Community governance review of Longstanton and Oakington and Westwick, prompted by the development at Northstowe
The Community Governance Review is a statutory process; in order to allow for effective engagement with the communities resident in these parishes, which was severely disrupted owing to lockdown, the decision was taken to extend the second round of consultation. This second round closed on 15 September 2020.
Outcome of Community Governance Review
Following a Community Governance Review with local parish councils and communities to consider the governance options for Northstowe South Cambridgeshire District Council's Full Council agreed the following decisions:
- The creation of a new civil parish for Northstowe, defining the new parish boundary, which encompasses the whole of the Northstowe Development and sees land north of the busway become part of Willingham Civil Parish (please see map below).
- That the new administrative body be called "Northstowe Town Council".
- That 15 councillors will sit on Northstowe Town Council.
- That elections to Northstowe Town Council will first be held in 2021, with councillors serving for a single year so that all councillors can then stand for a full four-year term in 2022, in line with the rest of the district’s parish/town council and district council elections.
- And that the District Council will write to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England to seek re-alignment of district and county boundaries.
The recording of the meeting can be found via the link above.
Prior to Full Council, Civic Affairs Committee met on Tuesday 3 November. This concluded the review and included outcomes of the second round of consultation and options for recommendations to be made to Council. The recording of the meeting can be found via the link above.
Due to current guidelines, bookings to read the re-organisation order are currently unavailable. However, if you would like a hard copy please email email@example.com and we can post you a scanned version.
Why we undertook the review?
We undertook a community governance review of Longstanton and Oakington and Westwick, prompted by the development at Northstowe, because the development at Northstowe will alter the spread of housing across the parishes of Longstanton and Oakington and Westwick. With three centres of population, the current parish boundaries will no longer reflect a “natural settlement pattern”.
A community governance review aims to secure an arrangement which:
- Reflects the identities and interest of the community in that area
- Is effective and convenient
- Takes into account any other arrangements for the purpose of community representation or community engagement
A community governance review ought to result in arrangements which will bring about improved community engagement, better local democracy and result in more effective and convenient delivery of local services.
Please refer to the Terms of Reference, which were published on 11 November 2019
Thank you to everyone who took time to respond to the first and second stages of consultation.
- Extent of Northstowe development
- Frequently asked questions
- The current parish boundaries
- Online Submission form
What is happening
11 November 2019
Publication of the Terms of Reference
November / December 2019
Local briefings and meetings
11 November / 15 January 2020
First round consultation
Initial Submissions invited – have your say
3 March 2020
Draft recommendations published: for Civic Affairs Committee
15 March / 15 September 2020
Second round consultation
Consultation on draft recommendations – tell us what you think
Consideration of submissions received/final recommendations prepared: for Civic Affairs Committee 3 November
Final recommendations are published, concluding the review
Council can make a Reorganisation Order
From 11 November 2019 to 15 January 2020 the Council ran the first round consultation to hear what local people thought about future arrangements for governance for the parishes of Longstanton and Oakington and Westwick, given that the new development of Northstowe is being built within the boundaries of these two parishes.
Following the first round consultation draft recommendations were published to Civic Affairs Committee and these resulted in three options being proposed. Between 15 March and 15 September the second round consultation ran to hear what local people thought on the draft recommendations.
What are governance arrangements?
When we talk about governance arrangements we can mean things like the type of council, location of the boundaries, and how many councillors there are. Parish, community and town councils operate at a level below the district council. They are a statutory body, independently elected and can raise their own precept (a form of Council Tax) to provide and maintain a variety of local services, which could include management of open spaces and community facilities. They are also statutory consultees on all planning applications in their area.
What has been done so far?
We ran events in Longstanton, Oakington and Northstowe; delivered information to every household; and targeted local residents using social media for both rounds of the consultation. All the information that was provided can still be viewed on the Council’s website. Look for the Terms of Reference and Frequently Asked Questions. Paper copies of the Terms of Reference are still available from Oakington Pavilion; on request from the Oakington Parish Clerk, Longstanton Village Hall (11am to 2pm, Monday to Friday); the Community Wing next to Pathfinder School, Northstowe; and the Council’s offices at South Cambridgeshire Hall, Cambourne.
What residents in surrounding villages said
Comments that residents made in both rounds of consultation showed that people living in the existing villages around Northstowe have a strong desire for governance arrangements for their villages to remain separate from those for Northstowe.
What residents in Northstowe said
Northstowe residents didn’t see their future governance arrangements as being joined with the surrounding villages, instead expressing a strong view that all phases (1, 2, 3A and 3B) of Northstowe should be governed on its own
Below you will see information about each option, accompanied by a map showing the proposed new boundary.
The below map is an illustrative masterplan showing how Northstowe could look in 2036, produced by Tibbalds Planning and Design for Homes England.
The entirety of Northstowe (Phases 1, 2, 3A and 3B) is taken out from Longstanton and Oakington and Westwick Civil Parishes to form a new Civil Parish for Northstowe. Westwick remains with Oakington, with all current arrangements for Oakington and Westwick otherwise remaining unaffected. Longstanton Parish Council retains the same arrangements as currently, within its reduced boundaries. Land within Longstanton Parish north of the guided busway is transferred to Willingham Civil Parish.
The entirety of Northstowe (Phases 1, 2, 3A and 3B) is taken out from Longstanton and Oakington and Westwick Civil Parishes to form a new Civil Parish for Northstowe. Westwick remains with Oakington, with all current arrangements for Oakington and Westwick otherwise remaining unaffected. Longstanton Parish Council retains the same arrangements as currently, within its reduced boundaries. Land within Longstanton Parish north of the guided busway is taken into the new Civil Parish for Northstowe.
The majority of phase 1, phases 2 and 3A are taken from Longstanton Civil Parish and Oakington and Westwick Civil Parish to create a new Civil Parish for part of Northstowe, but the Bloor parcel, phase 3B (potentially 1,000 homes) and other parcels within the Northstowe extension land situated west of the B1050 are retained within Longstanton Civil Parish, along with land north of the guided busway. Westwick remains with Oakington, with all current arrangements for Oakington and Westwick otherwise remaining unaffected
Frequently asked questions
Are all questions mandatory?
The questions are not mandatory although we would encourage you to complete the form as fully as possible.
If you have any questions please contact us using the details at the bottom of this page or speak to us at one of the information sessions we are planning for the end of the summer. We will publish our revised timetable of engagement events in due course.
How has the District Council arrived at the 3 potential boundary options that we are consulting on in round 2?
At the first stage of the review, residents were invited to give their views on how they wish to be represented and what boundaries they think are most suitable. There are now people living at Northstowe and it is important to take into account their views and those of the residents of the whole of Longstanton Parish, along with those residents in Oakington and Westwick Parish, to understand what arrangement should be considered.
The District Council has taken into account the views of local residents before formulating the 3 potential options we are now consulting on.
Will the views of residents be the only consideration taken into account?
The views of residents will be a hugely important consideration, but ultimately it is for the District Council to take a decision on the best way to deliver the objectives of the Community Governance Review. These are that any new arrangements must:
- reflect the community identity and interests of the areas,
- bring about improved community engagement and better local democracy and
- result in more effective and convenient delivery of local services whilst taking into account any existing arrangements for community representation.
- Ensure boundaries are strong, clearly defined and likely to remain easily identifiable
What would happen if no changes were made to the current parish boundaries?
If no changes were made to the current parish boundaries, then when Northstowe is fully built out, 9,840 electors from over 6,300 homes within the Northstowe development would be added to electoral roll of Longstanton Parish. For reference, there are 2,567 electors currently residing within Longstanton village. Similarly, the 4,000 homes to be built in Northstowe Phase 3A, which almost entirely fall within Oakington and Westwick Parish, would add approximately 6,560 electors onto the electoral roll of that Parish, in addition to the current 1,174 electors.
This “no change” option would result in Northstowe residents being represented on two separate parish councils. Northstowe residents would form the majority of the electorate in both parishes.
How do parish boundaries relate to where development will take place?
The Community Governance Review and the boundary of the Parish are separate from the determination of planning applications. As in many Parishes the extent of the parish is wider and larger than the extent of development or town/village which they serve. Development envelopes and extent of the development are defined by the allocation in the Local Plan and in the Northstowe Area Action Plan. The proposed Community Governance Review does not propose to alter the allocation.
What would happen if that part of Northstowe which lies west of the B1050 was retained within Longstanton Parish, but the rest of Northstowe moved into a different parish? (View Option C [PNG, 0.2MB])
This would allow a continuous link with the area of Longstanton Parish north of the Cambridge Guided Busway and mean that a significant proportion of the new homes at Northstowe would be included within Longstanton Parish. This area of land is identified in the Local Plan 2018 as an extension of the site of the new town of Northstowe. 1,000 homes in Phase 3B, plus any others likely to come forward in other parcels (Digital Park and Endurance Estates) at this location, could add an additional 2,240 Northstowe electors to be represented by Longstanton Parish Council. To ensure that roughly equal numbers of parish councillors represent the roughly equal numbers of residents in Northstowe and the village of Longstanton, the Parish could be sub-divided into Wards covering each settlement. Your views are welcomed on this potential option.
Would any change to the parish boundaries which left Longstanton Conservation Area wholly or partially outside of Longstanton Parish affect the boundaries or status of the Longstanton Conservations Area?
No. Changing the parish boundaries would not affect the boundaries or status of the Longstanton Conservation Area. Any changes to the Conservation Area Boundaries would be subject to a separate, community-led public consultation.
Splitting the conservation area over two parishes would mean that for major applications near the boundary, both parish councils would be consulted or notified. It also means that both parish councils, and residents of both areas, would be consulted regarding any variation to the conservation area.
How would any boundary changes affect the parish precept that I pay?
The amount of precepts set by parish councils reflect the services they provide to residents and this is a matter for the parish council and electorate they represent.
The precept (the tax that parish councils can set, collected as part of your council tax payment) reflects the assets that it holds and maintains, the services it pays to provide, offset by any income it generates or receives (grant funding or charitable income, for example). It is impossible to know the likely level of precept payable at this time as it is not known how many of the community assets (buildings, management of open space, sports pitches etc) will be passed to whatever parish council is responsible for Northstowe when the initial management arrangements (including those provided by the developers) end.
How can we ask further questions and get further information about this Community Governance Review?
The District Council is holding a series of information drop in sessions.
If you have a specific question, Council officers are happy to talk to you and provide an answer or guidance. We will publish the questions we get asked and the answers provided on this website to help you reach your views on the best way for future Parish representation to be set-up.
This is the second stage of the Community Governance Review. Having considered the initial views gathered, detailed options have been developed, including where boundaries might run, and we have set out the apparent implications of these options on the various communities where known. These options are now subject to further consultation between 15 March 2020 and 15 June 2020 (now extended to 15 September).
What would happen if the reorganisation order brings to life a new parish for Northstowe in April 2021 and there is an unexpected postponement of the inaugural election?
At present it is the government’s intention to hold elections in May 2021. If this situation should change, then South Cambridgeshire District Council would examine any legislation brought forward by government and would be guided by that whilst trying to serve the best interests of the parishes concerned. Whilst in the absence of legislation it is impossible to say with certainty, a possible likely scenario would be that incumbent members would continue in a lengthened term until such time an election might be called. In the case of a newly created parish where the principal Council had appointed members, these appointees would carry on in role until a first election could be held.
A map of the Northstowe development area and current parish boundaries can be seen below - click on the image to view or download a larger scale version.
Larger scale, more detailed maps of the boundaries can also be viewed and downloaded by clicking on the images below.
Appendix C: Oakington boundary
Appendix D: Over boundary
Appendix E: Swavesey boundary
Appendix F: Willingham boundary
Appendix G: Rampton boundary
Currently there is a District Council ward boundary between the Longstanton ward and the Over and Willingham ward. There is also a County Council division boundary between the Longstanton, Northstowe and Over division and the Cottenham and Willingham division.
Should there be changes to parish council boundaries as outlined in Option A, South Cambridgeshire District Council will seek realignment of the District Council and County Council boundaries so that they are aligned with the new parish boundary arrangements.