Your Councillors


Enc. 1 for Harrietsham Parish Council - Increase in Number of Councillors

 

REVIEWS OF PARISHES AND RELATED MATTERS

 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IN HEALTH ACT 2007

 

TERMS OF REFERENCE

HARRIETSHAM PARISH COUNCIL – INCREASE IN PARISH COUNCILLORS

 

INTRODUCTION

 

What is a Community Governance Review?

 

It is a review of the whole or part of the district / parish area to consider one or more of the following:

 

• Creating, merging, altering or abolishing parishes;

• The naming of parishes and the style of new parishes;

• The grouping of parishes under a common parish council.

• 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

 

In undertaking any Review, the Council will be guided by the following legislation:

 

• Part 4 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007:

• Local Government (Parishes and Parish Councils) (England) Regulations 2008

  (SI2008/625);

• Local Government Finance (New Parishes) Regulations 2008 (SI2008/626)

• Relevant parts of the Local Government Act 1972

 

The Council is required to have regard to the Guidance on Community Governance Reviews issued by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (published in April 2008), together with the Guidance on Community Governance Reviews issued by the Department of Communities and Local Government and the Local Government Boundary Commission (CLCBE) for England in March 2010

The Terms of Reference of any Review will be published on the Council’s website (www.maidstone.gov.uk) and will also be available to view at our reception area at the Council’s main offices in The Gateway, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JZ.

 

Parish governance in the Borough of Maidstone

 

The Council believes that parish councils play an important role in terms of community empowerment at a local level, and wants to ensure that parish governance in our Borough continues to be enabled to meet the challenges that lie before it. Furthermore, it wants to ensure that there is clarity and transparency to the areas that parish councils represent and that the electoral arrangements of parishes (the warding arrangements and the allocations of councillors) are appropriate, equitable and readily understood by their electorate.

 

 

Ultimately, the recommendations made in any community governance review should aim to bring about improved community engagement, better local democracy and result in a more effective and convenient delivery of local services.

Why is the Council undertaking this Review?

 

Reviews are normally undertaken because of one or more of the following reasons:

 

• Changes in population

• Shifts in “natural settlements” caused by new development

• In reaction to specific or local issues which have now been raised

• In receipt of a valid petition

• In advance of a full review of the district or parish electoral arrangements

• At a request from the parish council or other interested party

 

In this particular review, Maidstone Borough Council has resolved to undertake a Community Governance Review of Harrietsham Parish Council with a view to increasing the number of parish councillors from 9 to 11 as a result of a formal request from the Parish Council.

 

Who undertakes the Review?

 

The organisation of the consultations and all subsequent correspondence is undertaken by the Electoral Services team at the Borough Council. The General Purposes Committee of the Council is delegated to deal with all electoral matters and will make recommendation to full council for the final decision after the consultations have been concluded.

 

Consultation

 

The Council is now publishing this Terms of Reference document. It sets out the aims of the review, the legislation which guides it and some of the policies which the Council considers important in the review. The Council will need to take into consideration the views of the local people, together with the views of any other interested party. Local people and any other stake-holders should be aware of the outcome of decisions made and the reasons behind them. The district councils will also ask for the views of the County Council and any neighbouring parish councils.

 

Electoral statistics and arrangements

 

The parish council comprises one parish boundary and is coterminous with the borough ward boundaries and no change is requested to these.

 

The Council has used the Register of Electors as at 1 Sept 2014 to provide the electoral statistics. These are as follows;

Polling District

Area

Electorate as at

1 September 2014

Current no. of parish councillors

 

L

 

Harrietsham

 

 

1608

 

9

 

 

Timetable

 

The review must be completed within twelve months of the publication of this document.

Stage

What happens

Date/Timescales

Commencement of review

Publication of terms of reference

12 December 2014

Stage 1

Consultation period. Submissions are invited.

6 weeks

(ends - 30 January 2015)

Stage 2

Consideration of submissions. Draft recommendations prepared and published.

2 weeks

(ends - 13 February 2015)

Stage 3

Principal Council agrees and publishes final recommendations

20 February 2015

Stage 4

Council resolves to make an Order to increase the number of parish councillors

 

Order effective

Number of parish councillors increases effective from next termly parish elections

7 May 2015