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MP Mark Simmonds: "nothing suspicious about resignation"

The Boston and Skegness MP Mark Simmonds says there's nothing suspicious about his resignation.

The Foreign Office Minister announced earlier that he will be standing down next year.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's World At One, Mr Simmonds was asked if it would have made sense for him to remain as a Foreign Office minister, given the situations in Gaza and Iraq.

The Prime Minister understandably wanted to have a new minister coming in to replace me once I told him I wasn't intending to stand at the next election."

– Boston and Skegness MP Mark Simmonds

Shadow Foreign Office minister John Spellar said the resignation raises further questions about Mr Cameron's judgment and is a "another blow to a Government already reeling" from Lady Warsi's departure.

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Council hopeful Skegness amusement park will remain open

Lincolnshire County Council says its "concerned" after the company which owns an amusement park in Skegness went into administration.

But it says it's hopeful Fantasy Island will remain open.

The business will continue to operate as usual while the administrators review the company’s financial position, and no job losses are expected among permanent staff.

"Fantasy Island has been, for many years, a key tourist attraction on the Lincolnshire coast so we are, of course, concerned by today's news.

"However, local tourism is booming on the coast and across Lincolnshire, so we would be very surprised if the site did close – particularly at this time of year.

"The previous and present owners have invested positively in the area over the past few years and become an important part of the local community, as well as being a significant employer of local people. I'm sure many will be shocked by today's news and will be very sorry to see them go.

"I will be making my full officer team available to help and assist any potential new operator or developer for this key and strategic site, so that they're aware of the support we can offer to help make the attraction a local and national success."

– Cllr Colin Davie, Lincolnshire County Council

Company behind Fantasy Island goes into administration

The company which owns an amusement park in Skegness has gone into administration.

Conduit Skegness Limited, and associated group trading companies, own Fantasy Island - which includes theme park rides, Europe’s largest permanent seven-day market and 340 static caravan pitches.

The business will continue to operate as usual while the administrators review the company’s financial position, and no job losses are expected among permanent staff.

The seasonal temporary expansion of the payroll during the summer holiday season will also continue as usual.

Paul Clark and Ben Wiles, Managing Directors of Duff & Phelps, have been appointed as administrators.

“Fantasy Island is an important leisure destination that attracts up to 40,000 visitors a day.

As we head into one of the busiest months of the year it is very much business as usual and customers should be assured that this will not impact their experience, whether they are visiting the rides, market or one of the shows.

"It’s also important for employees to know that their jobs will not be impacted during these busy summer months and we look forward to working with the team.”

– Paul Clark, Joint Administrator

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Three guilty in forced prostitution case

Three people from South Yorkshire have been found guilty of offences involving the kidnap and forced prostitution of a Skegness woman.

Stephen John Redhead

Stephen John Redhead, 48, and Stephanie Coggan, 26, both of Park Street in Rotherham, together with Jonathan Paul Lindley, 40, of Lowedges Road, in Sheffield, were convicted at Lincoln Crown Court.

Stephanie Coggan

Redhead and Lindley were both found guilty of one count of kidnap and one count of trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Redhead, and his partner Coggan, were convicted of the offence of causing or inciting prostitution for gain.

Jonathan Lindley

Redhead was also found guilty of a fourth count of possession of amphetamine with intent to supply, whilst Coggan was found not guilty of that offence.

The court heard that between 30th December 2013 and 6th January 2014, a 33 year-old woman was forcibly taken by Redhead and Lindley from her Skegness home to Rotherham, where Redhead and Coggan made her work as a prostitute to repay a drug debt.

The victim's drug addiction and lifestyle made her vulnerable to abuse and Redhead and Coggan exploited that vulnerability, using fear and their formidable reputation as violent figures in the drug world to control her and her associates. They subjected her to degrading and humiliating treatment for their own profit and it is satisfying to see convicted of these offences.

– DCI Steve Taylor

Region's resorts are beating economic downturn

A new report has revealed that the region's seaside towns are beating the squeeze on household incomes and continuing to support thousands of jobs along the east coast.

The team at Sheffield Hallam University which carried out the research says many resorts still face challenges, our reporter Adam Fowler has been to Skegness to hear about the lessons the town learned during the downturn.

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