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Allergy row man calls for plane nut ban
A British holidaymaker has accused an airline of discrimination after it forced him off a plane when he told cabin crew he had a nut allergy.

Earnings climb 7.3% at Gatwick Airport

Gatwick airport
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London's Gatwick Airport has reported a 7.3% rise in annual underlying earnings to £441.4m.

Passenger numbers climbed to 46.4 million, including a 14.3% rise in long-haul passengers.

The airport said the long-haul growth was driven by increased Far East connections, which jumped 45% higher year-on-year.

Overall revenues lifted 6.1% to £810.8m for the year.

Britain's second biggest airport was recently bought by French construction and transport concession group Vinci.

Pupil lobbies council for safer roads

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

A 14-year-old girl has taken her GCSE coursework and turned it into a bid to lobby councillors to make the A30 safer for school children.

More than 300 people signed Holly Davies' petition which she presented to members of Surrey County Council and Surrey Heath Borough Council Local Committee asking for safety railings.

She said pupils would often take short cuts across the road.

The committee praised Holly but said because there was already a footbridge and traffic lights in the area they could not fund the railings.

They suggested she carried on the campaign by educating pupils about the dangers of making short cuts and not using safety crossings.

'Toilet stop' lay-by under review

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

A lay-by used as a toilet stop by lorry drivers is an “absolute nightmare for residents” and should be closed, a council has heard.

Councillor Valerie White said problems with the A322 lay-by in Bagshot have been ongoing for years, and that the noise from engines and the smell from human waste needed to stop.

Homes in Gloucester Road and Freemantle Road back onto the lay-by, just off from the M3 junction.

Speaking at Surrey County Council and Surrey Heath Borough Council Local Committee on Thursday, Councillor White said: “This has been an absolute nightmare for residents.

“We have got to close the lay-by. That one is not fit for purpose.”

Councillors agreed a review of the lay-by use needed to take place because closing it could just move the problem elsewhere.

Ash dieback replanting may take 'six years' to start

Odera Ezenna

Ash dieback
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It could take up to six years before replanting begins on trees felled across Surrey due to ash dieback.

Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT) was granted the licence to carry out the work earlier this year, after consulting with the Forestry Commission and Natural England.

Ash dieback is a deadly fungal disease, usually found in ash trees.

SWT selectively cut down trees that were within 30m (98ft) of footpaths and deemed dangerous to the public if they fell.

The collected wood was reused, with some of it sent as chippings to a power station.

Zoe Channon, from SWT said the trust “only just about broke even” on the project.

“We need to wait five years to see what natural regeneration comes through in those areas," she said.

The sites of the felled trees are now being monitored for re-growth or to see if replacements need to be planted.

Urgent care review

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

Walk-in clinics could face closure or moving as health leaders in Surrey review changes to how patients access urgent appointments needed the same day.

Doctors say this is a chance to “make a change for the better” as they look at different ways for residents to access health care.

The changes could free up time for doctors who say they cannot fit in any more appointments.

The review of urgent care was presented to members of Surrey County Council adults and health select committee on Thursday.

Representatives from Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), Surrey Heartlands and GP surgeries said they were looking at different ways to provide what is currently on offer through minor injury and urgent care units, walk-in centres and GP out of hours services.

Climate change protest over oil investments

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

Climate change campaigners caused a Surrey council meeting to adjourn with a protest against investing pension money into the oil industry.

The Surrey Pension Fund (SPF) committee meeting was called to a halt on Friday as campaigners walked around the room scattering flower petals and singing, but resumed about 20 minutes later after the protesters left.

Papers said 8.9% of SPF’s total fund value is invested in low carbon and infrastructure.

Chris Neill from Extinction Rebellion Godalming said he was appalled £145m was invested directly into the fossil fuel industry.

Committee chairman councillor Tim Evans assured members of the public they were taking climate change “very seriously” and said: "We have taken a course of action that allows us to engage with these companies and try to encourage them to change.”

SPF is managed by Surrey County Council and has more than 75,000 current, deferred and pensioner members with assets in excess of £2bn.

Oil well drilling decision delayed

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

Thousands of residents waiting to hear the decision for drilling at four oil wells will have to wait a bit longer after a planning meeting has been cancelled for the third month in a row.

Consultations are still ongoing regarding the proposals for Horse Hill Well Site in Hookwood, Horley.

It was first provisionally thought the application would be considered in April but had to be cancelled due to more than 1,000 objections being sent in.

Then Surrey County Council cancelled May’s planning and regulatory committee.

And now this month’s meeting scheduled for 19 June has been cancelled.

The application submitted by Horse Hill Developments, a subsidiary of oil explorer UK Oil & Gas (UKOG), is for the retention and extension of the existing well site including the drilling of four new hydrocarbon wells and one water reinjection well.

As well as the six wells, UKOG want to build a process and storage area, tanker loading facility, new boundary fencing, well maintenance workovers and sidetrack drilling.

The application also includes ancillary development to enable the production of hydrocarbons from six wells for a period of 25 years.

Horse Hill drilling site
In February and March UKOG carried out flow tests at its well at Horse Hill

Pollution fears over road widening scheme

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

Surrey Highways sign
Local Democracy Reporting Service

A resident living near the M25 and M23 says he fears a £3.8m improvement project for the A23 is going to have a “negative impact” on pollution and pedestrians.

Highways England is proposing a widening scheme of Brighton Road in Hooley saying the work is necessary in a bid to reduce accidents and congestion and improve the traffic flow on the road it calls a “strategic route” between Brighton and London.

On Monday Ian Thirlwall from Hooley told Reigate and Banstead and Surrey County Council Local Committee residents were concerned about the impact on air pollution with the widening of the road increasing traffic.

He also said proposals to build on the verges and pavements would put pedestrians and cyclists within “brushing distance” of traffic.

Hooley has been designated an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA).

A Highways England spokesman said: “We are aware of strong local feelings in relation to our plans for improving the A23 through Hooley, and we have worked hard to balance the views and opinions of the local residents with the needs of the 35,000 people using this strategic route each day."

A decision whether to go ahead with the scheme will be made in July. If agreed, construction work is expected to start in the summer and to be completed by spring 2020.

Sewage site to become 'ground-breaking' housing estate

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

The major redevelopment of a sewage treatment site into a housing estate with around 1,500 homes has been hailed as “ground-breaking".

Contracts have been signed between Guildford Borough Council and Thames Water for the Slyfield Area Regeneration Project.

Weyside Urban Village will have 1,500 homes, of which 40% will be affordable.

The Thames Water treatment works will be relocated from the site on Woking Road, which could take three years including the decontamination of the site to make it ready for housing,

Newer odour control equipment and ways to treat the sewage means much smaller sites are needed.

Anton Draper of MHCLG, James Whiteman of Guildford Borough Council, Steve Spencer of Thames Water and leader of the council Caroline Reeves
Anton Draper of MHCLG, James Whiteman of Guildford Borough Council, Steve Spencer of Thames Water and leader of the council Caroline Reeves

Anton Draper, head of investment and regeneration at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: "It’s novel and it’s exciting. It’s ground-breaking. Other water companies are coming to talk to us to understand how this has been coming together.”

Finer details are still being worked on and planning applications have to be submitted to both the county and borough council for approval.

Guildford’s Local Plan has a target of 10,678 new homes by 2034.

Today's local news website headlines

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The Argus: Man died in flat in York Place, Brighton

Kent Online: Doctor suspended after 'sexually motivated behaviour'

Get Surrey: Chef set fire to Farnham restaurant before sending nude photos to his colleagues

Chichester Observer: 10 arrested for weapon and drug offences ahead of Hells Angels 'Euro Run'

Eastbourne Herald: Eastbourne 15 year old guilty of malicious wounding

Crawley and Horley Observer: Armed police called to incident at Three Bridges station

Worthing Herald: Two people arrested on the A27 in Lancing following incident in Peacehaven

Mid Sussex Times: Major retailer announces sudden Sussex store closures

Brighton and Hove News: Brighton student housing scheme's backers outnumber objectors

Hastings Observer: Historic Hastings tapestry on display in Rye wows visitors

Brighton and Hove Independent: Parents robbed Brighton teenager in savage ammonia attack that left him partially blind

Today's local news website headlines

Newspaper printing press
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The Argus: Botched bunion surgery leaves woman housebound

Kent Online: Tributes to girl set to 'rule the world' before unexplained death

Get Surrey: Former Epsom Hospital children's doctor suspended

Chichester Observer: Selsey sexual assault: Man hands himself in

Eastbourne Herald: Injury left working mum relying on foodbanks

Crawley and Horley Observer: Runaway lorry rolls downhill with unconscious driver

Worthing Herald: Graffiti by Worthing's Banksy should be removed, council officers say

Mid Sussex Times: Burgess Hill Academy celebrates ‘good’ Ofsted rating

Brighton and Hove News: Most Brighton A&E patients satisfied despite having to wait longer than average

Hastings Observer: Firefighters battling another blaze at derelict Hastings care home

Brighton and Hove Independent: Brighton shortlisted for Best Walking Neighbourhood Award

Council takes back control of adult mental health services

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

A hard-up council is going to bring its adult mental-health support services back in-house in an attempt to provide patients with a better deal for less money.

Surrey County Council has given the NHS trust that manages the service on its behalf - Surrey and Borders Partnership (SABP) - six months' notice that it intends to scrap the current arrangement and take back full control of the operation.

Sinead Mooney, cabinet member for adults and public health, told council colleagues the emphasis would mean more preventive measures and less costly secondary care.

She said: "It is anticipated that improved quality and greater effectiveness can be made in this service using in-house management. This will be a better offer for our residents who require this type of support."

She said similar changes to adult social care had resulted in "significant financial savings" and suggested an "under-development" of preventive and community resources "may have resulted in an over-reliance on costly residential and institutional care".

Surrey County Council announced a series of closures and service cutbacks in February as it slashed £82m from this year's budget.

Ms Mooney said: "Our ambition is to provide better services within the resources that the council can afford."

She said there should be no adverse effect on patients.

Lorna Payne, chief operating officer of SABP, said: "We are determined to work with all our health and care partners to make sure the change is as smooth as possible."

BreakingSouth East results

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Brexit Party: 915,686

Lib Dems: 653,743

Green: 343,249

Conservatives: 260,277

Labour: 184,678

Change UK: 105,832

UKIP: 56,487

South East turnout

Turnout in the South East was 39.36% - up from 35.4% in 2014.

The South East region is made up of the Isle of Wight, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire, Kent, Surrey, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Pupil workshops on reducing air pollution

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

School pupils across Surrey are taking part in workshops and being taught how to cycle on busy roads as part of a campaign to educate families about air pollution.

About 40 schools in the county are taking part in the targeted programme which also includes a theatre company visiting children.

Parents will then be targeted in June when Surrey County Council (SCC) takes part in an anti-idling campaign to encourage people to turn off their engines when waiting in their cars outside the school gates.

SCC launched the Schools Air Quality Programme in October 2018 and it runs until July this year after receiving funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affair Air Quality Fund.

The programme aims to reduce air pollution near targeted primary or secondary schools in or within 2km of an Air Quality Management Area.