Deputy Mayor proposes to ‘ban’ Boxing Day hunt in Lewes

Lewes boxing day hunt meet SUS-141229-111249001
Lewes boxing day hunt meet SUS-141229-111249001

The Deputy Mayor of Lewes, Councillor Imogen Makepeace, is proposing to ‘ban’ the Boxing Day hunt from the town.

At a meeting of Lewes Town Council tonight (Thursday, December 17), Cllr Makepeace plans to put forward a proposal asking the Mayor of Lewes to write a letter to the Southdown and Eridge Hunt explaining they are not welcome in the town.

She also proposes the town council writes to organisations consulted by Lewes District Council regarding the town centre road closures for the Boxing Day meet, stating its opposition.

In the meeting’s agenda, Cllr Makepeace says: “The Southdown and Eridge Hunt is proposing to commence its Boxing Day hunt in Lewes High Street, for which a road closure has been issued.

“This hunt has a history of associated violent acts stretching back some ten years. Just last month, a protestor at the hunt was allegedly stabbed and a car attacked, leading to an arrest.

“There are very strong suggestions that there will be protests at the hunt in Lewes if it goes ahead this Boxing Day, with the potential risks involved.

“The Southdown and Eridge Hunt supports a return to hunting live prey, whereas polls consistently show that the majority of the British population are opposed to that.

“For these reasons, I propose that the Mayor, on behalf of the town council, writes directly to the Southdown and Eridge Hunt to say that the town council is opposed to the hunt commencing its Boxing Day meet in Lewes and that is it not welcome in Lewes.

“Secondly, LDC says the following with regard to road closure applications:

“We consult with the following organisations: East Sussex County Council Highways, Sussex Police, Sussex Ambulance Service, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, East Sussex County Council Public Transport Co-ordinator, East Sussex County Council Legal Department and the local Town or Parish Council. We require consent from both Sussex Police and East Sussex County Council Highways before we can issue an order.”

“It also states that a minimum notice period of eight weeks is required. It is therefore further proposed that, with regard to the anticipated road closure application for the 2016 Boxing Day meet, Lewes Town Council writes to the relevant authorities listed above (apart from ourselves) to state that the town council is opposed to granting the road closure for the reasons stated above.”

The proposal will be discussed as tonight’s meeting.

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