Saturday, 14 July 2012

New constituency boundary changes spell the end of the individual identities of Hove & Portslade and Brighton Kemptown!

UKIP Brighton and Hove oppose the proposed boundary changes for Hove & Portslade, Brighton Pavilion and Brighton Kemptown.
As the traditional, historic areas in and of Brighton, Hove and Portslade are being broken up to be assimilated into a uniform, grey and bland 'Greater Brighton' (in a direct parallel to the historic countries of Europe being broken down and assimilated into the uniform, grey and bland 'European Union') Linda Reid sets out the case against the parliamentary boundary changes currently proposed by the UK's Coalition government.
Many Hove and Portslade members and residents may remember the end of Portslade Urban District Council in 1974, when Portslade became part of Hove Borough Council. Despite Portslade losing it's independent status, it's individuality and identity were generally respected by Hove Borough Council, and this identity status was traditionally preserved in the Hove Parliamentary constituency, where it has traditionally been referred to as Hove & Portslade constituency.

The next blow to local identity loss came in 1997 when Brighton and Hove (including Portslade) Borough Councils became one Unitary Authority, as the way forward for Brighton wanting City status (for which they needed Hove), and the City of Brighton & Hove came into existence officially in 2000.

This single Unitary Authority was seen by many (particularly in both Hove and Portslade) as undemocratic, especially as a joint ballot vote was held across both Brighton and Hove, so the Brighton votes and result would far out-number that of Hove & Portslade in achieving the Brighton desired "Yes" vote for uniting the towns towards city status.

Now under the Conservative led initative of the Coalition Government's reform of constituency boundaries, further loss of identity and name are destined for both Hove and Portslade constituency. Currently Brighton & Hove City includes three established Parliamentary Constituencies - Hove & Portslade, Brighton Pavilion, Brighton Kemptown - each with there own history, traditions, and identity

These proposed boundary changes would particularly effect Hove & Portslade, and Brighton Kemptown. If these Government intended boundary changes go ahead Portslade would have no mention by name and identity or be linked particularly with Hove, as has been its status and tradition.

Hove would be divided in half between two new constituencies both confusingly being named variants of Brighton and Hove - Brighton Pavilion would be renamed "Brighton Pavilion and Hove" (taking in three central former Hove wards), and Hove & Portslade would become "Brighton and Hove North" (including the rump of former Hove & Portslade, but with the addition of three huge North Brighton wards)!

The result of these boundary changes would be a further nail in the coffin of Hove and Portslade's individual identity and remaining status as a Parliamentary Constituency in their own right. The main winners locally in this new look (and artificially divided) Brighton would be the Green Party in new "Brighton Pavilion and Hove" constituency, as they would be gaining three central wards in Hove.  Three wards that they recently gained in electing more Green Councillors in the last City Council elections.

The other constituency to suffer further loss of identity with these proposed changes would be Brighton Kemptown - destined to become "Lewes and Brighton East". This constituency is already a huge area covering East Brighton and spreading from Kemptown along the coast to Saltdean and Peacehaven.

These new boundary changes would join this already sprawling constituency with Lewes, and covering the vast rural areas of Lewes, Kingston, Plumpton, Barcombe, Chailey and Wivelsfield, as well as urban Brighton City wards like Moulsecooomb and Bevendean, Woodingdean, East Brighton, and the coastal wards of Rottingdean, East Saltdean & Telscombe Cliffs, and Peacehaven.

UKIP Brighton & Hove are strongly against these proposed boundary changes in all the local constituencies, and want to protect and respect the identities and character of the existing constituencies in Brighton and Hove.

UKIP Brighton & Hove have always respected the individual identities of both Hove and Portslade, and continue to work in this constituency as such, and refer to it as "Hove & Portslade". The future of our towns and constituencies identities and status are under threat, particularly Hove and Portslade, and the future status of Brighton Kemptown is equally concerning, given the proposed joining of Kemptown with Lewes into a huge Lewes and East Brighton constituency.

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