Boundary shake-up could see Seaford join Brighton seat

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, MP for Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven

Revised proposals to redraw constituency boundaries have been revealed, which would see part of Newhaven and Seaford moved into the Brighton Kemptown seat.

The plans to reduce MPs from 650 to 600 were first drawn up by the Boundary Commission last September - but new proposals were revealed today (October 17).

The proposals for the Brighton Kemptown seat - which would stretch to part of Newhaven and Seaford (Credit: Boundary Commission)

In a report by the Boundary Commission it said in its initial plans there was opposition to Seaford being included in the Kemptown constituency, as many respondents felt their ties were with Eastbourne rather than Brighton.

However, Seaford remains in the Kemptown constituency under new plans, and the Brighton seat will also gain half of Newhaven, but will lose Moulsecoomb and Bevendean if plans for the new 'Brighton Kemptown and Seahaven' constituency go ahead.

Newhaven and Seaford are currently part of the Lewes constiuency.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown, spoke out against the first set of boundary proposals last year calling it 'political and unnecessary', and said his view hasn't changed.

The Brighton Kemptown and Lewes seats as they are now (Credit: Boundary Commission)

On the new proposals for Kemptown, a seat he won from the Conservatives in June by 10,000 votes, he said Lewes should have been placed with Kemptown instead of Seaford, as it is part of 'Greater Brighton'.

“I think they have made the wrong choice,” he said.

“The economy of Lewes and Brighton, I believe is much more closely linked. The County Court in Lewes has a shared location in Brighton. For transport links from Seaford to Brighton you have to go via Lewes.

“I see Lewes as much more integrated in the Brighton economy than Seaford is.

"The Valuation Office said the housing market in Brighton was linked with Lewes and Seaford housing market was actually linked to Eastbourne.

"The River Ouse travels from Newhaven to Lewes. If broken I think it would be a great shame. Newhaven itself is being broken up."

He added even health services in Lewes were more linked with Brighton.

“If you break your leg, or you’re giving birth in Lewes, you go to the Royal Sussex. If you’re in Seaford you go to Eastbourne.”

Despite this, he said: "I would relish the opportunity to stand in the seat representing Seaford and Newhaven, an area I grew up in and know well.

"My biggest concern is they are cutting Newhaven in half. That will mean Newhaven, which is going through a lot of redevelopment at the moment, we will have two different voices for the town. It is cutting across the A259. It does not make sense. It is a real problem for Newhaven."

Mr Russell-Moyle added that he opposed reducing the number of parliamentarians and pointed out that the Boundary Commission should be using census data rather than the electoral register from November 2015.

But he said: “I don’t think the proposals will go through. I think the Conservatives will see sense.”

The consultation on the new proposals begins today (October 17) and runs until December 11.

To view the latest boundary proposals, visit: www.bce2018.org.uk/node/6488

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