HEIGHTENED security will surround tonight's meeting of full council at Hove Town Hall.

An hour before the meeting was due to start, Sussex Police said they were still assessing their response.

Brighton and Hove City Council tonight hosted a Rabbi to formally light the menorah for Chanukah, which began at nightfall on Tuesday, but the ceremony took place behind closed doors.

The council told The Argus that Pro-Palestine groups had been expected to protest outside the town hall.

Jewish leaders received the same information from the council and the police.

Two sources close to the city's pro-Palestinian movement told The Argus no demonstration was ever planned.

At 4.30pm the council meeting started and there was no demonstration.

No members of the public were allowed into the council chamber for the ceremony.

Access to the building is being tightly controlled throughout the evening.

Hundreds of petitioners were expected at the meeting to protest planned changes to school catchment areas.

The Argus was told they will be allowed into the public gallery, once the meeting begins after the ceremony, at 4.30pm.

A blessing by the Mayor's Chaplain precedes each meeting of the full council.

Given the time of year and at the invitation of Mayor Mo Marsh, today some of the chaplain's time will be given to Rabbi Andreas Zanardo of the Reform Synagogue, to light the Chanukah menorah and say a few words.

This morning the council told The Argus that today no members of the public will be admitted to the premises before this process is complete.

At 2.57pm a Sussex Police spokeswoman said: "Police were made aware by Brighton and Hove City Council of a possible protest at Hove Town Hall on Thursday morning (December 14) and with the information provided are assessing the resources required."