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.
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 A.A. Milne's famous fictional Bear, Winnie-the-Pooh). 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 May 2019 local elections.
To check the new boundaries for the area in which you live, please click HERE FOR THE LGBCE INTERACTIVE MAP SHOWING THE OLD & NEW WEALDEN DISTRICT WARDS or consult the maps below.
MAP OF NEW WEALDEN DISTRICT COUNCIL BOUNDARIES (FROM MAY 2, 2019):
MAP OF NEW EAST SUSSEX COUNTY COUNCIL BOUNDARIES (SINCE MAY 2017) INCLUDING WEALDEN: