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Rival culture bid towns "absolute dumps"

Hastings Old Town Credit: Press Association

An Essex MP has angered people bidding for the title UK City of Culture by branding rival towns as "absolute dumps". David Amess, MP for Southend East is leading the bid for the accolade in Essex.

He's suggested that the other towns bidding for the City of Culture accolade are not up to scratch. But Hastings Council Leader Jeremy Birch insists his town's bid is serious and has invited David Amess to Hastings for a guided tour.

"I don't know when he last visited our town, indeed if he ever has. We can take him to the Jerwood Gallery and to the De la Warr," said Cllr Birch

"Perhaps a walk in the Country Park and then in the evening, we can listen to three piano concertos played by the competition finalists. But the coffee is on him! Hastings and Bexhill have every reason to bid for City of Culture status."


More than 300 new pilot roles for easyJet

easyJet flies from both Gatwick and Southend airports. Credit: PA

easyJet has announced 330 new jobs for pilots as part of is new "career structure"

The new permanent First Officer positions will be offered across all 11 of easyJet’s UK bases, including Gatwick and Southend.

The first roles will be given to pilots employed by the company's aviation training partners.

Crook dresses like cartoon thief

Have you seen these men? Credit: Essex Police

All that was missing from these two thieves' outfits was a mask and a "bag of swag" after they raided a supermarket.

Police are now trying to trace the pair, caught on camera burgling a Waitrose store in Fossetts Way, Southend, on Christmas Eve.

Officers said they stole two cameras and X-box controllers.

Anyone who can name them is asked to call Dc Paul Brown on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Have you seen this man? Credit: Essex Police


Southend bucks the house price trend

Southend bucks the trend when it comes to house prices Credit: Press Association

Southend has seen the biggest rise in house prices among the country's major towns and cities over the past year.

According to the Halifax the average selling price in the seaside resort was 14.8% higher than the previous year, rising to £198,418 by the end of 2012, compared with an improvement of 2.1% on average across the whole of Essex.

Basingstoke in Hampshire experienced the second biggest rise in house prices with a 14.7% gain, while three more towns within commuting distance of London - Rochester, St Albans and Dartford - make up the top five.

One dies, another in hospital after dinghy capsizes

One man has died and another has been taken to hospital after their dinghy capsized at sea. The two men, aged 71 and 73, were rescued by Southend RNLI after Thames Coastguard received several phone calls from members of the public at 2:45pm.

The rescue team discovered one man clinging to the boat 300 yards off the coast of Thorpe Bay, Southend, while the other had begun to drift away in the current.

Man dies after roof fall on Halloween

A man has died after falling from a roof during a Halloween night out.

It is believed the 26 year old, from Southend, had been at a Halloween night at a bar shortly before the fall in the town's Marine Parade in the early hours of yesterday.

He was taken to Southend Hospital where he later died.

A police spokesman said: "Police are not treating his death as suspicious but are preparing a report for the coroner on his movements prior to the incident."

Police want to speak to anyone who was in the area at about 3am.

Witnesses should contact Detective Sergeant Ian Howitt at Southend on 101.

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