Cheshire East Council supports community governance changes
April 27, 2022
Cheshire East Council supported changes to the governance arrangements of the borough’s town and parish councils.
The full council’s decision follows more than three years of complex work and rigorous 12-week consultation on proposals developed as part of a comprehensive review of community governance.
The review looked at a range of issues, including city and parish boundaries, number of city and parish councillors, grouping of parishes and wards.
By the end of the consultation process, the board had received approximately 5,000 responses.
The views of consulted respondents and stakeholders were taken into account alongside key legislation, central government guidance and terms of reference for the review.
This led Board officers to make revised recommendations, which were approved by the Board’s Multi-Stakeholder Community Governance Review Sub-Committee on April 4 and by the Corporate Policy Committee on April 14, 2022.
The review’s recommendations received final approval by vote at a full board meeting today (April 27).
Councilor Sam Corcoran, leader of Cheshire East Council and chairman of its corporate policy committee, said: ‘This review of community governance, including extensive consultation and engagement with stakeholders, was necessary to ensure that city and parish arrangements respond to local needs and are fit for purpose for the future.
“The adoption of the review recommendations is the culmination of an incredibly complex and important project for the governance of the entire borough.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the officers and members of the Cross-Party Community Governance Review Sub-Committee for their dedication and hard work – especially during the additional challenges of the Covid pandemic. I would also like to thank the many members of the public who have contributed so much to the success of this process.
“The changes made to the proposals, after consultation, demonstrate that the board listened.”
The borough-wide review was undertaken as Cheshire East is responsible for the governance and electoral arrangements for the borough’s 186 town and parish council wards in 135 town and parish councils.
The aim of the review, which follows guidance from the government and the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, was to ensure that community governance arrangements continue to reflect local identities and facilitate practical and effective local administration.
As communities change over time, government guidelines recommend a review of town and parish governance every 10 to 15 years, to ensure arrangements are fit for purpose. ‘goal. The last was done before Cheshire East Council was established in 2009.
The Preliminary Report on the Community Governance Review made a series of draft proposals for consultation late last year, beginning with parishes where no changes are proposed, to other relatively minor proposals and , finally, to larger area or boundary changes – largely adjoining the borough’s urban parishes – which has a ripple effect on surrounding parishes.
This consultation stage gave people and stakeholders the opportunity to advocate for alternative proposals or approve the draft proposals as they were. A multi-disciplinary team of officers has been working on the review since 2019 and members of all council political groups have been involved in finalizing recommendations for future governance arrangements for the borough’s town and parish councils. The revised proposals have now been approved by the board.
Full details of the changes and maps showing boundary changes can be found here.
Cheshire East Council officers will continue to support town and parish councilors through the process of implementing approved changes to local community governance arrangements.
The community governance review did not include electoral arrangements for borough council or parliamentary seats. These would be the responsibility of Whitehall (the Local Government Boundary Commission and the Boundary Commission for England respectively) and are not currently on offer.