Laws about Brighton and Hove

It is not always appreciated that virtually all activities of local authorities have to be sanctioned by law. The most substantial proposals require the passing of a statute, known as a local or private Act, in parliament at Westminster. This is the case when defining or extending town boundaries and civic administration, for major capital projects, including those establishing utilities such as water, gas and electricity, for transport systems and generally for managing the streets, housing, commerce and public health and safety.
      As towns grew, such statute laws were often of a portmanteau nature. The Brighton Town Act 1810, for example, introduced elections for town commissioners (the forerunners of local councillors) and conferred powers to appoint constables and to license bathing machines, cabs and sedan chairs but also banned thatched roofs and street games. This continued to be a common feature of legislation well into the twentieth century. It cost money to have such laws prepared and passed, although the procedure once the Bill reached parliament was usually little more than a formality. So far, no instances of contention have been found, although it is possible that there are such yet to be discovered.
     These pages are intended to collect together all laws relating to the present-day city of Brighton and Hove. This is still an ongoing project. So far 151 statute laws have been identified, including those authorising and regulating railways (principally the London Brighton and South Coast Railway, of course), but more are discovered as references in Acts to previous legislation that has been amended or repealed.
      Further details for a number of laws have yet to be added, including the purpose of some of the more obscure pieces of legislation.

For those unfamiliar with the format for presenting statute legislation, each law is usually given a short title (eg, Brighton Town Act).
      Where none is given, a brief description of the purpose is supplied in [square brackets].
      The formal title (eg, An Act for conferring further Powers on the Hove Commissioners; and for other purposes) gives more detail.
      The Act is identified by the year of the reign of the current monarch, which often straddles two years, depending on the date of the monarch's accession, and a chapter number (eg, 46&47 Vict c.201—the 201st law passed in the parliamentary session that bridged the 46th and 47th years of Queen Victoria's reign).

In this compilation the details of the purpose and content of the Act are shown in two forms: wherever possible the (sometimes annotated) summary taken verbatim from the prospectus for the Bill to be presented to parliament, prepared by the local authority's lawyers and parliamentary agents and published in the official London Gazette, or a new description, the latter shown in blue type.


The categories of laws:
The city and its administration
Utilities: water, gas, electricity
Transport: railways, trams, trolleys, roads

Page updated 16 January 2016