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Over the top - fundraisers abseil down Brighton's Grand Hotel for blind ex-services charity

More than one hundred volunteers abseiled down one of Brighton's most iconic buildings. They were raising money for the charity Blind Veterans UK which helps ex-servicemen and women.

Malcolm Shaw went to the Grand Hotel to see the abseilers in action, and spoke to Cara Butler, the youngest to take part, blind veteran Martin Shail, and Lesley Garven of Blind Veterans UK.

Brighton and Hove named "Sanctuary on Sea" for welcoming refugees fleeing conflict and persecution

"Asylum seeker" has become an emotive term in recent years, and the reasons people seek safety here aren't always fully understood.

The city of Brighton and Hove has a long history of accommodating refugees, and now it's been named "Sanctuary on Sea" in recognition of its work to welcome victims of conflict and persecution abroad.

Malcolm Shaw spoke to Reem Abushawareb from Iraq, Sylvie Collier of Pond Pictures, Jenny Lansdell, Chair of Sanctuary on Sea, and Teresa Gomez from Chile.


Summit to tackle homeless crisis in Brighton

Brighton's homeless crisis has reached unprecedented levels, according to a new report by the city's housing Trust.

Over the past year almost 600 people have been reported sleeping rough in the city - many on the streets, some in makeshift tents, others in upturned boats, even in bins.

Now the newly elected council has announced a summit to discuss the issue - while the Trust itself has called for ambitious new measures to confront the crisis. Andy Dickenson reports.

Concerns over community alarm service

The effectiveness of a community alarm system is being questioned Credit: ITV Meridian

It's designed to help the elderly and the frail in an emergency. But tonight, there are questions over the effectiveness of a community alarm service.

When 86 year old Robert Priest collapsed at his home and pressed his panic button, it took over an hour for paramedics to arrive. CareLink Plus has apologised for the delay, but says it can't always send an ambulance immediately.

"Our highly professional CareLInk Plus staff work very hard to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our customers. With regard to Mr Priest’s recent incident there was a delay in getting help to him due to an issue with his keyholders that we hadn’t previously been made aware of. We have apologised to Mr Priest for the delay and the distress this may have caused".

– Brighton & Hove City Council

Population of Brighton could be powered by new Rampion wind farm by 2018

Construction of a £1.3billion wind farm off the Sussex coast will begin early next year, it's been announced.

Engineers will start building a substation in Twineham, near Haywards Heath, to serve the Rampion project next month.

When completed the 116 turbines will produce enough electricity to power 290,000 homes - the equivalent of the population of Brighton and Hove - cutting CO2 emissions by up to 600,000 tonnes a year.

We speak to Chris Tomlinson, project director of Rampion Offshore Wind Farm.


Brighton halts the region's 'Tory tide'

Only in one part of the south east was the Tory tide halted - Brighton.

Andy Dickenson reports on how the Greens and Labour meant that the night wasn't quite a Conservative clean sweep.

We hear from new MP Peter Kyle, Labour winner in Hove, and the Green MP Caroline Lucas of Brighton Pavilion.

Driver fined for pretending a thief had crashed his car

A driver from Sussex who crashed his car and then lied that it had been stolen was caught when his DNA was found on the airbag.

27-year-old Ciaran Fitzgerald, of Ruskin Road, Hove, crashed into two cars on Norton Road, before he fled the scene. Later that day he called the police to report that his car had been stolen.

When his DNA was found to be on the airbag, he admitted he had lied and accepted a police caution for perverting the course of justice.

He was also charged with driving without due care and attention, failing to stop after an accident and failing to report an accident.

He pleaded guilty to all the charges when he appeared at Brighton Magistrates' Court on 12 March and was given eight points on his licence, fined £183 and ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

"Fitzgerald thought he could get away with crashing his car by claiming his vehicle had been stolen but good work by our CSIs meant we could prove he was behind the wheel when the impact happened. "Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious offence in itself. If you are involved in a crash, stay put and call us so that we can investigate."

– Police Constable Dan Patterson

'Boris bikes' coming to Brighton and Hove

£1m of funding has been secured for Brighton and Hove to set-up its own Boris Bike scheme.

Similar to the bike-hire scheme in London - It will see 430 bikes available from 50 docking stations at locations like Brighton the marina, Portslade and along the Lewes Road to the universities.

It's hoped the bikes will be available for hire in two years time.

ITV Meridian spoke to Cllr Ian Davey of Brighton and Hove City Council.

Hopes of new prosecutions for Brighton Bomb attack

New hopes have been raised of further prosecutions for the 1984 Brighton Bomb attack.

Police in Northern Ireland say they have entered a new phase of investigations into some of the worst atrocities carried out by the IRA.

The attack at Brighton's Grand Hotel famously targetted Margaret Thatcher's cabinet during a Party Conference in the city. Five people were killed and 34 injured.

It was one of the most shocking mainland attacks during the IRA's campaign of terror at the height of the Northern Irish troubles.

The attack left five people dead and 34 injured

Five people died after Patrick Magee detonated a bomb planted in a bathroom on the sixth floor of the Grand Hotel. Lord Tebbit was severely injured and his wife Margaret was left paralysed from the neck down.

Patrick MaGee was given eight life sentences at the Old Bailey in 1986 for the attack - but subsequently released under the Good Friday agreement in 1999.

Lord Tebbit says Mr Magee should start naming names.

Mr Magee has since taken part in reconciliation events in the city but has refused to name the senior IRA commanders who ordered the bombing.

Now it's emerged that six suspects are being investigated by the police in Northern Ireland for their role.

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