A gross misconduct panel hearing in Sussex has been dismissed because of its "undue delay".Read more
Local Democracy Reporter
The Conservatives have taken control of Lewes District Council's cabinet after the Liberal Democrats abstained from electing a co-operative alliance leader.
After the local elections, the council had 19 Conservatives, nine Green councillors, eight Liberal Democrats, three Labour and two Independent members, but no political party had overall control.
Green Party group leader councillor Zoe Nicholson had called on other opposition parties to form a co-operative alliance and back her leadership bid in an effort to block the Conservatives.
But while her plan was backed by the Labour and Independent groups on Monday, Liberal Democrats abstained from voting, leading to the election of Conservative Isabelle Linington as council leader.
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Local Democracy Reporter
Lewes District Council’s Green Party group is to call for a co-operative alliance when the authority meets to elect a new leader this evening.
In a statement released on Sunday, Green Party group leader Zoe Nicholson said she would be calling on Liberal Democrat, Labour and Independent councillors to support her bid to become leader of the council.
None of the council’s other political groups have confirmed their support for an alliance however, with Liberal Democrats saying more work would be needed for it to support such a move.
In her statement Ms Nicholson said: “Over and over again people told me that they are longing for a new way of doing politics, and are inspired by those that work hard for their local communities.
“I have met and talked with all the leaders of all the opposition groups and independents. I have listened to what matters to them and we have developed a proposed alliance agreement that is fair, balanced and critically where leadership is shared and rotated with us and other parties.
The Liberal Democrat group confirmed it has been involved in discussions with the Green Party about an alliance, but said no agreement had been reached.
Lib Dem group leader James MacCleary said: “The clearest test tonight of the appetite for cross-party working will be the election of the Chair of the Council who has the casting vote, which is likely to be crucial with the margins being so small.
The Labour group has been approached for comment but has yet to reply.
If combined, the three groups would have 20 of the 41 votes cast in the leadership election – one more than the Conservative party’s 19.
The alliance would also require the authority’s independent councillors – Ruth O’Keeffe and Steve Saunders – to either support the alliance or both abstain from voting.
The South East will go to the polls on 23 May to elect 10 MEPs.
Local Democracy Reporter
Planning permission to dispose of silt from a lake on the Kent-Sussex border has been renewed by county council planners.
On 15 May East Sussex County Council’s planning committee considered an application to create an on-site silt disposal area at the Bayham Lake Estate near Lamberhurst.
The application had been a resubmission of an earlier scheme, which had been approved in 2016 but was delayed as developers sought planning permission for a spillway elsewhere on the estate.
Frant Parish Council had objected, saying the location would be inappropriate for the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and be out of character with surrounding area.
However, officers told the committee the dredging of silt from the lake would be necessary to maintain its character while ecological surveys had raised "no significant issues".
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BBC Radio Solent
A Dorset project to help victims of domestic abuse is to be extended.
The Dragonfly project uses the symbol of a dragonfly to show people in an abusive situation where they can find confidential support and advice.
The project trains people to become champions within communities. They're able to receive and respond to disclosures of domestic violence and abuse.
Funding has now been secured to continue the Dragonfly project in Dorset and to extend it to Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and West Sussex.
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The Conservatives have maintained a comfortable majority in Wealden.
The Tories lost six seats - four to Liberal Democrats and two to Greens - but held control of the council, winning 34 out of a possible 45 seats.
Ian Marchant visits the Sussex Weald, once the epicentre of the international arms trade, owing to its ironstone reserves and subsequent iron-making expertise. It's a personal story too: 'Marchant' is one of the Sussex names associated with metal-working migrants from Belgium in the late 15th century. Hammer and furnace ponds and former forges are now dotted about the landscape, rich habitat for wildlife, according to naturalist Richard Jones. A walk on the Weald is a treasure hunt for history-of-iron enthusiasts (of whom there are an unusual number in Sussex). They frequently come across previously undiscovered remains, some dating back to medieval times. Ian takes a walk at Newbridge with Jeremy Hodgkinson and Roger Prus, who can interpret the bumps in the woodland that most people would pass without noticing. They might be old furnace sites or even remains of buildings used by iron workers. He meets Emma O'Connor to explore the Anne of Cleves House collection of iron artefacts in Lewes. These range from items with military uses to all kinds of domestic and industrial products, most of which are beautifully preserved and attest to our ancestors' habits of recycling, repairing and preserving the things they owned. Ian visits Glynde Forge, where blacksmith Ricky Delaney demonstrates the living craft of working with metal in Sussex. Will Ian discover that forging metal is in his blood? Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery
BBC Live reporter
Overnight we have seen the Tories lose overall control in Tandridge, Surrey.
These are the estimated results times for each county in the South East:
- Maidstone 12:45
- Dover District 13:00
- Ashford 14:00
- Thanet 14:00
- Sevenoaks 15:30
- Swale 15:30
- Tonbridge & Malling 16:00 -18:00
- Canterbury City 17:00
- Tunbridge Wells 17:00
- Gravesham Borough 18:00
- Eastbourne 16:00
- Rother 16:00
- Brighton & Hove 17:00
- Lewes 17:00
- Wealden 17:00
- Worthing 11:00
- Chichester 12:00
- Crawley 16:00
- Horsham 16:00
- Arun 16:00
- Mid Sussex 19:00
- Mole Valley 15:00
- Woking 15:00
- Spelthorne 15:00
- Reigate and Banstead 16:30
- Waverley 18:00
- Runnymede 18:00
- Elmbridge - Unsure
Attempts are made to trace families of Sussex veterans who filmed messages in Asia.
Police are investigating after the words "traitor" and "hypocrite" were daubed on walls outside homes displaying political posters.
Three homes in Lewes, East Sussex, were targeted overnight on Friday. Each property had a political poster displayed - one Lib Dem, one Labour and one Green.
The three local parties released a joint statement condemning the "attack" on democracy.
Sussex Police said it was investigating two reports of vandalism in Prince Edward's Road and one in Park Road.
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BBC Live reporter
A cyclist was airlifted to hospital in London with serious injuries after a collision.
The 53-year-old woman from Hassocks is in St George's Hospital.
She was involved in a collision with a Honda Jazz in Spithurst Road, Barcombe, near Lewes, just before midday on 12 April.
Police are appealing for witnesses.
BBC Live reporter
Unemployment in the South East is at 3.3% according to the latest official figures.
Across the UK the proportion of people aged 16 and over not in work is at 3.9%, lower than at any time since the end of 1975.
You can read more about the national picture here.
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