Portslade renamed Brighton West in ‘ludicrous’ boundary review

Posted On 08 Jun 2021 at 6:12 pm

Portslade is to be renamed Brighton West by the Boundary Commission in a review of parliamentary constituencies.

The proposal has been condemned as “ludicrous” by those who represent the area.

Hove MP Peter Kyle said: “I’m going to complain about the name. It makes no sense whatsoever.”

And North Portslade councillor Peter Atkinson said: “It’s a total nonsense. It’s an insult to the people of Portslade.

“Someone has got their geographical wires totally and utterly crossed. We’ve always argued that it should be Hove and Portslade.”

The constituency has been known as Hove since it was created in 1950.

The mayor, Councillor Alan Robins, was born in the South Portslade ward that he represents on Brighton and Hove City Council.

When introduced as the mayor of Brighton and Hove, he appears to have trained some crowds to respond “and Portslade” – in the manner of an audience at a Bruce Forsyth show.

Councillor Robins said: “It’s ludicrous. The idea of calling it Brighton West is nonsense. No part of the constituency falls within the Brighton boundary.”

He said that if the Boundary Commission wanted to add anything to the current official constituency name of Hove, it should add “and Portslade”.

“They can call it what they like, it’ll always be Portslade to me,” Councillor Robins said. “It’s a laughable suggestion and it deserves a laughable response.”

And with his tongue firmly in his cheek, he said: “I’ve always thought of Brighton as a suburb of Portslade rather than the other way round.

“I’m the mayor of Hove, Brighton and Portslade!”

Peter Kyle

Portslade’s longest-serving councillor Les Hamilton said: “It’s ludicrous. What a lot of nonsense.

“People living in Portslade won’t want to be told they live in Brighton West.

“There’s no need for any change at all but I would agree to it being changed to Hove and Portslade.

“It’s absolute nonsense. My local residents won’t be very happy. They may tolerate the name Hove but they won’t want to be told they live in Brighton.”

The mayor of Brighton and Hove – and Portslade – Councillor Alan Robins

Councillor Hamilton was first elected to Portslade Urban District Council before it was subsumed by Hove Borough Council in the 1970s which then merged with Brighton Borough Council in the 1990s.

They took on some of the responsibilities of East Sussex County Council and formed what is now known as Brighton and Hove City Council.

Councillor Hamilton said: “West Brighton used to be the name given to a part of Hove.”

But he had no truck with people in his South Portslade ward even trying to claim that they live in West Hove.

Some confusion had arisen since the Buzz on Boundary Facebook page was set up, particularly among newcomers to the area.

Councillor Les Hamilton

Councillor Hamilton has been quick to remind people that Boundary Road is on the Hove side of the street and Station Road and Carlton Terrace are on the Portslade side.

Citing local historian Judy Middleton, he said: “It was all called Station Road. It was only in 1898 when Hove council and Portslade council were set up that people in Hove changed the name on their side of the road.”

The Boundary Commission said that it welcomed comments on proposed constituency names.

It said: “The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) has published its initial proposals for new constituency boundaries.

“We invite the public to view and provide feedback on the proposed boundaries as part of an eight-week consultation process.

“The 2023 review of parliamentary constituencies was formally launched in January this year.

Councillor Peter Atkinson

“The Commission is required to ensure that the number of electors in each constituency is more equal. In doing so, the number of constituencies in England will increase from 533 to 543.

“The Commission is undertaking an independent review of all constituency boundaries in England and will present our final recommendations to Parliament by July 2023.

“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 Monday 2 August 2021.

“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.”

  1. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    Er, we have to recall that cllr Robins tried to close down Hove Libary.

    • Jenny Mulligan Reply

      Struggling to see the relevance of your comment to the article.

  2. Hove Guy Reply

    Another example of the huge mistake in merging the Brighton and Hove Councils.

    • Andy Richards Reply

      It’s got absolutely nothing to do with the merging of Brighton and Hove Councils, which happened 24 years ago!

      • Hove Guy Reply

        That was when the rot set in, and has been made a lot worse in recent years. It has got everything to do with the merger.

    • Gordon Braun Reply

      Let’s call Shoreham West Brighton West.

  3. Andy Richards Reply

    It isn’t clear to me why the adding of “West Brighton” – daft though it is – amounts to renaming Portslade, The official name of the constituency is Hove and always has been. Portslade has only ever been added informally by local politicians to show that they haven’t forgotten about it.

    • Helen Reply

      Oh dear! Your comment suggests you could qualify to be a Boundary Commissioner! Perhaps it’s because Portslade is the only part of the constituency that’s not actually Hove. So ‘Hove and …’ would logically have to be Portslade which is all that’s left within the constituency boundary. To refer to what’s not Hove as Brighton West is, as Alan Robins says, laughable.

  4. mel Reply

    If Portslade wasn’t in the west of the Brighton and Hove council area, it’s hard to see where some anonymous official would have come up with the idea that Portslade could be ‘Brighton West’.

    • Local Reply

      Greedy dvelopers want to re name an area to capitalise on the Brighton name, that’s what this is plain and simple, corporate money, they should be ashamed.

  5. Jonathan Simons Reply

    Well at least Labour have finally admitted the proper name of the constituency is “Hove” rather than misleading people to try to win votes in bits they’ve annoyed

  6. ChrisC Reply

    Good grief. The name of a parliamentary constituency does not mean anything changes.

    Portslade will still remain Portslade. Hove will remain Hove and so on.

    Being in the Brighton Kemptown constituency didn’t cause Peacehaven to have its name changed. it’s still Peacehaven and remains part of Lewis Borough Council and East Sussex County Council.

    Post codes will remain the same as will council tax and insurance premiums. Road signs will remain unchanged,

    They could call it the “Sussex Number 7 constituency” for all the difference it makes to place names and daily life.

    If you’re that exercised about it then respond to the boundary commission report with your suggestions on what the constituency should be called.

  7. Local Reply

    Greedy developers trying to capitalise on the Brighton name, that’s what this is plain and simple, corporate money they should be ashamed. All because Portslade station is on the train line to London Victoria. Are they going to change Portslade st to West Brighton? That won’t be confusing at all.

  8. Local Reply

    Greedy dvelopers want to re name an area to capitalise on the Brighton name, that’s what this is plain and simple, corporate money, they should be ashamed.

  9. Clive Reply

    Calling this seat ‘Hove and Brighton West’ does indeed make no sense, as no parts of Brighton are included. But where does the assumption come from that ‘Brighton west’ was supposed to refer to Portslade? More likely this is just a boundary commissioners’ slip, rather than the vast anti-Portslade conspiracy imagined by its ever-watchful crack team of councillors.

    Maybe the commissioners originally intended to add one of the west Brighton wards, such as Regency, but realised the numbers didn’t add up. I suppose the alternative headline to this – ‘Hove constituency boundaries unchanged’ – wasn’t quite sexy enough.

    • Fiona Gammon Reply

      What a lot of nonsense!!!! We are Portslade-by-sea not West Brighton!!!!! Stop wasting our money on ridiculous ideas and use to actually do something useful with it for a change. IT’S probably just another excuse to get more money out of us because we are now West Brighton!!!!! Also why West Brighton when West Hove is actually closer to us. Just leave Portslade as it is so rightly called,

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