossbush Parish Council and the South Downs National Park Authority to prepare a Local Impact Statement.

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
Getty Images

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

Air pollution: 'Wear a mask'

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

People could wear masks to protect themselves from air pollution in Midhurst, a councillor has suggested.

At a meeting of Chichester District Council’s cabinet, members authorised a public consultation into plans to designate Rumbolds Hill as an Air Quality Management Area.

The area has failed tests for nitrogen oxide levels every year since 2015 and concerns were raised during the meeting about the health of people living there.

Green councillor Sarah Sharp said she was regularly approached by residents who had been to hospital with breathing problems such as asthma, with some even considering moving away from the area.

She said: "There have been court cases in other places by sick residents or mothers of children who have died. That’s how serious this issue is.”

Norma Graves, cabinet member for housing, said: “We know that in certain places, until people can have this resolved, those people who are really very much at risk could wear a mask.

“We have seen it in other places abroad. That’s the only other thing I could suggest to help people who have problems.”

Tories win council seats in by-elections

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Two council by-elections in West Sussex have seen resounding victories for the Conservatives.

Residents in Tilgate and Three Bridges went to the polls on Thursday following the death of Charles Petts, who represented the wards at borough and county level respectively. He died in July, aged 52.

In Tilgate Maureen Mwagale took 57% of the vote, with the turnout at 29%.

Her win takes the make-up of the council back to 19 Labour and 17 Conservative, the same as it was before Mr Petts’ death.

In Three Bridges, borough councillor Brenda Burgess took the seat, with 52% of the vote.

The result makes no real difference to the county council which has a large Tory majority but things are very much on a knife-edge at borough level.

Cuts to social care budget

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Proposals have been made to cut more money from social care in West Sussex.

Plans were announced to halve the £200,000 Local Assistance Network budget, which had already been cut from £806,000 in April.

The network provides assistance to families and individuals in times of crisis and helps to fund food banks, children and family centres, social enterprises and Citizens Advice.

West Sussex County Council says it is under pressure to find £75.5m of savings over the next four years.

Today's South East news website headlines

Stack of newspapers (generic)
Getty Images

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

Call for local action on climate

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Councillors in Chichester have debated practical ways the authority can respond to the climate emergency it has declared.

At a district council meeting at East Pallant House, Sarah Sharp (Green, Chichester South) tabled a notice of motion listing a number of ideas to help it achieve a zero carbon footprint by 2050.

She proposed six actions, with points including: the appointment of a tree champion, reducing the frequency of grass cutting, banning the use of herbicides and pesticides in public areas under the council’s control, and working with others to install "green" roofs on the district’s bus stops.

Penny Plant, cabinet member for the environment, told Mrs Sharp that she "absolutely agreed" with the motion and pointed out that some of the suggestions were already being worked on.

She added that the ideas needed to go to the relevant committees – the environment and development & infrastructure panels – for more detailed work and consideration.

In the summer the cabinet declared a climate emergency. However this declaration will just remain words unless we come up with concrete and practical actions."

Sarah SharpGreen councillor, Chichester South

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.

Council urged to dump waste ID plans

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Plans requiring people to show two forms of identification before they can dump their rubbish should be looked at again, West Sussex councillors have urged.

The idea is being considered by West Sussex County Council in an attempt to reduce costs and congestion, particularly at amenity tips close to the boundary, such as East Grinstead, Shoreham, Crawley, Burgess Hill and Billingshurst.

If approved, anyone visiting the county’s 11 tips would have to show photo ID such as a driving licence, plus a recent utility bill or current council tax bill.

While some members of the environment, communities and fire select committee had no problem with the need for ID to be shown, most were less than impressed with the need to also bring a bill.

Chairman Andrew Barrett-Miles said he tended to throw away his council tax bill and felt it was "unnecessary" to make people present them.

He added: “The majority of us have the new plastic driving licences with our pictures on – and they have our addresses on – and I would think that is perfectly adequate.”

Officers reported that some 10% of people who used West Sussex tips lived in other counties – and said the saving predicted was actually "on the conservative side".

The final decision will be taken by Deborah Urquhart, cabinet member for environment, who said she would look again at the need for two forms of ID.

Calls for day-time council meetings

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Chichester District Council

Younger people could be put off from standing for election to Chichester District Council because none of its meetings are held in the evening.

The point was raised during a discussion at East Pallant House where members agreed a change of meeting times should be explored.

The council is the only one in West Sussex which conducts all business during the day and it was suggested that this could also be preventing members of the public from attending.

During a lengthy discussion at East Pallant House, some members said they had been left out of pocket by the need to take time off work, with councillor Jonathan Brown declaring he had used 11 days of his annual leave to attend daytime committee meetings.

Councillor Richard Plowman said: “How many younger people, people in jobs, people who we would like to have on this council, are actually put off by the very fact that there were daytime meetings and no evening meetings?"

Following May’s elections, a survey of councillors was carried out to find out what they thought of the idea of evening meetings. Almost two-thirds wanted nothing to change but some suggested a six-month trial period.

It was agreed that leader Eileen Lintill should set up a working group to explore the idea of changing things around from 2023.

New college 'may not be built in time'

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Woodlands Meed School

Governors at Woodlands Meed School say they have been told that unless work on a new college starts next month, it is unlikely to be finished in time for a September 2021 opening.

The special school, in Burgess Hill, has been waiting for years for a permanent college to be built at its Birchwood Grove Road site – which would allow youngsters to leave the current prefabricated set-up they currently occupy.

Richard Burrett, West Sussex County Council's cabinet member for education and skills, said the authority was "doing everything possible" to ensure the college opened on time.

Bur Marion Wilcock, chairman of governors, said: “The governors have expressed their serious concern about the progress of this project.

“Governors were originally told that unless construction work started by October, it was unlikely that completion by September 2021 could be achieved."

Controversial traveller pitches plans approved

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Traveller site

Plans for two traveller pitches in Pulborough have been approved, despite 60 objections.

An application to change the use of land at the junction of Hill Farm Lane and Stane Street to allow for the pitches was given the nod by Horsham District Council’s planning committee on Tuesday.

Questions were asked about road safety, the effect on the character of the area and whether there was a need for such sites in the first place.

Councils are required to have a five-year supply of land to be used as accommodation for gypsies, travellers and travelling showpeople - something Horsham does not have.

Committee chairman Brian Donnelly said the committee had to make its decision based on evidence submitted in line with the protocols set out by the council and the government.

He said: “The nub of the matter really is this five-year supply of land for gypsies and travellers. That is a protocol we have to adhere to.

“As soon as we run to get to a point we seem to be standing still because the government keeps on changing the goal posts.

“Really more representation should be made to government to review these matters.”

City centre regeneration progress probed

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter


A group has been set up to examine the progress being made by Chichester’s Southern Gateway regeneration project.

The project, which aims to transform the rather tired-looking area around the city’s railway station, bus station and canal basin, was approved in 2017 and a development partner is expected to be named in November.

At a meeting of the district council’s overview & scrutiny committee, members discussed concerns raised by the public and councillors about some of the things the project would and would not deliver.

Among them were the decisions not to include an underpass at one of the level crossings and not to use the empty court building as a concert hall or entertainment venue.

There were worries that, with a number of questions from the public still unanswered, there was very little time left to examine the multi-million pound project.