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Today's local news website headlines

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Kent Online: Self-harm at record level in Rochester Prison

The Argus: Lion and Lobster pub in Brighton to host beach themed street party

Get Surrey:Cystic fibrosis University of Surrey student studying to find a cure for her condition

Hastings Observer: Historic buses roll into Hastings

Mid Sussex Times:Warning over toxic caterpillars across Sussex which can cause a painful rash

Chichester Observer:Chichester community spaces given a £19,000 funding boost

Worthing Herald:Shoreham Airshow Memorial: Pictures show the story so far as the 11 arches are erected

West Sussex County Times:Thieves steal village brownie pack’s scarecrow

Brighton & Hove Independent:Fundraisers abseil for Blind Veterans UK

Eastbourne Herald: Road closed for more than five hours after serious accident on A27 Pevensey Bypass

Brighton and Hove News:Planning inspector overrules council on seven shared houses in Brighton

Scrutinising children's services in West Sussex

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Councillors charged with scrutinising children’s services in West Sussex have questioned the level of information provided to them.

The service was rated inadequate by Ofsted last week and the council will now work with a commissioner from the Department for Education in an effort to bring things up to scratch.

Scrutiny came in for criticism from the inspectors, who described the process as not "sufficiently rigorous".

At a meeting councillors said they were determined to see children's services improve and made a number of suggestions.

Councillors were told that seven core themes for improvement had been decided – effective leadership, work force, planning and development, learning and development, design of the service, and partnerships, process and compliance.

Today's local news website headlines

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Kent Online: Russell Brand backs Gravesend artist Claude Barry

The Argus: Anger as rough sleepers pitch tents outside Brighton Town Hall

Get Surrey:Huge 54 metre long gantry installed across M23 ahead of 38-hour Gatwick Airport road closure

Hastings Observer: Restoration of former Observer building given boost as fundraiser extended

Mid Sussex Times: Haywards Heath farmer saves fox cubs after car hits pregnant mother

Chichester Observer: Chichester man dies from pneumonia after fall at hospital

Worthing Herald: St Paul's closure rumours addressed by trustee

West Sussex County Times: Windows smashed in Horsham vandalism spree

Brighton & Hove Independent: Lancing woman jailed for violent homophobic assault after Brighton Pride

Eastbourne Herald: Eastbourne PC faces misconduct charges after person injured in 'drunk' argument

Brighton and Hove News: Ten seafront lanterns removed after corrosion found

Dragonfly project in Dorset extended

Melanie James

BBC Radio Solent

Dragonfly Logo
You First

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.

Council leader to stand down

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Tony Dignum

The leader of Chichester District Council has announced he is standing down.

Tony Dignum, who was re-elected as a Conservative member for Chichester North on Friday, has been a cabinet member for seven years and leader for four.

The elections saw the Tories lose their overall majority of the council, holding 18 of the 36 seats – a result which helped prompt Mr Dignum’s decision.

He said: “Leading the council with no overall control requires a new approach best delivered by someone else.

"I am older than other colleagues, so it is probably a good time to reduce my workload.”

Today's local news website headlines

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KentOnline: Thieves steal hundreds of pounds from Wildwood Discovery Park near Canterbury

The Argus: The Old Market and Brighton Women's Centre team up

GetSurrey: Staines school to scan pupils for knives following rise in knife crime

Hastings Observer: Wet and windy start to day in Hastings and Rother

Mid Sussex Times:Burgess Hill town centre redevelopment: Residents invited to open day

Chichester Observer: Goodwood pilots to fly silver spitfire around the world

Worthing Herald: Adur Repair Cafe set for launch in Shoreham

West Sussex County Times: Broadbridge Heath bypass closes as downgrade begins

Brighton & Hove Independent: Trainlines between Worthing and Littlehampton blocked after person hit by a train - Chichester lines also affected

Eastbourne Herald: New drug cabinet provided to DGH by Eastbourne charity

Brighton and Hove News: Vine Street restaurant given alcohol licence despite neighbour concerns

Tories lose control in Chichester

The Conservative Party has lost control of Chichester District Council which is now under No Overall Control. The party lost 13 seats.

The Liberal Democrats gained nine while Labour and the Greens both gained two.

Tory council leader loses seat in Arun

The Conservative council leader in Arun, West Sussex, has been unseated by an independent candidate.

Gillian Brown and her Tory colleague Trevor Bence lost out to independents Hugh Coster and Anthony Dixon.

The council, where the Tories had held a comfortable majority, is yet to return a full set of results.

When are your local council results due back?

Lizzie Massey

BBC Live reporter

Election count in Tandridge

Overnight we have seen the Tories lose overall control in Tandridge, Surrey.

In Kent, the Conservatives have lost control of Folkestone and Hythe but the party has held Medway and Dartford.

These are the estimated results times for each county in the South East:


  1. Maidstone 12:45
  2. Dover District 13:00
  3. Ashford 14:00
  4. Thanet 14:00
  5. Sevenoaks 15:30
  6. Swale 15:30
  7. Tonbridge & Malling 16:00 -18:00
  8. Canterbury City 17:00
  9. Tunbridge Wells 17:00
  10. Gravesham Borough 18:00

East Sussex:

  1. Eastbourne 16:00
  2. Rother 16:00
  3. Brighton & Hove 17:00
  4. Lewes 17:00
  5. Wealden 17:00

West Sussex

  1. Worthing 11:00
  2. Chichester 12:00
  3. Crawley 16:00
  4. Horsham 16:00
  5. Arun 16:00
  6. Mid Sussex 19:00


  1. Mole Valley 15:00
  2. Woking 15:00
  3. Spelthorne 15:00
  4. Reigate and Banstead 16:30
  5. Waverley 18:00
  6. Runnymede 18:00
  7. Elmbridge - Unsure

Remarkable footage shows World War Two soldiers sending messages home
Attempts are made to trace families of Sussex veterans who filmed messages in Asia.

Today's local news website headlines

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Hastings Observer: Former Hastings marriage registrar now performs pagan love ceremonies at Glastonbury Festival

Kent Online: Drink driver chased by police in his BMW in Hythe after taking cocaine

Chichester Observer: Man arrested and charged after spate of criminal damage incidents at Chichester store

Eastbourne Herald: Guns used in attempted murders manufactured in illegal Hailsham pistol factory

Worthing Herald: Kind Lancing couple fund village’s newest public defibrillator

Mid Sussex Times: ‘Positive’ meeting to resolve traffic chaos at Burgess Hill McDonald’s

Brighton and Hove News: Hove care home owner goes bust

Brighton and Hove Independent: Burger bar’s bid for later opening hours

The Argus: Peacehaven couple ran into their burning home to save their pets

Get Surrey: Four people arrested in connection with stolen cars found at Chertsey farm

Crawley Observer: Man’s body found at Crawley home

Today's local news website headlines

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Hastings Observer: Hastings Jack in the Green: What you need to know

Kent Online: Man with meat cleaver arrested in Rochester

Chichester Observer: Plan to split Chichester store after closure confirmed

Eastbourne Herald: New purpose-built church to be developed in Eastbourne town centre

Worthing Herald: Meet the Worthing man who 'walks' his parrot at the park

Mid Sussex Times: Overnight break-in at Hassocks farm

Brighton and Hove News: Thousands from Brighton and Hove face losing their vote in European elections

Brighton and Hove Independent: Male politicians come out in support of Brighton suffragette statue

The Argus: Brighton seagull swallows entire pigeon whole

Get Surrey: Police searching for suspects after 'distinctive' pink van stolen in Weybridge

Crawley Observer: Crawley Chief Inspector pops to the shop to buy cakes for her officers, ends up arresting shoplifter

CCTV issued in hunt for thief

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Police say they would like to speak to this man about two purse thefts.

Chichester purse theft suspect
Sussex Police

They were taken from unattended bags in Chichester city centre, on 2 March and 13 April.

Bank cards were used in nearby shops and pubs, and on both occasions were also used to buy a single ticket to Havant in Hampshire.

Today's local news website headlines

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Hastings Observer: Small village shop puts Hastings and Bexhill to shame over Mozambique cyclone appeal

Kent Online: Couple arrange Stockbury's newest three-day Chickenstock festival in July

Chichester Observer: Selsey house demolition - Backlash prompts response from Chichester District Council

Eastbourne Herald: 'Sheer greed' of Eastbourne man in stealing £54,000 from Gardners Books over five years

Worthing Herald: Search for armed robbery suspect in Worthing

Mid Sussex Times: Burgess Hill regeneration: ‘Next is still on the cards and has always been on the cards’

Brighton and Hove News: Brighton's toxic transport crisis

Brighton and Hove Independent: Disinfectant set off gas alarms at Brighton seafront hotel

The Argus: Fatboy Slim to play at Hove Old Market in May

Get Surrey: Councillors 'shocked' and 'horrified' after man in 50s stabbed four times in Sunbury

Crawley Observer: Crawley man admits possessing 278 indecent images of children

Man sought over stolen rings

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Police have named a man they want to speak to in connection with the theft of £27,000 worth of jewellery.

Fourteen designer rings were taken from Pressley's in North Street, Chichester, overnight on 7 and 8 January, after a side window was smashed.

Christopher Fahey
Sussex Police

Detectives say they would like to speak to Christopher Fahey and have released his picture.

He's 41 and from Dagenham.

Vandal targets same supermarket for 'fourth time'

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Police in Chichester believe the same man is responsible for four separate attacks on the same shop in the space of three months.

suspect in multiple vandalism case
Sussex Police
Police have issued this CCTV image of a man they want to question

The latest incident, at the Co-op on the forecourt of a filling station in Lavant Road, happened at 05:20 BST on 11 April.

The man threw a brick at a large window pane, then picked it up and threw it a second time to smash the window.

It's thought the same man smashed the store's windows in February and twice in March.

Today's local news website headlines

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Hastings Observer: Sussex town is the smallest in England to still have a Mayor and Corporation

Kent Online: Former Tally Ho pub in Canterbury must be converted back from house to bar

Chichester Observer: Hundreds gather for open air baptisms on Easter Sunday in Chichester

Eastbourne Herald: Police and council respond to petition to dig up garden in search of body of missing Polegate teen

Worthing Herald: Dogs Trust Shoreham dog of the week Benny acts like a giant puppy

Mid Sussex Times: ‘Wonderful news’ as Mid Sussex charity awarded £5,000

Brighton and Hove News: Police ask public to help find Brighton man missing since before Easter

Brighton and Hove Independent: Fraud investigation as Brighton women lose thousands after being promised jobs abroad

The Argus: City clean boss hits back as union holds ballot on strike action

Get Surrey: Slow M25 and M3 traffic due to crash and emergency repairs - live updates

Crawley Observer: Gatwick based trust offers bursaries for children with paralysis

'Highly explosive' ordnance found on beach

The ordnance found
Selsey Coastguard

"Highly explosive" ordnance has been found on a beach in West Sussex and taken away for disposal.

Selsey Coastguard said it was paged at 07:20 BST to a report of objects on the beach at Medmerry.

After a search located the items, they were taken away by Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD).

The coastguard said during the war, Selsey had a bombing range for air to ground target practice. Flooding and erosion since has led to ordnance being washed up.

The Coastguard said: "This, and previous ordnance found on this beach, has been found to be highly explosive, so please do not touch it. Dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard straight away."

Medmerry beach, Chichester
Coastguard and bomb squad vehicles at the beach
Selsey Coastguard

Today's local news website headlines

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Hastings Observer: Morris dance set to celebrate St George’s Day.

Kent Online: Migrant's death under coach 'misadventure'

Chichester Observer:Train disruption between Gatwick and Three Bridges

Eastbourne Herald: Two cars on fire in early hours

Worthing Herald: Police warn of 'disturbing hugging scam'

Mid Sussex Times: Stephen Lawrence Day - Police officers take time to reflect

Brighton & Hove News: Councillor speaks of 'highs and lows' in office

Brighton & Hove Independent: Meet the Sussex Police cyber crime head

The Argus: Man dangles boy over cliff edge

Surrey News: Dentist to face misconduct hearing

Crawley Observer: Our shared interest in protecting the planet

Severe accident: A286 West Sussex both ways

BBC News Travel

A286 West Sussex both ways severe accident, from A27 Chichester By Pass to Terminus Road.

A286 West Sussex - A286 Stockbridge Road in Chichester closed in both directions from Stockbridge Roundabout to the Terminus Road junction, because of an accident involving a single vehicle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Evidence of rabbits in UK in Roman times, say academics

A bone from a rabbit found at Fishbourne Roman Palace

Rabbits have been hopping around the UK since the Roman period, experts have been able to scientifically prove for the first time.

Tests on a rabbit bone, found at Fishbourne Roman Palace in West Sussex, have shown the animal was alive in 1AD.

The 1.6in (4cm) piece of a tibia bone was found in 1964 but it remained in a box until 2017, when a zooarchaeologist realised that it came from a rabbit.

Academics believe the animal could have been kept as an exotic pet.

Analysis, including radiocarbon dating, was carried out by researchers at the universities of Exeter, Oxford and Leicester.