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Community governance reviews

A council can ask the public and other interested parties about the most suitable way of representing local communities. This is called a community governance review.

A community governance review enables us to review and then put in place or make changes to community governance systems and structures. For example, this could be done by creating, merging, abolishing or changing parish or town council arrangements in the review area.

Current reviews

West Rainton

West Rainton Parish Council wants to reduce its membership from 11 councillors to nine. The council also wants to change its name to West Rainton and Leamside Parish Council in order to better reflect the area it covers.

Previous reviews

We have carried out community governance reviews in the following areas:

Making changes to your community

If your community is thinking about forming of a parish council, or your parish council wishes to make potential changes to the council size or parish boundaries, contact us and your councillors in the early stages.

Aims of a review

The government has emphasised that the aim of a review should be to bring about improved community engagement, more cohesive communities, better local democracy and more effective and convenient delivery of local services.

The law and guidance which the council must comply with when undertaking a review is contained in Sections 93 and 100 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007, and guidance issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.

Changes in legislation

Changes to the legislation affecting community governance reviews were made in March 2015. The changes are intended to reduce restrictions that were seen as preventing or hindering local communities from requesting a local authority to carry out a review regarding the setting up of new town or parish councils.

The three key changes were to:

  • lower the threshold of signatures required to make a valid petition.
  • shorten the amount of time a local authority can take to complete a review.
  • allowing neighbourhood forums to trigger a review.

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