Agenda and minutes

Community Governance and Electoral Issues Committee - Wednesday, 13 September 2023 6.00 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 1, Abbey House, Abbey Close, Abingdon, OX14 3JE

Contact: Steven Corrigan  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for absence

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


There were no apologies for absence.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To adopt and sign as a correct record the Community Governance and Electoral Issues Committee minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2022.


RESOLVED: to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2022 as a correct record and agree that the Chair sign them as such.


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.  



There were no declarations of interest.


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. 


There was no urgent business or announcements from the chair.


Public participation

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


There was no public participation.


Electoral Review of Vale of White Horse District Council - submission on council size pdf icon PDF 496 KB

To consider the report by the Head of Legal and Democratic on the draft council size submission and recommend a final council size submission to the full council for their consideration and approval.


Additional documents:


The committee considered the report from the head of legal and democratic on the draft council size submission for the Vale of White Horse District Council. The democratic services manager highlighted to the committee that it was the first stage of a review undertaken by the Local Government Boundary Review Commission for England (The Commission) and was triggered due to electoral inequality across the district as covered in the report.


The first stage of the review was to look at the total council size. Although the decision would be made by The Commission, the council had the opportunity to input its view. It was also noted that political groups could separately submit their views on the council’s size.


The democratic services manager informed the committee that the officer proposal was to retain the existing size of 38 councillors and that the final decision on the council’s submission would be made by a meeting of the full council at their meeting in October and the committee’s recommendation would be brought to that meeting. 


Members asked the democratic services manager about the party submission process, and he confirmed that political groups were permitted to submit their own proposals to The Commission. 




 The committee noted that, with the increase in population, if the council kept the same number of members, it would effectively result in less members per resident. The committee agreed that longer term population figures should also be included in the statistics as this would help assess future needs.


On pages 18 and 19 of the draft Council Size Submission document, on how often the Community Governance and Electoral Issues Committee meets, the democratic services manager clarified that the number presented was an average of how often the committee met and that he expected the committee would meet at least twice next year.


On page 20, the committee discussed the entry on the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee and agreed that an additional point should be included which would note that it was a new committee with additional responsibilities and work needed for members which came about after the council declared a climate emergency. The committee also inquired about the inclusion of the committee’s method of meeting and then agreed that ‘and primarily remotely’ should be removed from the report.


On page 21, the committee noted that a word was missing from the first sentence of fourth para, so it should read, ‘The scrutiny function at the council has not changed significantly over a number of years’.


On page 22, on the analysis of planning, members agreed that more emphasis should be put on the additional work that members of the committee undertake as the planning committee was one of committees with the heaviest workloads for members. This could include reference to site visits and the large officer reports that were needed to be read in preparation for the meetings.


On page 24, members discussed the work that would come from joint committees and agreed that detail of the frequency and duration  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Vale of White Horse District Council