Eastbourne's first council was established in 1883 when the town was incorporated as a municipal borough under the Municipal Corporations Act of 1882.
The town's first Mayor was Mr Alderman G A Wallis.
The construction of a Town Hall soon followed when the foundation stone was laid by Lord Edward Cavendish on 9th October 1884. The building was opened by the Mayor, Mr Alderman G Boulton, on 20th October 1886.
You can download a detailed civic history of Eastbourne below, containing:
an account of the building of the Town Hall
the results of the first ever Eastbourne Council election in 1883
descriptions of rooms, paintings and displays which can be seen in the Town Hall today
When Eastbourne Became A Borough
Movietone, the British news archive company has a movie-clip from 1911 on its website called Eastbourne Becomes A Borough. It shows dignitaries from the council and the Lady Mayoress of London planting a tree in commemoration.
You have to register to use and search the site, but this is free.