Agenda and minutes

Community Governance and Electoral Issues Committee - Monday, 27 November 2017 6.30 pm

Venue: 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park

Contact: Matthew Gaskin, Electoral Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

19.

Apologies for absence

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

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Ben Mabbett.  Councillor Sandy Lovatt substituted.

20.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 212 KB

To adopt and sign as a correct record the Community Governance and Electoral Issues Committee minutes of the meeting held on 23 October 2017 - attached.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 23 October 2017 as a correct record and agree that the Chairman signs them as such.

21.

Declarations of interest

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

Minutes:

Councillor Charlotte Dickson made a statement that as a member of Wantage Town Council she would not vote on any issue which could impact on the boundary of the town (CGR C (24) and CGR D (24)).  She also declared an interest in relation to Agenda Item 8 due to work conflicts and left the meeting when this was discussed.

 

Councillor Sandy Lovatt and Councillor Helen Pighills both made statements in relation to Agenda Item 7 that as members of Abingdon Town Council they would not vote on this matter.

22.

Urgent business and chairman's announcements

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

Minutes:

None.

23.

Public participation

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

Minutes:

The list of public speakers who had registered in relation to items on the agenda was tabled at the meeting.

 

With the approval of the Chairman, James Greenman, of Sunningwell Parish Council, was allowed to speak on Agenda Item 6 despite registering after the deadline.

24.

Community Governance Review - final decisions pdf icon PDF 221 KB

To consider the report of the head of legal and democratic services in respect of a number of community governance reviews – attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee discussed a series of community governance review proposals and made final decisions on them.

 

CGR B (21) – Kennington, Radley, Sunningwell, South Hinksey and Cumnor

 

The committee discussed proposals to either amend the boundary of Radley parish to include Chandlings Manor School currently in Kennington parish (subject to LGBCE consent), or to amend the boundary of Sunningwell parish to include land to the west of Oxford Road currently in Kennington and Radley parishes (subject to LGBCE consent).  The committee also considered proposals from Sunningwell Parish Council and South Hinksey Parish Council as set out in the schedule of the report.

 

James Greenman from Sunningwell Parish Council clarified the parish council’s support for the recommendation.

 

Councillor Lovatt questioned the merit of deferring community governance reviews until after the next scheduled elections in May 2019, on the grounds that any review outcomes would not be electorally implemented until 2023, but would impact parish governance before then.

 

The officer explained that carrying out community governance reviews earlier than this risks implementing changes and then undoing these, which is not clear for residents.

 

The committee noted Councillor Blagrove’s enquiry as to whether there will be a mechanism in place to facilitate communication between parish councils on this matter. The officer detailed plans to write to all the parishes urging communication before 2019, and pointed out that reviews would be more structured in 2019, thus removing sources of tension between parishes.

 

The committee debated the item and agreed to make no change to the boundaries between Kennington, Radley and Sunningwell, and South Hinksey and Cumnor.

 

RESOLVED: To make no change to the boundary between Kennington, Radley and Sunningwell and South Hinksey and Cumnor.

 

CGR A (13) – Grove and East Challow

 

The committee discussed a proposal to amend the boundary of Grove parish to include Grove Technology Park, currently in East Challow parish (subject to LGBCE consent).

 

Councillor Terry Fraser, of Grove Parish Council, spoke in favour of the boundary amendment and against the officers’ recommendation, citing common perception that the Technology Park is in Grove due to its name and common access routes to the park being via Grove.

 

The committee debated the item and agreed, for the reasons set out in the report, to make no change to the current boundary between Grove and East Challow.

 

RESOLVED: Not to include Grove Technology Park within Grove parish.

 

CGR C (24) – Wantage and Grove

 

The committee discussed a proposal to amend the boundary of Wantage parish to include all land at Stockham Farm currently in Grove Parish.

 

Councillor Charlotte Dickson did not vote on this item as a member of Wantage Town Council as she stated that she would not vote on any issue which could impact on the boundary of the town.

 

Councillor Terry Fraser, of Grove Parish Council, spoke in opposition citing possible loss of council tax revenue for Grove among other considerations.

 

The officer explained the rationale for the proposed transfer of land as being  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.

25.

Community Governance Review - request to review the boundary between Abingdon-on-Thames and neighbouring parishes pdf icon PDF 301 KB

To consider the report of the head of legal and democratic services on a request for a community governance review from Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council – attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee considered a request from Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council to review the boundaries between Abingdon-on-Thames, Radley, Sunningwell, Sutton Courtenay and St. Helen Without parishes.

 

Councillor Sandy Lovatt and Councillor Helen Pighills both stated that as members of Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council they would not vote on this matter.

 

Councillor Michael Page, of St. Helen Without Parish Council, objected to the proposal on the grounds that an early boundary review is not necessary and should be conducted on the same time schedule as other planned community governance reviews, scheduled to occur after May 2019.

 

Councillor Sandy Lovatt, of Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council, spoke in support of the request: 

·         Part 1 of the Vale of White Horse Local Plan outlines major development plans for the district.

·         Deferring a boundary review until after May 2019 means that any changes that arise from this will not come into effect electorally until May 2023. By this time, nearly all new houses scheduled to be built across the areas in question will have been built. If the town council’s proposed boundary changes were delayed until this stage, the sudden changes in parish council tax rates could cause confusion and discontent.

·         Many of the areas outlined in the proposal use Abingdon’s amenities regularly.

·         Given the financial and community implications of the proposed changes, a review should be undertaken now rather than beyond 2019, to allow residents time to adapt.

 

The officer confirmed that if the committee agreed to go forward with a review, they could amend parish boundaries accordingly. It was noted that the map being used as the basis for the discussion was produced by Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council, and that any review would be carried out using district council maps.

 

The committee agreed that:

 

·         Under existing council guidelines, the boundary between areas A and B (see town council map attached to the report) would be subject to a boundary review because of scheduled developments that straddle parish boundaries.

·         Since most of the basis for Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council’s request is based upon changes to this boundary only, considering further reviews of areas C and D (see map) complicates the matter at this stage.

 

On this basis, the committee proposed that a review of the boundary between areas A and B (see map) should commence immediately, while areas C and D should be deferred for consideration after May 2019.

 

The committee noted Councillor Ed Blagrove’s view that any decisions on this matter should be based on officially commissioned district council information, and subsequently he proposed that the committee reject Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council’s request and submit a specific proposal based on the discussion.

 

The officer confirmed that if this was agreed to, terms of reference and subsequent maps would be produced and brought to a future meeting.

 

The committee agreed to undertake a community governance review of areas A and B as shown on the map attached to the report.  They also agreed to defer any boundary reviews of areas C and D until after May 2019.

 

RESOLVED:

1.    To undertake  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.

26.

Review of parliamentary constituencies - revised proposals pdf icon PDF 314 KB

To consider the report of the head of legal and democratic services – attached.

Minutes:

The committee discussed whether it wished to make representations to the Boundary Commission for England (BCE) on the revised proposals for the parliamentary constituencies.

 

Councillor Charlotte Dickson declared an interest due to work conflicts and left the meeting when this item was discussed.

 

The committee agreed that the current revisions proposed by the BCE were satisfactory, and that no further representations were necessary.

 

RESOLVED:

1.    To restate the response to the initial proposals requesting that the BCE consider amending the constituency boundaries to reflect the Local Government Boundary Commission for England related alteration order.

 

 

Vale of White Horse District Council