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ABOUT THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity (From the Preamble to the Federal Constitution of the Liberal Democrats). Some reading matter - On Liberty by John Stuart Mill

WEALDEN

Wealden parliamentary constituency is the northern part of the Wealden District in the County of East Sussex. It stretches from the parishes of Forest Row and Danehill in the west to Wadhurst in the east and Hailsham in the south. At the May 2010 General election new boundaries came into force for the constituency. We lost part of the constituency in the Heathfield area and gained a very small part from the Lewes constituency. The map below shows the new/current boundaries. Wealden has three main towns, Crowborough, Uckfield and Hailsham which between them house some 55% of the 78,000 voters (based on the new boundaries). Until now, Wealden has been a safe Conservative seat.

Wealden Constituency Map

The north of the constituency is dominated by the Ashdown Forest which is part of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Ashdown Forest is a Special Protection Area (an EC designation under the Habitats Directive). It also contains a number of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). These designations impose planning constraints. The paucity of public transport and the rural character of the constituency puts great pressure on the road network. Improving this network is constrained by the AONB status of much of the area and the need to conserve the Ashdown Forest. People are increasingly aware of the conflict between their needs as drivers and their needs as residents. There is also a conflict between those who profit by tourism and those who feel it damages their amenity. To a very large extent the problem is not the tourists themselves but their motor cars which choke 'honeypot' areas and villages such as Hartfield (home of Pooh Bear). There is wide recognition that house prices are rising above the reach of the majority of people, including those from a comfortable "middle class" background, and there is an acknowledged need for more affordable housing for local people and their families.

NEW DISTRICT AND COUNTY COUNCIL BOUNDARIES IN WEALDEN

Following a lengthy review by the LGBCE (Local Government Boundary Commission for England) of East Sussex County Council and Wealden District Council which concluded in 2016, boundaries in Wealden for both District and County Council wards were changed by law. The county council districts within Wealden went into effect after the May 2017 local elections, while the new Wealden district ward boundaries (which reduced the overall number of district councillors within Wealden from 55 to 45, changed and renamed several of the wards, and made the majority of wards one member only) will take effect following the upcoming May 2019 elections. As highlighted in a recent article on this site, the Liberal Democrats will be fielding District Council candidates in all Wealden seats in May 2019.

To check the new boundaries for the area in which you live, please consult the maps below.

MAP OF NEW WEALDEN DISTRICT COUNCIL BOUNDARIES (FROM MAY 2, 2019):

LGBCE map showing final recommendation for new Wealden district ward boundaries Sept 2016

MAP OF NEW EAST SUSSEX COUNTY COUNCIL BOUNDARIES (SINCE MAY 2017) INCLUDING WEALDEN:

LGBCE map showing final recommendation for new ESCC boundaries Sept 2016