Terms of Reference for the Community Governance Review of Foxton Civil Parish

1. Introduction

1.1 South Cambridgeshire District Council has resolved to undertake a Community Governance Review of the parish of Foxton.

1.2 This review is to consider the electoral arrangements of Foxton Parish Council.

1.3 In undertaking this review the District Council has considered the Guidance on Community Governance Reviews issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in March 2010, which reflects Part 4 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 and the relevant parts of the Local Government Act 1972 and the following regulations which guide, in particular, consequential matters arising from the Review: Local Government (Parishes and Parish Councils) (England) Regulations 2008 (SI2008/625). (The 2007 Act transferred powers to the principal councils which previously, under the Local Government Act 1997, had been shared with the Electoral Commission’s Boundary Committee for England.)

1.4 These Terms of Reference set out clearly the matters on which the Community Governance Review is to focus. We will publish this document on our website and hard copies will be made available on request from the District Council and on request by contacting the Foxton Parish Clerk by email or telephone (see 5.1 for contact details).

Purpose of the Review

1.5 The District Council is undertaking a Community Governance Review at this time because the Parish Council feels that additional councillors are required to improve effective governance against a background of increasing workload and challenges.  

1.6 Although not at the instigation of a petition, the District Council has been approached by Foxton Parish Council who has stated a request for a formal review process to take place and a willingness to work with the District Council in taking this forward.

1.7 The District Council must have regard to the need to secure community governance within the area under review such that it

  • reflects the identities and interests of the community in that area;
  • is effective and convenient, and
  • takes into account any other arrangements for the purposes of community representation or community engagement in the area.

Community Governance Reviews

1.8 A Community Governance Review is a review of the whole or part of the district to consider one or more of the following:

  • creating, merging, altering or abolishing parishes;
  • the naming of parishes in the style of new parishes;
  • the electoral arrangements for parishes (the ordinary year of election; council size; the number of councillors to be elected to the council, and parish warding), and
  • grouping parishes under a common parish council or de-grouping parishes.

Parish Governance in our Area

1.9 The District Council’s Business Plan underlines the key role of third tier councils in sustaining successful, vibrant communities.

1.10 The District Council’s constitution states the function of the Civic Affairs Committee with regard to Electoral Arrangements

Determination as follows:

  • review district or parish electoral arrangements including boundaries and report recommendations to Council
  • give parish meetings powers of parish council
  • increase / reduce number of parish councillors
  • change parish electoral arrangements where agreed including parish warding
  • appoint temporary parish councillors, s. 91 LGA, 1972

They may also recommend to the District Council's meeting of Full Council:

  • district and district ward boundary changes arising from review;
  • parish warding and boundary changes where not agreed;
  • Periodic Electoral Review;
  • new parish establishment

2. Consultation

2.1 The District Council has drawn up and now publishes this Terms of Reference document. This document lays out the aims of the review, the legislation that guides it and some of the policies that the Council considers important in the review.

2.2 In coming to its Recommendations in a Review, the District Council will take account of the views of local people and stakeholders.

2.3 The District Council will:

  • publish these Terms of Reference and take submissions via its website,
  • promote the process using targeted social media.
  • provide key documents on request and by request from the Parish Clerk in Foxton.
  • There will be provision for collection of paper submissions at Foxton Parish Council with postal submissions accepted at the District Council Office (South Cambridgeshire District Council, South Cambridgeshire Hall, Cambourne Business Park, Cambourne, Cambridge, CB23 6EA) and Foxton Parish Council Foxton Parish Council, Foxton Village Hall, Hardman Road, Foxton, CB22 6RN

The timetable for the review

2.4 Publication of the Terms of Reference formally begins the review, and the review should be completed within twelve months.

2.5 Section 93(8) of the 2007 Act requires the CGR to be concluded within a 12-month period; however, the Guidance, at paragraph 37, indicates that this time period “should be feasible”, but by necessary implication contemplates occasions when it may not be.  

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Event

Date

Terms of Reference are published

7 December 2020

Submissions invited – have your say

7 December 2020

Consultation closes

 7 February 2021

Consideration of submissions received and recommendation prepared for Civic Affairs Committee (25 March)

February 2021

Recommendations are published, concluding the review

 

March 2021

The District Council can make a Reorganisation Order (which sets out how the Parish Council will be set up)

May 2021

3. Electorate Forecasts

3.1 Foxton has 1033 electors (October 2020). The electorate is not forecast to significantly increase or decrease over the next five years.

3.2 The population forecasts have been provided to Foxton Parish Council.

4. Electoral Arrangements

4.1 The District Council voted to move to all out elections and bring all parish council elections in line. The next scheduled all out elections will take place in 2022.

4.2 The District Council notes that the number of parish councillors for each parish council shall not be less than five. There is no maximum number. There are no rules relating to the allocations of councillors. The National Association of Local Councils has suggested that the minimum number of councillors should be seven and the maximum 25.

4.3 The District Council must have regard to the following factors when considering the number of councillors to be elected for a parish:

  • the number of local government electors for the parish;
  • any change in that number which is likely to occur in the period of five years beginning with the day when the review starts.

5. Reorganisation of Community Governance Orders and Commencement

5.1 The Review will be completed when the Council adopts the Reorganisation of Community Governance Order. Copies of this Order and the document(s) which set out the reasons for the decisions that the Council has taken (including where it has decided to make no change following a Review) will be deposited at the Council’s offices, on its website and by request from the Parish Clerk for Foxton, email: clerk@foxtonparishcouncil.gov.uk or tel: 01763 838430.

5.2 The provisions of the Order will take effect for financial and administrative purposes on 1 April 2022.

5.3 Any changes to the size of a parish council would normally take effect at the next scheduled election of the parish. The next scheduled parish elections in South Cambridgeshire will be held in May 2022.

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