PARLIAMENT WEEK COMES TO SEAFORD
October 9 2012.
Seaford Museum & Heritage Society celebrates democracy in Seaford by encouraging people to take part in Parliament Week 2012, an annual national week to build greater awareness of and engagement with parliamentary democracy in the UK.
Parliament Week is organised by the House of Commons and House of Lords and takes place between 19-25 November.
Tom O'Leary, Head of Public Engagement and Learning at Parliament says: "I'm delighted that Seaford Museum is participating in Parliament Week this year. Parliament Week is all about working in partnership with groups across the UK to raise awareness and understanding of Parliamentary Democracy."
Seaford has had parliamentary representation since 1298 when two local men, William Hobey and Geoffrey Cuckoo travelled up to York to represent the Cinque Port of Seaford at a Parliament which was called there by Edward I. By the 18th Century Seaford had become a 'Rotten Borough' with just a handful of people to elect two Members of Parliament. People who wished to become an MP would simply travel to Seaford and bribe to electorate - democracy did not get a look-in! Three Prime Ministers used this method to become MPs for the town and many interesting men represented us including millionaires, slave-holders and art collectors.
An important port and town like Seaford also needed a council to represent the needs of its people. For hundreds of years a wealthy group of Seafordians ran the town, appointing their friends and relatives to political posts. Despite protests this corrupt system was abolished to be replaced with a Council of properly elected representatives which helped the town through the difficult periods of wartime. Today the people of Seaford are represented by twenty local councillors.
If you would like to know more about the fascinating political history of Seaford why not go along to a lecture to be held at the Little Theatre, Steyne Road on Friday 2nd November 2012 (7.15 for 7.30) The illustrated lecture has been arranged by Seaford Museum and will be given by local historian Kevin Gordon. The lecture will be approximately two hours long with a break for refreshments. Tickets are £5 in advance and £6 on the door and the price includes a drink. Tickets are available from Seaford Museum and the Tourist Information Centre. Kevin Gordon said: "This lecture was given last year to a full house as part of Parliament week and was well received"