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Hastings Direct insurance firm to create 200 new jobs

The Bexhill-based insurance broker 'Hastings Direct' is to create 200 jobs this year. The posts will range from entry level positions to senior management roles.

The firm said it will be able to expand because of growth from its car, van, bike and home insurance products.

“At Hastings we are single-minded in our ambition to build a UK business success story, which is a great place to work. In recent years the business has grown rapidly from 300,000 customers in February 2009 to over the one million we serve today. We are already one of the largest employers in East Sussex, but we have ambitious plans to serve three million customers by 2020 and these 200 extra staff will help us realise this goal.”

– Gary Hoffman, CEO, Hastings Direct

"I am absolutely delighted to congratulate Hastings Direct on its growing success. Their announcement of seeking to recruit an additional 200 staff is a tremendous sign of confidence in UK plc. With over a million new jobs created in the private sector since May 2010, it is clear that despite the difficult economic environment, there are real growth opportunities out there for quality companies like Hastings Direct.

"I will be working with them to do all I can to ensure Eastbourne and Willingdon residents take up as many of these posts as possible."

– Stephen Lloyd MP, Eastbourne (Lib Dem)

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Protesters "will take direct action"

Protesters angry at plans to build a £100 million pound link road between Hastings and Bexhill are holding a rally against the plans.

Local traders say the new road is vital to boost the economy.

But campaigners say that the route will endanger a site of special scientific interest and that there is no economic need for the new infrastructure.

Work on the scheme is due to start next January but opponents of the plans are hoping to win a judicial review.

"We are determined to stop this road and if necessary some of us are prepared to take direct action".

– Charlotte Potter-Powell, spokesperson for the Combe Haven Defenders

Soldier charged with assaulting teenager

A soldier has been charged with sexually assaulting a teenager near to a railway station. The 18-year-old woman was allegedly attacked in New Park Avenue, Bexhill, East Sussex, as she walked away from the town's railway station at about 3.40am on August 19, a Sussex Police spokesman said.

The spokesman said: "As a result of intensive police inquiries since Sunday, the arrest was made on Saturday August 25."

Trevor Anthony Clark, 20, a serving soldier stationed at Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, who has been staying in Buckhurst Road, Bexhill, has been charged with sexual assault and causing actual bodily harm. He will appear at Hastings Magistrates' Court tomorrow.

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