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Have you seen missing Joanne?

Police are searching for a woman who has gone missing from her home in Hove.

Missing woman Joanne Bennett
Sussex Police

Joanne Bennett, 38, was last seen getting off a number 12A bus to Eastbourne near Seven Sisters about 16:00 BST on Monday.

A CCTV image of her taken at the time has been released.

CCTV image of missing Joanne Bennett
Sussex Police

Joanne, who is 5ft 11in, is believed to have been wearing white plimsolls and a green raincoat and carrying a small handbag.

Today's South East news website headlines

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The Argus: Sussex Police refuse to investigate after boy assaulted at PACA

Kent Online: Boy, 16, charged and victim named after 'road rage attack'

Get Surrey: Guildford woman with incurable cancer strips off to 'open conversation' on killer disease

Chichester Observer: Bosham residents warned to be vigilant after thieves target garages

Eastbourne Herald: Eastbourne street attack: Police seek man in connection with incident

Crawley and Horley Observer: Gatwick drones investigation under the spotlight

Worthing Herald: High visibility patrols outside Worthing schools follow 'increase in violence involving young people'

Mid Sussex Times: Sussex curate invites congregation to put plasters on map to heal Brexit wounds

Brighton & Hove News: Brighton students' neighbours demand compensation

Hastings Observer: Trio arrested after Hastings police pursuit

Brighton & Hove Independent: Man arrested after Brighton property is searched for firearms

Council approves children’s services changes

Ringmer Children's Centre

Plans to pull out of 10 children’s centres and two nurseries have been approved by East Sussex County Council under changes to its early years’ service.

Councillor Sylvia Tidy, East Sussex County Council’s lead member for children and families, approved the revised Early Help Strategy following a public consultation.

Ten of the county’s 26 children’s centres face closure by April 2020 unless alternative providers can be found.

They include: High Weald, Seaford, Chailey, Ringmer, Battle, West St Leonards, Old Town (Eastbourne), Crowborough, Rye and Egerton Park.

At Ringmer Children’s Centre, parents expressed dismay at the news. Suzanne Harling told BBC South East: “It’s a crying shame, absolute crying shame.”

But Ms Tidy said: “It is just buildings that we are closing, we are not cutting down the services."

Today's South East news website headlines

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The Argus:Brighton and Hove's most burgled streets

Kent Online:Rainham murder: Man arrested after woman found dead in Oast View Terrace off Mierscourt Road

Get Surrey:Driver threatened with knife and robbed in Woking after brick thrown at his head

Chichester Observer: Police investigate after two Chichester vehicles have their fuel lines cut

Eastbourne Herald:East Sussex fostering support charity picks up MBE for volunteer groups

Crawley and Horley Observer:Man fighting for his life after being found unconscious in Crawley park

Worthing Herald:Parents defend Worthing school facing potential changes

Mid Sussex Times:Tributes to Haywards Heath murder victim

Brighton & Hove News:Vegan campaigner appeals conviction for spitting at woman wearing fur coat

Hastings Observer:Woman, 23, assaulted by group of people on St Leonards seafront

Brighton & Hove Independent:Brighton man among 3 charged after London assault

Plans for 220 homes and 'spine road' approved

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

Site in Battle

Long-awaited proposals for a major housing development in Battle have been given the go-ahead by Rother planners.

On Thursday, Rother District Council’s planning committee approved an outline application to build up to 220 homes at the Blackfriars site near Battle – land partly owned by the council which has been set aside for housing for many years.

The committee also gave full planning permission for the construction of a “spine road” between The Spinney and Harrier Lane, which would effectively connect Marley Lane and Hastings Road.

Concerns raised by residents included fears over traffic in the area, impact on the High Weald AONB and over-development of the site.

Following a short discussion the application was approved by the committee. Details of the housing scheme were only approved in outline and will require further planning permission at a later date.

Last year, Rother District Council was awarded £3.25m of government funding in an effort to "kickstart" the building process.

The majority of this funding was set aside for the development of the new road included in the application.

Today's South East news website headlines

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The Argus:Toilets to become cafe, despite objections

Kent Online:Pensioner accused of killing biker by careless driving in Ramsgate 'didn't see him'

Get Surrey:County council says rail link to Heathrow must be built before airport is expanded

Chichester Observer: Chichester driver jailed after crashing head-on into car with children inside

Eastbourne Herald:Eastbourne man suffers life-threatening injuries after 'vicious attack'

Crawley and Horley Observer:Crawley man sent to prison for threatening police and sending offensive messages

Worthing Herald:Man suffers ‘multiple serious injuries’ in mystery Worthing incident

Mid Sussex Times:Man who raped young girl in Horley jailed for 21 years

Brighton & Hove News:Spread of parking zones described as 'death by a thousand cuts'

Hastings Observer:Man arrested after collision involving car and pedestrian in Hastings

Brighton & Hove Independent:Hove man jailed after string of summer burglaries

Funding cut for council-run nurseries

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter


A controversial decision on the future of two council-run nurseries in Bexhill has been met with anger from residents and Rother councillors.

On Monday, East Sussex County Council’s lead member for children and families Sylvia Tidy approved a raft of measures intended to cut £2.6m from the authority’s early help budget.

As part of these plans, the council will cease its funding of the Cygnets and Rainbow child care centres – the only county council-run nurseries.

According to the council the move comes as part of a wider change to early help services, intended to “focus limited resources on services rather than buildings.”

As part of its decision, the council has promised to work with other providers to secure sufficient nursery places in Bexhill “so far as is reasonably practicable". This could see the nurseries taken over by a private provider, councillors heard.

The council has also promised – following angry responses from residents in the public consultation – not to close the nurseries before September 2020, ensuring families can enrol their child for a full school year if needed.

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
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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

Council to 'continue subsidising' under threat nurseries

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

Two Bexhill nurseries may have avoided the threat of immediate closure.

East Sussex County Council is set to decide on whether or not to continue subsidising Cygnets, in Egerton Road and Rainbow in Ninfield Road.

The council began consultation on proposals to withdraw its subsidy of the two nurseries earlier this year, as part of a wider set of changes intended to save £2.6m from the authority’s children’s services budget.

The proposals, however, have proven to be controversial with Bexhill residents, who raised fears for the future of the nurseries should the council subsidy cease.

According to council papers, the objections from residents included a petition signed by more than 1,100 people.

In light of these concerns, council papers say, the authority intends to continue subsidising the nurseries for a 12-month period.

Both nurseries have been rated as outstanding by the education watchdog Ofsted.

Driver threatened with gun

Guy Bell

Police are looking for a man who threatened a driver with a gun during a road rage incident in Eastbourne.

At about 21:00 BST on Sunday the victim was driving east in Seaside when his car nearly collided with another car, a silver saloon, at the traffic lights junction with Whitley Road.

The victim drove on into Whitley Road but the silver car driver followed him, eventually blocking him in at nearby Ringwood Close.

The driver of silver car then got out, walked around the front of the victim's car and pointed what appeared to be a black handgun at the two occupants.

He then waved it around, made some comments that were not heard and got back into his car and reversed slowly out of the street before driving off.

The suspect is described as mixed race, aged between 18-30, 5ft 6in to 5ft 9in, of average build, with black afro-style hair, wearing a black and gold patterned top.

Walk-in centre to stay open as trial plans revealed

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

Walk-in medical services are to continue to be available in Hastings town centre as NHS commissioners move ahead with plans to trial a "primary care led hub", councillors heard this week.

On Thursday, East Sussex’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) were told about details of revised plans for the future of the Station Plaza Walk-in Centre in Hastings.

The centre had previously been earmarked for closure as part of wider proposals from both the Hastings & Rother and Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG).

After working on the proposals, however, the CCGs are now looking at trialling a “primary care led hub” at the centre instead, which is expected to see walk-in services retained.

The trial is expected to begin in December and is not expected to last more than 16 months, although the CCG says it will be looking at commissioning a service based on the trial's results.

Strip club patrons 'too embarrassed' to be a nuisance

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

A strip club is to open in Eastbourne after the council was reassured that customers would be too "embarrassed" to cause a nuisance as they left.

Previous conditions that prevented full nudity and kept dancers more than a metre from customers had prevented the opening of Lux in Pevensey Road, Eastbourne Borough Council was told.

A licensing committee agreed to drop the conditions, described by barrister James Rankin as "outdated".

He said the club would enforce a "no touching" policy, using CCTV and security staff.

He added that patrons were unlikely to disturb neighbours as they left.

“What tends to happen is that middle-aged men go in, they spend all their money on dances, they spend very little on drink.

“They then find themselves outside the premises wondering what on earth has happened and embarrassed and the last thing they want to do is draw attention to themselves.”

Today's South East news website headlines

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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

Rising number of children in unregulated care places

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

The number of children placed into unregulated care in East Sussex has more than tripled in the last four years.

East Sussex County Council's use of unregulated care places for children and young people over the age of 16 – also known as semi-independent or supported accommodation – has risen year-on-year since 2015-16.

The figures show the council placed a total of 63 children into unregulated care places in 2018-19 - rising from 13 in 2015-16.

Some of these children were placed outside of the county.

According to the council, the rise is due to a move away from using other types of accommodation.

Plans for new Eastbourne care home

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

Revised plans for a new care home in Eastbourne have been agreed.

Eastbourne Borough Council’s planning committee considered the application to build an 80-bed facility in Kings Drive.

The discussions followed on an earlier meeting where the committee directed council officers to negotiate changes in light of concerns over the size and scale of the original proposals.

The revised scheme saw some significant changes – including a size reduction from 85-beds and a repositioning of the whole building.

Further details of the scheme will need to be put out for further public consultation.

Plans for care home in Kings Drive, Eastbourne
Eastbourne Borough Council

Homes given green light as inspector overrules council

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

A council's attempts to block a housing development in Eastbourne have been overturned by a government inspector.

Six new homes are to be built in Silverdale Road in Meads after the inspector said Eastbourne Borough Council did not have legitimate grounds to deny planning approval.

An inspector concluded: "On balance, I conclude that the erection of six dwellings, in principle, would not materially detract from the character and appearance of the area.”

Windows decision overturned by inspector

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

A council decision to refuse the installation of new windows above an Eastbourne restaurant has been overturned by the planning inspectorate.

The application, which was refused by council planners earlier this year, saw developers seeking permission to replace the windows of flats above the Qualisea Fish Restaurant at the junction of Seaside Road and Terminus Road.

Planners had refused the application due to concerns over the impact of the windows on the character and appearance of the building and the wider conservation area.

This view was not shared by the planning inspector, however. In their written decision, the planning inspector said: “In my opinion, the qualities of the conservation area would not be reduced by the scheme before me."

Eighty-bed care home passes first hurdle

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

An 80-bed care home is a step closer to being built in Eastbourne.

Plans for the new home in Kings Drive have been agreed in principle by Eastbourne Borough Council.

The scheme was revised following concerns over the size of the original plans, with the number of beds reduced from 85.

Further details will now be submitted for public consultation, with full approval only granted if no new issues are raised.

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.

Today's South East news website headlines

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The Argus:Dad paralysed in weightlifting accident

Kent Online:Mum took her own life a day after being sent home from mental health unit

Get Surrey:'Degrading' conditions found at HMP Coldingley including prisoners using buckets as lavatories

Chichester Observer: Sussex Police officer seriously injured after being hit by car on A27

Eastbourne Herald:Decision made surrounding fishing at Eastbourne Pier

Crawley and Horley Observer:Sainsbury's to close dozens of Argos branches, supermarkets and convenience stores

Worthing Herald:A259 collision: Wick man appears in court after police officers 'hit with stolen car'

Mid Sussex Times:Ex Thomas Cook staff at Gatwick ‘could be in line for extra redundancy pay’

Brighton & Hove News:Council accused of hiding £1m cut to school transport budget for vulnerable children

Hastings Observer:Bexhill woman given three year ban for drink driving

Brighton & Hove Independent:Man banned from Brighton for five years for ‘significant anti-social behaviour’

Boy, 13, injured in hit-and-run

Guy Bell

BBC Reporter

Brooks Road

A 13-year-old boy has suffered head injuries during a hit-and-run.

The boy was hit by the car, believed to be a silver or grey BMW, on Brooks Road, Lewes, at about 08:20 BST.

He was taken to Lewes Victoria Hospital for treatment and police are searching for the driver of the car.

Today's South East news website headlines

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The Argus:Man jailed for spouting homophobic and racist abuse in Queen's Road, Brighton

Kent Online:Rare PANDAs disorder left Ashford teenager suffering fits of laughter and four-hour seizures

Get Surrey:Firefighters could strike as modernisation plan for Surrey Fire and Rescue approved

Chichester Observer: Man dies in hospital after two-vehicle Petworth collision

Eastbourne Herald:Man jailed after making threats to kill in Eastbourne

Crawley and Horley Observer:Tesco in plans to open new Horsham town centre store

Mid Sussex Times:‘Delight’ as Haywards Heath Golf Club not allocated for development

Brighton & Hove News:School transport consultants given £500k contract to cut £300k from service

Hastings Observer:Hastings Pier owner speaks out on plans to sell businesses

Brighton & Hove Independent:Calls to provide tenants in temporary housing with basic essentials and Wifi

Meals-on-wheels cut back

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

Meal on a tray
Getty Images

East Sussex County Council is to cut its meals on wheels subsidy, leaving all but the most vulnerable of users to pay for the service in full.

While the council had originally proposed scrapping the subsidy entirely, the proposals were rethought in light of a public consultation earlier this year.

As a result, the council will continue to help with the costs for its most vulnerable residents, meaning between 100 and 150 of the service’s 679 users will keep their subsidy.

The final proposals were approved by lead member for adult social care Carl Maynard at a meeting on Tuesday.

During the meeting, councillors heard how each service user would be assessed on a case-by-case basis, to decide whether they will continue to receive the subsidy.

This would involve assessments both in person and on the telephone, councillors heard.

However, this saw concerns raised by Angharad Davies in her role as chairman of the council’s scrutiny committee, who said: “We did feel very strongly about the fact that telephone assessments in many instances wouldn’t be good enough and that face-to-face interviews are important."

Today's South East news website headlines

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The Argus: Gigantic fish caught on father and son's fishing trip

Kent Online: Row amid calls to move fountain after 97 years

Get Surrey: Staines flat fire death shocks community as residents react to tragedy

Chichester Observer: Fire at Felpham house in early hours

Eastbourne Herald: Arrest after man is stabbed several times and run over in Brighton

Crawley and Horley Observer: Police break up birthday party and make three arrests

Worthing Herald: Brooklands Go Karts to leave East Worthing site after more than 50 years

Mid Sussex Times: Sussex photographer’s snap among best pictures of the royal family taken this year

Brighton & Hove News: Brighton heart surgeon cleared of misconduct

Hastings Observer: St Leonards man, 91, charged following Extinction Rebellion protest in Dover

Brighton & Hove Independent: Police concern over missing Brighton man

Today's South East news website headlines

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The Argus:'We're no burden' say family who home school children, live in in council house and do not use NHS

Kent Online:Boy tried to hang himself aged nine after racial abuse at special needs

Get Surrey:More than 13,000 drivers caught speeding since M23 average speed cameras introduced

Chichester Observer: Arundel bypass consultation 'full of errors', campaigners say

Eastbourne Herald:Expensive seafront hotel in Eastbourne taken off the market

Crawley and Horley Observer:Crawley stabbing: police release CCTV images of two men they would like to talk to

Worthing Herald:Worthing taxi owner speaks out over ‘damaging’ licence regulations

Mid Sussex Times:Retired Balcombe teacher jailed for child sex offences ‘hid laptop in shed’

Brighton & Hove News:Armed officers standing by for Labour Party conference duty in Brighton

Hastings Observer:Bexhill woman sentenced for improper use of Blue disabled badge

Brighton & Hove Independent:Council apologises over home to school transport ‘fiasco’