Agenda

Community Governance and Electoral Issues Committee - Monday, 12 September 2022 7.00 pm, POSTPONED

Venue: FIRST FLOOR MEETING SPACE, 135 EASTERN AVENUE, MILTON PARK, MILTON, ABINGDON, OXFORDSHIRE, OX14 4SB

Contact: Steven Corrigan, Democratic Servicew Manager 

Note: Following the announcement of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II yesterday evening, the meeting of the Community Governance and Electoral Issues Committee scheduled for Monday 12 September 2022, 7.00 pm has been postponed following consultation with the Chair of the committee. A revised date for the meeting will be advertised in due course. 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

To record apologies for absence and the attendance of substitute members. 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 223 KB

To adopt and sign as a correct record the Community Governance and Electoral Issues Committee minutes of the meeting held on 4 August 2022.

3.

Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and any conflicts of interest in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting.  

 

4.

Urgent business and chair's announcements

To receive notification of any matters which the chair determines should be considered as urgent business and the special circumstances which have made the matters urgent, and to receive any announcements from the chair. 

5.

Public participation

To receive any questions or statements from members of the public that have registered to speak. 

6.

Community Governance Review - final recommendations pdf icon PDF 210 KB

To consider the report of the head of legal and democratic and agree final recommendations on a number of community governance review matters – attached.

 

7.

Community Governance Review - Grove pdf icon PDF 208 KB

Additional documents:

8.

Community Governance Review - Grove Technology Park pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Additional documents:

9.

Community Governance Review - Kingston Bagpuize with Southmoor and Fyfield and Tubney pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Additional documents:

10.

Community Governance Review - North Hinksey (parish name change) pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Additional documents:

11.

Community Governance Review - South Hinksey and Kennington pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Additional documents:

12.

Community Governance Review - Sunningwell (Wootton and Cumnor) pdf icon PDF 182 KB

Additional documents:

13.

Community Governance Review - Uffington pdf icon PDF 207 KB

Additional documents:

14.

Community Governance Review - Wootton pdf icon PDF 37 KB

Additional documents:

15.

The timing of future community governance reviews

The Local Government and Public Involvement and Health Act 2007 provides for principal councils to conduct a community governance review (CGR) at any time.

 

The relevant guidance, issued by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England and the Department for Communities and Local Government, suggests that principal councils will want to keep their community governance arrangements under review. The guidance goes on to offer the following advice on what might trigger a CGR:

·       it can be helpful to undertake community governance reviews in circumstances such as where there have been changes in population, or in reaction to specific or new local issues

·       communities may expand with new housing developments over time. This can often lead to existing parish boundaries becoming anomalous as new houses are built across the boundaries resulting in people being in different parishes from their neighbours. In such circumstances, the council should consider undertaking a community governance review

·       councils should exercise their discretion, but it is good practice to consider conducting a review every 10-15 years

There is also provision for a community governance review to be triggered by a petition for the whole or part of the council’s area, but this is subject to rules around previous CGR's carried out by the principal council.

 

In 2017 this committee agreed to undertake a community governance review every four years after the scheduled parish council elections, with any agreed changes implemented in time for the next scheduled elections. 

 

Officers experience since 2017 has been that undertaking reviews every four years is a very resource intensive for the elections team and other service teams which support the reviews.  Furthermore, undertaking a review every four years, generally invites parish councils to consider and submit speculative requests often on a repeat basis. A number of the matters considered generate little interest from the public.  

 

The guidance states that principal councils should consider the benefits of undertaking a review of the whole of its area in one go, rather than carrying out small scale reviews in a piecemeal fashion of smaller areas, recognising that occasionally specific reviews, for example to adjust minor parish boundary anomalies, may be appropriate. Committing to undertake a review every four years is contrary to the above guidance, is unnecessary, and as can be seen from the most recent review, causes tension between parish councils.   

 

Officers firmly recommend that the council relies on the statutory guidance provided on the timing of a community governance review, including the provision for a district wide review every 10-15 years. The committee will know that it is perfectly acceptable and possible for specific reviews to be carried out to address anomalies.

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That the committee authorises the democratic services manager to carry out future reviews at timescales provided for in the government guidance in consultation with the chair of the committee.