Community Governance Review of Swaton Parish

Community Governance Review of Swaton Parish

Comment on the review

How to have your say

A Community Governance Review (CGR) is currently underway looking at a proposal to increase the size of Swaton Parish Council from five Parish Councillors to seven by two additional Parish Councillors.

A period of open consultation took place between 1 January and 30 March 2018. During this time only one representation was received in support of the request to increase the number of councillors.

At a meeting in April, North Kesteven District Council agreed the following draft proposal;

“That the number of Parish Councillors on Swaton Parish Council be increased from five to seven, to come into effect for the Parish elections in 2019.’

North Kesteven District Council resolved that the draft proposal be published, with  stakeholders notified as part of a final two month consultation period. 

This phase of the consultation on the draft proposal opens on 18 May 2018 and runs until 5.00pm on 20 July 2018. 

To have your say and comment on the proposals please either submit your comments using our electoral enquiries form or email elections@n-kesteven.gov.uk or put your comments in writing to:

North Kesteven District Council
Electoral Services
Kesteven Street
Sleaford
NG34 7EF

Following the end of this consultation period, a final recommendation on the Community Governance Review, taking account of any consultation responses received, will be considered by full Council on 27 September 2018.

What is a Community Governance Review?

A Community Governance Review provides the opportunity for councils to review and make changes to community governance arrangements that must be reflective of the identities and interests of the community in that area and that is effective and convenient.

Such a Review can be helpful where there have been changes in population, or in reaction to specific or new local issues.

In doing so, the Community Governance Review is required to take into account:

  • the impact of community governance arrangements on community cohesion
  • the size, population and boundaries of a local community or parish

Why carry out a Community Governance Review?

This is the process for a district council to make changes to parish areas, usually at the request of parishes.

Following a request by Swaton Parish Council to increase the number of parish councillors from five to seven, North Kesteven District Council has agreed to undertake a Review.

As the principal authority, North Kesteven District Council is responsible for undertaking any such Review within its electoral area.  The body responsible for overseeing this process is the Full Council, who will be responsible for producing draft and final recommendations.  The Council will approve the final recommendations before a Community Governance Order is made.

The Parish Council's justification for the increase in the number of parish councillors is set out below:

In their meeting last night Swaton Parish Council resolved to request that the number of Parish Councillors be increased from 5 to 7. In 2011 the Council requested a decrease from 7 to 5 due to insufficient people offering to apply for Council posts. However, over the past few years there has been a significant influx of new parishioners, many of whom are motivated to support the community and have expressed an interest in standing as Councillors. The Parish Council sees this as a positive move and to increase to numbers would reduce the burden of responsibilities on the existing Councillors. On a few occasions the Council has only just been quorate as it only takes one Councillor to be away and another to have working commitments or to be ill. Three Councillors making decisions for the community is not felt to be adequate representation. On one occasion a Councillor who was not otherwise attending, had to be called in so the meeting could progress. Recent planning applications either approved or still in the consultation process will also increase the growth for the parish. The Council feels it will be able to sustain 7 councillors and that 7 people of diverse backgrounds and interests will produce a more vibrant and inclusive.

North Kesteven has to publish details of the areas that will be looked at during the review called the Terms of Reference.

In this public consultation, we are asking for people's views on the proposals to;

       
  1. increase the number of parish councillors on Swaton Parish Council from five to seven
  2. make no other changes to the electoral arrangements in respect of Swaton Parish Council

Background information  

The parish of Swaton is within the Osbournby ward of North Kesteven District Council. It is also located within the Heckington Division of Lincolnshire County Council and forms part of the Sleaford and North Hykeham Parliamentary Constituency.

What does a parish council do?

Parish councils are the most local form of government. They are usually made up of local people who stand for election as parish councillors to represent their area (most parish councillors are not paid for their work or time). They are the democratic voice of the local community and work with other tiers of government and external organisations to co-ordinate and to deliver services.

Electorate forecast

For the purpose of this review, we are required to forecast the expected growth in dwellings for the Parish of Swaton for the coming five years.

The forecast amounts to nine homes (this figure includes permissions, sites identified in the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan 2012-2036). However, it is uncertain if and when these homes might be built. 

What happens next?

In arriving at our final recommendations, we will take account of the views of local people and any other person or body who appears to have an interest in the Review by judging them against the criteria set out in the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 and associated government guidance.

We will take steps to notify consultees of the outcome of the review by publishing all decisions taken, together with reasons, on our website (and ask Swaton Parish Council to publish the same on their website) and through general press releases.  

If any change to the electoral arrangements for Swaton Parish Council is approved, a Community Governance Reorganisation Order will be made to give effect to the change.

Timetable for the review

The agreed timetable for the Community Governance Review is set out below:

14 December 2017 - Terms of Reference and Timetable for Review approved by North Kesteven District Council.

1 January 2018 - Consultation period begins with local people and interested parties.

29 March 2018 - Closing date for consultation period (5pm).

26 April 2018 - North Kesteven District Council to consider consultation submissions and publish draft proposals.

1 June – 20 July 2018 - Consultation on draft proposals.

September 2018 - Final Recommendations for consideration by North Kesteven District Council

After Council meeting - Publication of Recommendations and Re-Organisation Order (if approved)

(May) 2019 - Effective Date of Order