Area Covering 323 square miles, Wealden is the largest district in East Sussex, and is home to some 160,000 people. Half the population live in five main towns: Crowborough, Hailsham, Heathfield, Polegate and Uckfield. The rest live in villages and hamlets in some of the most attractive countryside in the South of England.
Landscape Wealden is classified as one of the most rural districts in England. Wealden places a high value on protecting the countryside, with two-thirds of the district covered by the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the South Downs National Park. There are 33 conservation areas within Wealden District (excluding that part of the District within the South Downs National Park), and over 2,200 listed buildings and the largest amount of ancient woodland of any district in the country.
Attractions If you enjoy sightseeing, there are many pretty villages, country houses and gardens, as well as the beautiful countryside and splendid views. If you like history, there are castles and historic houses to discover and you can enjoy a bit of nostalgia on the famous Bluebell Steam Railway. Young families will enjoy a visit to Drusillas Park, the popular zoo and family fun park and the more energetic visitor can choose from many leisure activities such as cycling, horse riding, golfing, swimming, indoor/outdoor climbing, sailing and many more. There is something for all the family to keep them entertained and afterwards they can enjoy local food in the various restaurants, cafes, hotels and of course, the traditional village pub.
Council The Council has 45 District Councillors elected in 41 Wards. There are also 35 Parish Councils, 4 Town Councils and 3 Parish Meetings within the District and 14 County Councillors. The District is divided into four Parliamentary constituencies and is part of the South East Region for the European Parliament. Elections are held every four years for all seats and the next election is May 2023. With 34 out of the 45 seats, the Conservative Group has overall control of the Council.
Vision Whilst we are a smaller Council than a decade ago, we are certainly not small in our ambition. Our vision and priorities are outlined in our Corporate Plan, which covers the four-year period of our current Council (2019-23). We are committed to working with our partners to support Wealden's communities, environment and economy with:
- Engaged, resilient and active communities
- Access to suitable housing, local jobs, services, facilities, leisure and recreational opportunities
- Sustainable economic growth
- Sound business management
Innovation Wealden District Council has delivered significant innovations in the last few years, serving the District more efficiently whilst keeping Council Tax increases low.
We will continue to chart a course for the Council founded on lean, efficient principles based on sound business management, with a considered approach to investment and income generation. In a post-Brexit UK, the Council will play its part in achieving strong, self-reliant and vibrant conditions for the wellbeing of our residents, our businesses and our environment.
Wealden District Council + January 2020