Cheshire East Community Governance Review - Part Two

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Introduction

 
Purpose of this survey 

We are conducting a review of town and parish council governance arrangements across the Cheshire East Borough.
 
The overarching purpose of the review is in accordance with the 'Department of Communities and Local Government and Local Government Boundary Commission for England guidance on Community Governance Reviews’ [LGBCE Guidance]  to “ensure that community governance arrangements continue to reflect local identities and facilitate effective and convenient local government.”
 
Cheshire East has 186 town and parish council wards in 135 town and parish councils covering the whole borough. Cheshire East Council is responsible for electoral and governance arrangements within the borough including:
  • Town and parish boundaries
  • Numbers of town and parish councillors; and
  • Arrangements for wards and the meetings of groups of parish councils
It is good practice to review community governance every 10-15 years. Cheshire East Council was created in 2009 and has yet to hold a full review of town and parish council governance.
 
 A pre-consultation survey was launched on 28 October 2019, which invited anyone interested in the review to provide a response. The survey was “live” for 14 weeks.

Following the pre-consultation survey, draft recommendations have now been developed and as part of a formal 12 week consultation, we would like to hear your views on those recommendations.
 
Recommendations Overview

The Community Governance Review Draft Recommendations report comprises a series of graduated proposals, beginning with parishes where no changes are being proposed, to parishes where there are proposals to alter the current electoral arrangements, to small parishes where mergers to form new parishes are being proposed, and finally to more significant area or boundary changes (as shown in the Draft Recommendations report’s maps appendix) – largely adjoining the Borough’s urban parishes – which have a consequential or knock-on effect for the surrounding parishes. 

This consultation stage provides electors and other interested persons or bodies with an opportunity to make the case for alternative proposals to those now recommended by the Council. Where the Council recommends a change, an alternative proposal could be for a different form or degree of change to the one recommended by the Council, or it could be for no change at all.

Responses to this consultation should have regard to the need to ensure that each parish:
  • Reflects the identities and interests of the different communities in the area. The Council considers that this is a ‘community of identity’ test, which is especially applicable to the new developments that presently traverse parish boundaries.
  • Is effective and convenient. The Council considers that this is a ‘viability’ test, and the Council is anxious to ensure that parishes are viable and have sufficient resources to enable them to actively and effectively promote the well-being of their residents and to contribute to the real provision of services in their areas in an economic and efficient manner.
  • Takes into account any other arrangements for the purposes of community representation or community engagement in the area that reinforce the ‘community of identity’ test.
For a small number of parish councils, council tax precepts could possibly change as a consequence of the outcome of the community governance review. The precept is a tax that parish councils charge local electors to meet their budget requirements. The charge is usually divided between every household according to what council tax property band the property is in. You can refer to current precept rates here.
Submitting your comments

This consultation is open to all those aged 16 and over.

Please submit your response by 28 November 2021.

Please note that a red asterisk next to a question within the survey means that an answer is required before you can continue.

For any queries about this survey, email: communitygovernancereview@cheshireeast.gov.uk

Once the consultation closes we will analyse all responses, produce a summary report of them, and publish this online on our consultation webpages.

Your confidentiality is assured

Any personal information you supply will be used in line with the latest data protection legislation. To find out how we use your information see our privacy policy.