Lewes District
Lewes shown within East Sussex
Lewes shown within East Sussex
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth East England
Non-metropolitan countyEast Sussex
StatusNon-metropolitan district
Admin HQLewes
Founded1 April 1974
Government
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodyLewes District Council
Area
 • Total112.74 sq mi (292.00 km2)
 • Rank120th (of 296)
Population
 (2021)
 • Total100,194
 • Rank241st (of 296)
 • Density890/sq mi (340/km2)
 • Ethnicity
97.9% White
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code21UF (ONS)
E07000063 (GSS)
OS grid referenceTQ420104

Lewes is a local government district in East Sussex, England. The district is named after the County town of Lewes. The largest town is Seaford. The district also includes the towns of Newhaven, Peacehaven and Telscombe and numerous villages and surrounding rural areas. The Council is based at Marine Workshops a former industrial building in Newhaven which it shares with East Sussex Colleges Group.

The district lies on the south coast, and a large part of it lies within the South Downs National Park. The district covers an area of 113 sq mi (290 km2), with 9 miles (14.5 km) of coastline.[1] Plumpton Racecourse is within the district. There are 28 parishes in the district.

The neighbouring districts are Brighton and Hove, Mid Sussex and Wealden.

History

The district was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. The new district covered the area of four former districts, which were all abolished at the same time:[2]

The new district was named after Lewes, the ancient county town of Sussex.[3]

Since 2016 the council has shared a chief executive and other staff with nearby Eastbourne Borough Council.[4]

Governance

Lewes District Council
Logo
Type
Type
History
Founded1 April 1974
Leadership
Ian Alexander,
Labour
since 22 May 2023
Zoe Nicholson,
Green
since 22 May 2023[5]
Robert Cottrill
since 18 January 2016[a]
Structure
Seats41
Political groups
Administration (26)
  Green (17)
  Labour (9)
Opposition (15)
  Liberal Democrats (15)
Elections
First past the post
Last election
4 May 2023
Next election
6 May 2027
Meeting place
County Hall, St Anne's Crescent, Lewes, BN7 1UE
Website
www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk

Lewes District Council provides district-level services. County-level services are provided by East Sussex County Council.[6] The whole district is also covered by civil parishes, which form a third tier of local government.[7]

In the parts of the district within the South Downs National Park, town planning is the responsibility of the South Downs National Park Authority. The district council appoints one of its councillors to serve on the 27-person National Park Authority.[8]

Political control

The council has been under no overall control since 2018. Since the 2023 election an alliance of the Greens and Labour has formed the council's administration.[9]

The first election to the council was held in 1973, initially operating as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing authorities until the new arrangements took effect on 1 April 1974. Political control of the council since 1974 has been as follows:[10][11]

Party in control Years
Conservative 1974–1991
Liberal Democrats 1991–2011
Conservative 2011–2013
No overall control 2013–2015
Conservative 2015–2018
No overall control 2018–present

Leadership

The leaders of the council since 1999 have been:[12]

Councillor Party From To
Ann De Vecchi Liberal Democrats May 1999 8 May 2011
Tony Nicholson Conservative 25 May 2011 20 Feb 2012
James Page Conservative 20 Feb 2012 26 Feb 2014
Rob Blackman Conservative 26 Feb 2014 Sep 2015
Andy Smith Conservative 14 Oct 2015 5 May 2019
Isabelle Linington Conservative 20 May 2019 15 Jul 2019
Zoe Nicholson Green 15 Jul 2019 20 Jul 2020
James MacCleary Liberal Democrats 20 Jul 2020 15 Jul 2021
Zoe Nicholson Green 15 Jul 2021 18 Jul 2022
James MacCleary Liberal Democrats 18 Jul 2022 22 May 2023
Zoe Nicholson Green 22 May 2023

Composition

Following the 2023 election, the composition of the council was:[13]

Party Councillors
Green 17
Liberal Democrats 15
Labour 9
Total 41

The next election is due in 2027.

Elections

See also: Lewes District Council elections

Since the last boundary changes in 2019 the council has comprised 41 councillors representing 21 wards, with each ward electing one, two or three councillors. Elections are held every four years.[14]

The wards, with their populations at the 2021 Census, are:

Ward Population
(2021 Census)
Number of
Councillors
Population
per Councillor
Chailey, Barcombe and Hamsey 5,204 2 2,602
Ditchling and Westmeston 2,554 1 2,554
East Saltdean and Telscombe Cliffs 7,394 3 2,461
Kingston 1,904 1 1,904
Lewes Bridge 4,834 2 2,417
Lewes Castle 3,964 2 1,982
Lewes Priory 7,916 3 2,639
Newhaven North 4,877 2 2,439
Newhaven South 7,814 2 2,605
Newick 2,446 1 2,446
Ouse Valley and Ringmer 6,513 3 2,171
Peacehaven East 5,377 2 2,689
Peacehaven North 5,186 2 2,593
Peacehaven West 4,872 2 2,436
Plumpton, Streat, East Chiltington
and St John (Without)
2,222 1 2,222
Seaford Central 5,023 2 2,512
Seaford East 4,776 2 2,388
Seaford North 5,207 2 2,604
Seaford South 4,388 2 2,194
Seaford West 4,471 2 2,236
Wivelsfield 2,964 1 2,964
Total Lewes 99,905 41 2,437

The district straddles the constituencies of Lewes and Brighton Kemptown.[7]

Premises

Southover House: Council's headquarters 1998–2022

Since 2013, full council meetings have been held at County Hall in Lewes, the headquarters of East Sussex County Council.[12]

When created in 1974 the council inherited four sets of offices from its predecessor councils:

6 High Street, Lewes: Council's offices

The Downs was converted into housing and a leisure centre built behind it. The new council's offices were divided between the other three buildings. In 1998 the council acquired Southover House on Southover Road in Lewes, which had previously been offices of East Sussex County Council, to serve as its main offices, remaining there until 2022.[15] Since 2022 the council has been using smaller offices at 6 High Street, Lewes and Saxon House on Meeching Road in Newhaven.[16]

Geography

The Prime Meridian passes through the district.

Sussex Police has its head office in the town of Lewes.[17]

Towns and parishes

The whole district is divided into civil parishes. The parish councils for Lewes, Newhaven, Peacehaven, Seaford and Telscombe take the style "town council". Some of the smaller parishes have a parish meeting rather than a parish council.[18]

Parish Type Population
(2021 Census)
Area
(sq km)
Pop Density
per km2
Barcombe Parish Council 1,491 17.81 83.7
Beddington Parish Council 273 15.71 17.4
Chailey Parish Council 2,975 17.81 119.4
Ditchling Parish Council 2,265 15.50 146.1
East Chiltington & St John Without Parish Council 458 13.58 33.7
Falmer & St Ann Without Parish Council 250 17.02 14.7
Firle Parish Council 267 13.87 19.3
Glynde & Tarring Neville Parish Council 194 9.72 20.0
Hamsey Parish Council 734 11.44 64.2
Iford Parish Meeting 177 9.71 18.2
Kingston near Lewes Parish Council 816 5.70 143.1
Lewes Town Council 16,723 11.42 1,464.4
Newhaven Town Council 12,693 7.18 1,767.6
Newick Parish Council 2,445 7.80 313.4
Peacehaven Town Council 15,442 5.18 2,979.4
Piddinghoe Parish Council 234 3.80 61.5
Plumpton Parish Council 1,599 9.66 165.5
Ringmer Parish Council 4,765 25.91 183.9
Rodmell & Southease Parish Council 429 11.27 38.1
Seaford Town Council 23,865 17.31 1,378.7
South Heighton Parish Council 1,015 8.49 119.6
Streat Parish Meeting 164 5.18 31.6
Telscombe Town Council 7,392 4.73 1,563.5
Westmeston Parish Council 290 8.48 34.2
Wivelsfield Parish Council 2,960 10.79 274.3
Total Lewes 99,905 292.10 342.0

‡ St John Without, St Ann Without, Tarring Neville and Southease are separate civil parishes with parish meetings, but due to their small size population statistics are not published separately for them.

References

  1. ^ Serves as shared chief executive to both Lewes District Council and Eastbourne Borough Council.[4]
  1. ^ "Lewes District Council: News and local information". Lewes District Council. 2009. Archived from the original on 2 July 2009. Retrieved 12 August 2009.
  2. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Definition) Order 1972", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 1972/2039, retrieved 2 August 2023
  3. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Names) Order 1973", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 1973/551, retrieved 31 May 2023
  4. ^ a b "Robert Cottrill has been formally confirmed as shared chief executive for Lewes District Council and Eastbourne Borough Council". The Argus. 15 January 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2023.
  5. ^ "Council minutes, 22 May 2023". Lewes District Council. 22 May 2023. Retrieved 16 August 2023.
  6. ^ "Local Government Act 1972", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, 1972 c. 70, retrieved 31 May 2023
  7. ^ a b "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 25 July 2023.
  8. ^ "Members". South Downs National Park Authority. Retrieved 17 August 2023.
  9. ^ Oxburgh, Huw (23 May 2023). "Greens and Labour join forces to run Lewes District Council". Sussex World. Retrieved 17 August 2023.
  10. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. 4 March 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2023.
  11. ^ "Election 2011 - England council elections - Lewes". BBC News.
  12. ^ a b "Council minutes". Lewes and Eastbourne Councils. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  13. ^ "Local elections 2023: live council results for England". The Guardian.
  14. ^ "The Lewes (Electoral Changes) Order 2016", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 2016/1229, retrieved 17 August 2023
  15. ^ "Council to move out of Southover House in Lewes". Sussex World. 3 February 2022. Retrieved 17 August 2023.
  16. ^ "Visit our offices". Lewes District Council. Retrieved 18 August 2023.
  17. ^ "Non-emergency enquiries." (Archive) Sussex Police. Retrieved 13 February 2011. "Sussex Police Headquarters Church Lane, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2DZ."
  18. ^ "Town and Parish Council contact details". Lewes District Council. Retrieved 17 August 2023.

50°52′26″N 0°00′32″E / 50.87389°N 0.00889°E / 50.87389; 0.00889