History of East Sussex County Council

1. History

East Sussex County Council (the Council) was established in 1889 by the Local Government Act of 1888. Originally East Sussex included East Grinstead, Burgess Hill and Cuckfield, although Brighton and Hastings were independent county boroughs. On 1 April 1911 Eastbourne also became an independent county borough.

The Local Government Act 1972 caused further changes:

  • Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings lost their independent status and became part of East Sussex
  • East Grinstead, Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill and Cuckfield became part of West Sussex
  • for the first time, East and West Sussex each had a Lord Lieutenant, a Sheriff and a Clerk of the Peace – previously these offices had covered the whole of Sussex.

More changes came in the 1990s, following a review of local government in 1993/94, and on 1 April 1997 Brighton & Hove Borough Councils were merged to form Brighton & Hove City Council, which took over the Council’s responsibilities for the Brighton & Hove area.

Currently East Sussex contains the boroughs of Eastbourne and Hastings and the districts of Lewes, Wealden and Rother. The city of Brighton & Hove is considered part of East Sussex for ceremonial purposes and postal addresses only.

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