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Community Governance Review for Greenham Parish 2022

Have you say on the governance arrangements of Greenham Parish

Consultation status Closed
Start date: 2022-05-19
End date: 2022-07-04
Results 2022-08-30
Category: Your West Berkshire
Ward:

Update - extended to 4 July 2022

Background

On 29 September 2020, Greenham Parish Council (GPC) submitted a written request for West Berkshire Council (WBC), to conduct a Community Governance Review (CGR). A CGR is a legal process whereby the local authority (in this case WBC) will consult with those living in the area, and other interested parties, e.g. businesses, schools, local churches etc., on the most suitable ways of representing the people in the parishes identified in the CGR. This means making sure that those living in the area, and other stakeholders, have a say in how their local communities are represented. 

A CGR is required to take into account:

  • The impact of community governance arrangements on community cohesion
  • The size, population and boundaries of a local community or parish

Currently Greenham Parish is made up of two parish wards, Common ward forming the largest part of the parish, east of the A339, and the Sandleford ward to the west of the A339, which was formed following the 2018 Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) district boundary review. The Local Plan process had anticipated a significant increase in housing in Sandleford, but that has not materialised. There are currently six electors in the Sandleford ward.  Councillor Tony Vickers stood, unopposed for Sandleford ward, in the 2019 local elections and was thus elected by default.  

Terms of Reference for the CGR was approved at Full Council on 10 May 2022. You can read the full report online in the Supplemental Item part of the Agenda. Subsequent to the approval of this CGR, the proposed development within Sandleford ward for 1,000 plus residential units, was approved at appeal by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities. This decision may be subject to further appeal or amendment. 


What can and can't the Community Governance Review change?

The CGR can consider one or more of the following options: 

  • Creating, merging, altering or abolishing parishes
  • The naming of parishes, the style of new parishes and the creation of town councils 
  • The electoral arrangements for parishes (for instance, the ordinary year of election; council size; the number of councillors to be elected to the council, and parish warding) 
  • Grouping parishes under a common parish council or de-grouping parishes
  • Other types of local arrangements, including parish meetings

The CGR cannot:

  • Change the number of councillors on West Berkshire Council
  • Change West Berkshire Council ward boundaries
  • Change the amount of money that a parish council raises through your council tax (known as 'precept')

Government legislation affecting this proposal

Guidance on Community Governance Reviews issued by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government published in 2010, recommends that local authorities should undertake a review of its area every 10-15 years.


What is being proposed

Two proposals were received from GPC:

1. To split the current Common ward into two wards, by potentially creating 'Racecourse ward' out of the current Racecourse development. The Racecourse development is fairly large, relatively new and completely separate to old Greenham.

2. To retain Sandleford ward, with only six electors, and to retain a single parish council seat, whilst re-allocating four of the five parish council seats from Sandleford ward to Common ward (or a new Racecourse ward), until the Sandleford development is occupied by sufficient electors to merit more than one parish council seat.

Alternative proposals, not proposed by GPC:

3. To reincorporate Sandleford ward back into Common ward. This will improve overall community governance and oversight of the current Sandleford ward area and activities, from the better represented Common ward.

Sandleford ward could, in the future, be reconsidered as a potential separate ward; post any Parliamentary Boundary Review amendments, and once elector numbers increase within the proposed Sandleford development from the current six electors.

4. To retain the Greenham Parish ward boundaries and governance structures as they are, with no changes.

There are no known land and property asset transfers arising out of any of the proposals, but there may be electoral consequences.

You can read the full report online in the Supplemental Item part of the Agenda.


Why we want your views

We'd like your views on the proposals for the future governance arrangements of Greenham Parish.

We'd also want to know if you have any alternative proposals and your reasons for suggesting them.


How to take part

If you'd like to comment on the proposals for Greenham Parish, please complete our survey by midnight on Monday, 4 July 2022. It should take about 5-10 minutes.

Complete our survey

Should you require any further information regarding the review, please contact Clare Ockwell - Electoral Services and Land Charges Manager, or Anita Stanbury - Project Manager Digital Democracy at GPCParishReview@westberks.gov.uk or on 01635 551111.


What happens next

Following this consultation, all feedback will be taken into account and proposals finalised, which will then be submitted to a special meeting of the Governance and Ethics Committee around July 2022.

A further 6-week public consultation on the final proposal approved by the Governance and Ethics Committee will take place around August 2022.

As a results of this second consultation WBC will make a final recommendation, for consideration by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England in September/October 2022. Depending on the outcome and recommendations from the LGBCE, WBC will make and publish the Community Governance Order in November 2022, with the Order taking effect from the next scheduled parish elections in May 2023.


 

NB: Please allow enough time to complete the online survey. There is no 'save and continue' button, however, if you use the same device and web browser you started completing the survey with, you can pick up where you left off and/or edit your response until the survey closes. This is because a cookie is stored in your browser that remembers your survey response.  Please note, responses are saved and submitted 'page by page' when you click the 'Next' or 'Done' button at the bottom of each page; they don't automatically save as each question is answered. If more than one person in your household wishes to complete the online survey, they must use a different device and/or browser.

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