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Brighton & Hove councillors fail to agree on budget

Members of Brighton and Hove City Council have failed to set a budget after six hours of negotiations, and will now reconvene on Tuesday 3 March.

At just after 10.30pm the council chief executive Penny Thompson said it was unlikely they were going to be unable to reach an agreement this evening.

They were trying to decide whether tax payers in the city will face the biggest increase in their bills in the country.

The Greens want a rise of almost 6%, which would equate to more than £70 a year for an average household.

They say without a big rise they will have to make drastic cuts in public services. Both Labour and the Conservatives feel this is too high.

The opposition Labour group leader Warren Morgan tonight argued for a 2% rise in council tax.

Brighton MP welcomes hospital's £60m funding

Simon Kirby, Member of Parliament for Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven, has spoken of his delight as the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt today announced that the Government has pledged additional funding for the Royal Sussex County Hospital redevelopment.

The Hospital put forward an outline business case for £420 million which was approved by the Government last year. Since then the Trust has been working hard to finalise the proposal and costings with the lead contractor which has shown an increase in the costs of the scheme.

Last year I successfully campaigned for £420 million for the redevelopment of the Royal Sussex County Hospital. I have subsequently been lobbying both the Chancellor and the Health Secretary for an additional £60 million for the redevelopment.

I was therefore delighted that this afternoon the Health Secretary announced that following these efforts, the Government has pledged that an additional £60 million has been set aside for the hospital redevelopment, taking the total to around £480 million. This is a very positive step forward.

– Simon Kirby MP

E-fit released following Portsmouth robbery

Police in Portsmouth have issued an e-fit after two people were robbed in Portsmouth on last friday between 11.35pm and midnight.

A 22-year-old woman has her bag snatched from her as she walked along a footpath behind Castle Tavern in Somers Road. She sustained bruising as she fell to the ground when the bag was taken with force. The bag contained a Motorola smartphone, passport, keys and purse with cards and a small amount of cash.

A 21-year-old man was threatened with violence in Canal Walk and was made to hand over his Nokia Lumia phone. He was left shaken by the incident.

Anyone with information should contact PSI Briggs in the Eastern Investigation team on 101 Credit: Hampshire Police

Police Staff Investigator John Briggs said: “We are linking these two robberies as they occurred close to each other and within half an hour. “The description of the offender is very similar in both cases.

“Anyone who recognises the man in the e-fit or has any information about who may be responsible should contact police.”


Risk pays off for all-female crew in sailing race

The only all female crew competing in the Volvo Ocean Round the World Race are finding what could have been a risky decision to navigate in the opposite direction from all but one team - is paying off.

Team SCA have made visual contact with two other teams and we spoke to Dee Caffari on board, in the dead of night, as the team make their way towards the Equator on Leg Four which ends in Auckland early next month.

Jimmy Savile described as 'predator' during Stoke Mandeville work

A report out today described Jimmy Savile as a predator - using his celebrity status to access vulnerable patients - one just 8 years old - another paralysed.

It said those to whom incidents were reported had failed in their duty to protect. Complaints were not taken seriously or referred up. Kerry Swain sends this report.

Paedophile jailed after meeting girl, 15, in hotel

A man from Essex has been jailed for four years for three offences of penetrative sexual activity with a child and one count of grooming.

David Peter Havis, 38, from Essex, was sentenced today at Bournemouth Crown Court.

In September 2014, David Havis began sexualised communications with his 15-year-old victim via internet chat sites such as WhatsApp.

On release from prison, Havis will be given a Sex Offenders’ Prevention Order and placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register. Credit: Dorset Police

Within a short period of time David Havis had travelled to Dorset to meet his victim in a hotel where penetrative sexual activity took place.

Detectives were alerted to Havis’ activities via social services following an initial disclosure to a teacher.

The Force’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) then launched an investigation.

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