The development of local government in Hove
The development of Brunswick Town on land formerly part of Wick Farm in Hove began in 1823. In November 1829 a meeting of the proprietors and inhabitants of Brunswick Street and Terrace decided to apply for an act of parliament to allow the area to be paved, lit and drained. The result was the Brunswick Square and Brunswick Terrace Improvement Act of 1830 (11 Geo 4 c xvi).
In 1851 the area of the commissioners' jurisdiction was extended by the Brunswick Square Improvement Extension Act (14 & 15 Vict c cxl); the powers of the Brunswick Commissioners ceased at the establishment of the Town of Hove Commissioners in 1874.
Meanwhile, in 1858 the Hove Improvement Act (21 & 22 Vict c cxx) established two further groups of commissioners.
The West Hove Improvement Commissioners were appointed to administer those parts of the parish not already subject to the Brunswick commissioners; the compliance of the major estates - Stanford, Vallance, Wisden and Bellingham - was however optional.
The act also established the Hove Police Commissioners - to be formed from six Brunswick and four West Hove commissioners - to police the whole parish, repealing those sections of the existing acts which conveyed police powers.
The Hove Commissioners Act of 1873 (36 & 37 Vict c xcv) amalgamated the powers of the Brunswick Square, West Hove and Hove Police Commissioners. It had been obtained in the face of an unsuccessful attempt by the Brighton Borough Council to promote an act to take over the area governed by the Hove Commissioners.
In 1876 Hove promoted a bill for the annexation of West Preston, as a means of opposition to the attempt of Brighton Borough Council to do the same; the town clerk was given a vote of thanks 'for the able, judicious and successful manner in which he conducted the recent parliamentary opposition to the Brighton Borough Extension Bill' on 20 April 1876.
The Hove Commissioners Act of 1877 (40 & 41 Vict ch clxviii) began as a bill to annex the parish of Aldrington but was passed in a more limited form.
In 1894 the Hove Commissioners were replaced by an Urban District Council which also encompassed the parish of Aldrington, and in 1898 the town was incorporated as a borough. In 1928 the parishes of Preston Rural and Hangleton and parts of West Blatchington and Patcham were added to the borough
When Steyning East Rural District Council was established in 1894, the parish of Portslade fell within its area and a Parish Council was elected (see DO/A51) In 1898 the southern part of the parish was separated and constituted as Portslade-by-Sea Urban District Council. The remainder of the parish had a Parish Meeting (see DO/A49) until 1928 when the UDC was extended to incorporate it as well. In 1974 the UDC was abolished and its area absorbed under Hove Borough Council.