Community Governance Reviews
A Community Governance Review is a process to provide opportunity to review and make changes to governance arrangements for town and parish councils and parish areas. This is to ensure that they continue to be reflective of the identity and interest of local communities, and that they are as efficient and effective in their governance as can be.
Community Governance Reviews are undertaken in accordance with the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007.
A Community Governance Review can make a number of changes to parish governance when there is clear evidence to do so:
- It can make changes to parish areas - including: changes to boundaries between parishes, mergers of two or more parishes, creating a new parish out of part of one or more existing parishes
- It can make changes to electoral arrangements within parish areas - including: changes to the number of parish councillors, introducing or changing parish warding arrangements
- It can accommodate changing the name of a parish (though this can also be undertaken through a process under S75 of the Local Government Act 1972)
- It can accommodate the grouping together of parishes under a common parish council.
Principal councils (district councils or unitary councils) have the power to carry out community governance reviews and put in place or make changes to local community (parish) governance arrangements.
Wiltshire Council has established an Electoral Review Committee to oversee Community Governance Reviews. The Committee will make recommendations relating to any review to Full Council, who make the decision.
As principal authority Wiltshire Council may schedule a review in response to a reasonable request from an individual, group or parish when it considers it practicable to do so, except those that are the result of a petition containing sufficient signatures which must be reviewed once the petition has been verified. Wiltshire Council may also suggest a review when it considers it appropriate to do so.
The Electoral Review Committee will be responsible for deciding when it is practicable to review requests which have been received.
Reasons for a Community Governance Review can include, but are not limited to:
- Changes in population
- Housing growth
- Anomalous boundaries
Any decision relating to parish arrangements must ensure that those arrangements:
- Reflect the identity and interests of local communities
- Ensure effective and convenient local governance
Any other factors, such as council tax precept levels, cannot be considered.
In 2019-20 the Electoral Review Committee undertook a series of reviews of governance arrangements of parishes in order to ensure the community governance arrangements were still reflective of local identity and interests, and were effective and convenient. A number of requests for a review from parishes were not able to be scheduled in advance of the 2021 local elections. On 21 September 2021 the Committee approved terms of reference for a further review.
The areas included within the review are detailed in the Terms of Reference and include: Malmesbury and St Paul Malmesbury Without; Beechingstoke and surrounding parishes (Woodborough, North Newnton, Wilsford, Marden, Patney, Stanton St Bernard); Calne Without and surrounding parishes (Calne Without, Calne, Hilmarton, Cherhill, Compton Bassett, Heddington, Bremhill). Parishes surrounding those listed were also included, if appropriate.
The Final Recommendations of the Committee were considered and approved by Full Council at its meeting on 18 October 2022. This will be submitted to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England to seek their consent for the changes. If approved, they will come into effect in May 2025.
At its meeting on 31 May 2021 the Committee agreed areas for a further Community Governance Review. Terms of reference were published on 19 August 2022.
The areas included within the review are detailed in the Terms of Reference and include: Netheravon, Figheldean, Warminster, Westbury, Tidworth, Ludgershall, Castle Combe, Biddestone and Slaughterford, Nettleton, Grittleton, Yatton Keynell, Fovant, Donhead St Mary, Monkton Farleigh, Grimstead.
Any parishes surrounding those listed are also included as part of the review.
|Stage one||Commencement of CGR - Terms of Reference Published|
Schemes uploaded to public portal for any initial comments, to be updated with any relevant additional information. To include any further schemes received which fall within the scope of the Review.
29 August to 21 October 2022
|Stage two||Consideration of submissions received in relation to proposed schemes. Local briefings and meetings as appropriate with unitary councillors and/or parish representatives.|
Pre-consultation surveying (if appropriate)
Draft Recommendations prepared
|24 October 2022 - January 2023|
|Stage three||Draft Recommendations consultation||7 February - 28 March 2023|
Consideration of submissions received.
Additional Consultations (if appropriate)
Final Recommendations prepared
1 April - 20 April 2023
|Decision||Final Recommendations submitted to Full Council||May/July 2023|
From 1 November - 30 November an online survey took place to seek views on proposals submitted by parish councils and others for the review areas. The Committee considered the responses along with other information gathered during the first stages of the process at a meeting on 4 January 2023.
At that meeting Draft Recommendations were prepared for consultation which can be viewed on https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/enterprise/icm/admin/index.cfm?icmactionlink=link,edit,16060.
The consultation will run from 7 February 2023 - 28 March 2023
There will be an online survey available at the link below from the dates listed.
CGR Consultation 7 Feb - 28 March 2023
Those completing the survey are requested to review the Draft Recommendations document.
Those living in an area proposed to be transferred from one parish to another will be sent a letter about the consultation. Hard copy survey forms, along with details of the Draft Recommendations, will be available from Westbury, Netheravon, and Corsham Libraries.
Additionally, there will be public meetings held to enable local electors to provide comments to the Committee:
- 20 February 2023 - 6.30pm - Phoenix Hall, High Street, Netheravon, SP4 9PJ
- 22 February 2023 - 6.30pm - Heywood Village Hall, Church Road, Heywood, BA13 4LP
- 23 February 2023 - 6.30pm - Grittleton Village Hall, The Street, Grittleton, SN14 6AW
- 27 February 2023 - 6.30pm - Biddestone Village Hall, Yatton Road, Biddestone, SN14 7BZ