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New trains for Gatwick Express in £145m project

New trains on the way for airport service

ITV Meridian can reveal 145 million pounds is being spent on a new generation of trains for the Gatwick Express - that will also serve Brighton.

More than 100 carriages are being built - and the first will enter service within weeks. Our Transport Correspondent, Mike Pearse, has been given exclusive access on board one of the new trains.

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Police launch hunt for missing woman

Credit: Sussex Police

Police are searching Hove for a woman who has gone missing from her home.

Melanie Bowles, 40, has not been seen since she left home in Godwin Road sometime overnight on December 14 - 15.

Melanie, who is white, 5'3", and of slim build with short brown hair, has five stars tattooed on her right wrist.

She left her car, mobile phone and purse at home. It is not clear what clothing she was wearing when she left.

We are particularly concerned for Melanie as she has recently been depressed, though her disappearance was unexpected.

– Inspector James Davidson, Sussex Police

Rough sleeping summit held to tackle homelessness

It's thought more than a thousand people sleep rough every year in Brighton and Hove Credit: ITV Meridian

The first ever 'rough sleeping summit' has been held in Brighton and Hove.

It's thought more than a thousand people sleep rough every year in the city.

The council says it hopes to build on existing services so no one is homeless and living on its streets by 2020.

"Our vision is to make sure no-one has the need to sleep rough in Brighton & Hove by 2020. This is a challenge we need to start tackling now.

"The aim is to build on existing provision and work with our partners to see an effective city-wide approach for the future. The dangers of living on the streets are severe and impact on some of the most vulnerable in our society.

"At a time when resources are scarce and demand is rising, we need to look at how we can work together to help those in need."

– Cllr Clare Moonan, lead councillor for homelessness

Faith groups come together to discuss fall-out of terror attacks

Credit: Brighton & Hove City Council

Representatives from faith communities across Brighton and Hove have met to discuss the implications of recent terror attacks in Paris.

The One Voice partnership discussed concerns about incidents against Muslim women reported on public transport nationally and called upon the city’s communities to support each other to increase safety for Muslim women and all passengers on public transport.

We will not tolerate hate incidents, extremist perspectives or actions in the city.

– Mahir Chowdhury, the Chair of the Racial Harassment Forum

The recent terrorist attacks including those in Paris have shocked everyone and we send our deepest sympathy to all those who have died or been injured in these appalling attacks.

Now, more than ever, it is important that the communities of the city stand together to reject intolerance and division. There are various ways to report incidents:

– Cllr Emma Daniel, Chair of the Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities Committee

Sussex Police and Brighton & Hove City Council are asking all residents to report any suspicious behaviour or activity immediately by calling the confidential anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321 or 999 in an emergency.

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Battle lines are drawn, but will Uber arrive in Brighton?

For years, ever since they were pulled by horses, in fact, if you wanted a cab you stood on a street and hailed the driver. And that's still the way it works in many places. But there's a new kid in town. Uber.

It allows customers to use a mobile phone app to get hold of the nearest cab. Uber are often cheaper, but not everyone's happy - not least the drivers of the regular taxis themselves.

And now, the battle that has been fought in cities around the world is heading to Brighton.

Andy Dickenson reports. He speaks to Andy Peters from the GNB, John Streeter of Streamline Taxis, and Jason Kitcat of Crunch accounting.

Uber responds to Brighton row: 'Our drivers go through the same background checks as taxi drivers'

Uber is awaiting a decision on whether it can operate in Brighton

The Uber mobile phone app allows customers or passengers to book a taxi from the firm and pay for it using their phone.

The drivers called partner-drivers are all self employed. According to its website Uber operates in 60 countries. It is already in use in London, Leeds, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham and now it has applied for a licence in Brighton and Hove.

Brighton & Hove's city council has been given more time to make its decision. Local taxi drivers are concerned - they say that if Uber is granted a licence its drivers should be subject to the same rules and guidelines that they have to observe. Uber says it does abide by the rules.

The row centres around whether the increased competition for fares will be fair, whether background checks will be as stringent as for taxi drivers and whether Uber private hire drivers will have to / will be able to provide vehicles accessible for specific groups of the community, such as people who use wheelchairs.

“In the UK Uber is fully licensed and regulated and abides by all private hire legislation. All partner-drivers operating on the Uber platform are fully licensed private hire drivers and have been through enhanced DBS checks, the same background check taxi drivers go through. In the UK Uber’s model has been scrutinised by over 30 regulators and found to be compliant."

– Uber spokesman

Row over whether to allow Uber taxi app in Brighton

The team behind the Uber taxi app wants to operate in Brighton & Hove

Councillors in Brighton and Hove have been given more time to decide whether the controversial taxi app 'Uber' can be used in Brighton.

A meeting had to be adjourned yesterday - with cab companies already operating in the city arguing that the new service must face the same licence restrictions that they do. John Streeter from Streamline Taxis in the city gave us his view.

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