GovernmentFor more details on this topic, see Hastings and Rye (UK Parliament constituency).
Hastings returned two Members of Parliament from the 14th century until 1885 since when it has returned one. Since 1983 it has been part of the parliamentary constituency of Hastings and Rye; the current MP, since 2010, is Amber Rudd of the Conservative Party. Prior to 1983, the town was in an eponymous seat of its own.
Hastings, it is thought, was a Saxon town before the arrival of the Normans: the Domesday Book refers to a new Borough: as a borough, Hastings had a corporation consisting of a "bailiff, jurats, and commonalty". Its importance was such that it also gave its name to one of the six Rapes or administrative districts of Sussex.
By a Charter of Elizabeth I in 1589 the bailiff was replaced by a mayor, by which time the town's importance was dwindling. In the Georgian era, patronage of such seaside places (such as nearby Brighton) gave it a new lease of life so that, when the time came with the reform of English local government in 1888, Hastings became a County Borough, responsible for all its local services, independent of the surrounding county, then Sussex (East); less than one hundred years later, in 1974, that status was abolished.
Hastings Borough Council is now in the second tier of local government, below East Sussex County Council. The Labour Party has an overall control of the council with 23 seats, whilst the Conservative Party holds 9 seats. The Borough is divided into sixteen electoral wards; Ashdown, Baird, Braybrooke, Castle, Central St Leonards, Conquest, Gensing, Hollington, Maze Hill, Old Hastings, Ore, St Helens, Silverhill, Tressell, West St Leonards and Wishing Tree
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