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Thriplow Parish Council Community Governance Review - Terms of reference

1. Community Governance Review

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

1.2 This review is to consider the electoral arrangements of Thriplow Parish Council to determine if there should be a change in the number of parish councillors representing each parish ward. The overall number of parish councillors will remain the same.

1.3 This review will also consider changing the name of the parish from the Parish of Thriplow to the Parish of Thriplow and Heathfield.

1.4 In undertaking this review the Council has considered the Guidance on Community Governance Reviews issued by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, published in 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, Guidance on Community Governance Reviews issued in accordance with section 100(4) of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 by the Department of Communities and Local Government and the Local Government Boundary Commission for England in March 2010, 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.)
1.5 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 in hard copy. Hard copies will be made available at South Cambridgeshire Hall, Cambourne, and in suitable locations within Thriplow village ward and Heathfield ward as advised by Thriplow Parish Council.

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

1.7 The request received from Thriplow Parish Council on 2 May 2019 was that a Community Governance Review should review the number of parish councillors representing each parish ward to more accurately reflect the numbers in each parish ward electorate.

1.8 Thriplow Parish Council propose that the Community Governance Review should consider changing the representation of Thriplow village ward from seven councillors to five councillors and the representation of Heathfield ward from two councillors to four councillors.

1.9 As part of consultation to develop this Community Governance Review, Thriplow Parish Council advised that they would like the review to consider amending the name of the parish and made this request in writing on 12 November 2019.

1.10 Thriplow Parish Council propose that the Community Governance Review should consider changing the name of the parish to ‘The Parish of Thriplow and Heathfield’.

1.11 The 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
  • takes into account any other arrangements for the purposes of community representation or community engagement in the area

1.12 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)
  • grouping parishes under a common parish council or de-grouping parishes.

1.13 The 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 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 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 Council will take account of the views of local people and stakeholders.

2.3 The Council will:

  • publish these Terms of Reference and take submissions via its website
  • promote the process via the website and social media; and within the parish
  • provide key documents on deposit at South Cambridgeshire Hall, Cambourne and in suitable locations within Thriplow village ward and Heathfield ward as advised by Thriplow parish council. There will be provision for collection of paper submissions at these locations.

The Thriplow Parish Clerk will also be issued with paper submissions for requesters within the parish. Postal submissions will be accepted at the District Council office (South Cambridgeshire District Council, South Cambridgeshire Hall, Cambourne Business Park, Cambourne, Cambridge, CB23 6EA).

The timetable for the review

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Date Stage of review
31 January Terms of reference published. Submissions invited - have your say
8 March Consultation closes
March to June Consideration of submissions received by the Civic Affairs Committee and recommendation prepared
June Recommendations of the Civic Affairs Committee published, concluding the review
September Council can make a Reorganisation of Community Governance Order

2.4 Publication of the Terms of Reference formally begins the review, and the review must be completed within 12 months. To this end we will adhere to the following timetable for review.

3. Electorate forecasts

3.1 The existing parish electorate is 9391. The electorate is not forecast to increase in the next five years as there are no planned developments. 

3.2 Thriplow ward currently has an electorate of 397 and Heathfield ward currently has an electorate of 542.

4. Electoral arrangements

4.1 The Council voted to move to all out elections and to bring all parish council elections in line with that new schedule. The first all out elections took place in May 2018, with all out elections then taking place every four years thereafter

4.2 The Council notes that if a parish is warded, it should give consideration to the levels of representation between each ward. That is to say, the number of councillors to be elected from each ward and the number of electors they represent.

4.3 The Council notes that there are no specific guidelines for what might constitute significant differences in levels of representation; each case will need to be considered on its merits.

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 and website.

5.2 The provisions of the Order will take effect for financial and administrative purposes by September 2020.

5.3 Revised electoral arrangements for a new or existing parish council will usually come into effect at the next scheduled elections to the parish council. This will be in May 2022.

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