‘Recognise Portslade by adding it to name of Hove constituency’

Portslade should be added to the name of Hove’s constituency, the area’s politicians have urged this week.

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 10:24 am
Boundary Road/Station Road junction
Boundary Road/Station Road junction

No physical changes have been made to the Parliamentary seat in initial boundary review proposals published on Tuesday.

But the Boundary Commission for England has suggested renaming it Hove and Brighton West.

The only physical change in the city would see Brighton Pavilion gain Queen’s Park, with Hanover and Elm Grove transferring to Brighton Kemptown.

The proposed new name for Hove has not gone down too well with politicians in Portslade, who believe their part of the city should be added to the constituency’s name.

Peter Kyle, MP for Hove, said: “I’m inviting the Electoral Commission to wonderful Portslade to see that it is most definitely not Brighton. Portslade has never officially been named in the constituency title, so along with your Portslade councillors we will be lobbying the commission hard to finally have Portslade recognised as a unique and individual part of where we live.”

Brighton and Hove city councillors have echoed his views.

Les Hamilton, city councillor for South Portslade, said: “50 years ago the current city had three councils. They were Brighton County Borough Council, Hove Borough Council and Portslade Urban District Council. There are those who try to liken Portslade to Patcham, Woodingdean etc but they never had their own councils whereas Portslade as a separate town, mentioned in the Domesday Book, did.

“The constituency of Hove contains the whole of Hove and the whole of Portslade so the name should be Hove and Portslade. To call it Hove and West Brighton is ludicrous and unacceptable to the residents of Portslade, a separate town with a population of about 20000.

“I hope this name can be changed.”

Fellow ward member Alan Robins said: “It seems to me that the people who have made this ridiculous suggestion haven’t taken the slightest interest in the area or the feelings of the people who live in Portslade. I was born in Portslade and have lived here all my life, as mayor I always make sure I’m introduced as the mayor of Brighton, Hove and Portslade.

“Portslade is a town with a 1,000 years of history behind it and I would hope another 1,000 years ahead of it. If the Boundaries Commission want to add something to the name of the constituency Hove, I suggest Portslade not West Brighton.”

Peter Atkinson, city councillor for North Portslade, added: “My view would be that this is a ludicrous suggestion and one that should be binned immediately.

“We have long campaigned for the constituency to be Hove and Portslade. The suggestion to call us West Brighton is an insult to the residents of Portslade.”

Meanwhile Anne Pissaridou, who also represents North Portslade, added: “When my late husband and I moved here in 2006 we looked at properties all over the city and settled on Portslade. I was surprised to learn that the constituency didn’t include Portslade in its name, and I was part of the lobby that tried to get this rectified.

“It is a lovely unique community with its own individual character and a history that goes back to the Domesday Book I believe.

“It does not make any sense to me to rename ‘Brighton West’ because we are certainly not merely an adjunct to Brighton. Even after the merger with Hove in 1974, Portslade still maintained its own identity and with support of our local councillors, past and present, has continued to do so as part of the city.

“I will certainly be lobbying the Electoral Commission to change the name to Hove and Portslade constituency.”

Meanwhile both Greens and Labour have responded to the proposed change to the boundary between the city’s two other constituencies.

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: “If constituencies are to be more or less the same size, it’s understandable that boundaries need to change as populations shift from one area to another.

“But the proposed change between Brighton Pavilion and Kemptown seems like quite a bit of disruption over a relatively small number of voters. Queens Park is a wonderfully vibrant part of our city, but if the changes do go ahead, I’d be sad to lose Hanover and Elm Grove ward which has always symbolised so much of the spirit of Brighton Pavilion.”

Meanwhile a Labour source indicated the party would be in favour of keeping Kemptown together in one seat and expected community pressure to lead to amended proposals.

Members of the public are encouraged to visit www.bcereviews.org.uk to view maps showing the proposed new boundaries and provide feedback before the consultation closes on August 2.

People can comment on anything from where the proposed new boundary lines are to the names of the constituencies.

There will be a further two rounds of consultation in 2022.

Following the conclusion of all three consultation periods, the Commission will look at all the evidence received before forming its final recommendations.

Tim Bowden, secretary to the Boundary Commission for England, said: “Today’s proposals mark the first time people get to see what the new map of Parliamentary constituencies might look like.

But they are just the Commission’s initial thoughts. Help us draw the line to make the number of electors in each Parliamentary constituency more equal. Each constituency we recommend is required by law to contain between 69,724 and 77,062 electors, meaning there will be significant change to current boundaries. We want to hear the views of the public to ensure that we get the new boundaries for Parliamentary constituencies right.”