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In 1974, Lewes District Council was formed on 1 April 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972, and was a merger of the former borough of Lewes along with Newhaven and Seaford urban districts and Chailey Rural District.Lewes Town Council is one of the 300 largest of the roughly 9,800 parish councils in England and Wales, with expenditure budgeted at just over £1 million.He built Lewes Castle on the Saxon site; and he and his wife, Gundred also founded the Priory of St Pancras, a Cluniac monastic house, in about 1081.Lewes was the site of a mint during the Late Anglo-Saxon period and thereafter a mint during the early years after the Norman invasion.In 1148 the town was granted a charter by King Stephen.The town became a port with docks along the Ouse River.The representation from Lewes wards at local government levels, as at the latest elections (2015 for the Town and District Councils and 2017 for the County Council), is as follows.On 31 March 2009 Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, announced his decision to confirm the designation of the South Downs National Park, which came into being exactly one year later and includes the town of Lewes within its boundaries.

For many years, Lewes was dominated by the Conservatives, both at local and national levels.The Saxons built a castle, having first constructed its motte as a defensive point over the river; they gave the town its name.After the Norman invasion, William the Conqueror rewarded William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey, with the Rape of Lewes, a swathe of land along the River Ouse from the coast to the Surrey boundary.There are now 6 Liberal Democrats, 5 Greens, 4 Independents and 3 Independent Green members of Council.The Mayor for 2017/18 is Councillor Michael Chartier and the Deputy Mayor is Janet Baah, both Liberal Democrats.The town was the site of the Battle of Lewes between the forces of Henry III and Simon de Montfort in the Second Barons' War in 1264, at the end of which de Montfort's forces were victorious.The battle took place in fields now just west of Landport.Archaeological evidence points to prehistoric dwellers in the area.Scholars think that the Roman settlement of Mutuantonis was here, as quantities of artefacts have been discovered in the area.They also won back the parliamentary seat in the 2015 election with Maria Caulfield defeating the incumbent Liberal Democrat of 18 years, Norman Baker by 1,083 votes.In organisational terms, Lewes became one of the non-county boroughs within the then Sussex, East county under the Local Government Act 1933.

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