Background for the Community Governance Review (CGR)
Principal councils, like South Lakeland District Council, have powers to conduct community governance reviews (CGRs). A CGR is a legal process that allows us to look at matters such as parish councils, electoral arrangements and administrative boundaries. We must ask local electors and other stakeholders (such as parish councils and other interested groups) if they feel their communities are suitably represented.
We believe that parish councils play an important role in community empowerment at a local level, and we wish to ensure:
- that parish governance within the District remains robust, representative and able to meet any future challenges
- that governance at this level is clear and transparent
- that electors understand the electoral arrangements for their parish, and that the arrangements are appropriate and equitable
During a CGR, we can consider the following:
- creating, merging, altering or abolishing parishes
- the naming of parishes
- the style of any new parishes (ie, should it be called a town, parish or community council)
- the electoral arrangements for the parishes, such as the ordinary year of election, council size, number of councillors to be elected to the council and parish warding
- grouping of parishes under a common parish council, or the de-grouping of parishes
- reflect the identities and interests of local communities
- take into account the impact of community governance arrangements on community cohesion and size, population and boundaries of a local community or parish
The Government has emphasised that any changes should bring about improved community engagement, more cohesive communities, better local democracy and result in improved effective and convenient delivery of local services. We will take all these factors into account during our review.
Parishes in the South Lakeland area
We want to ensure that parishes are viable and receive a precept that enables them to actively and effectively promote the well-being of their residents and to contribute to the real provision of services in their areas in an economic and efficient manner. This review aims to ensure that the parishes within South Lakeland reflect community identity and interest and are viable as administrative units.
Parishes should reflect distinctive and recognisable communities of interest, with their own sense of identity. Councils and meetings should ensure their electors know which parish they live in, which in turn will encourage participation in local elections.
South Lakeland District Council Community Governance Review 2018 to 2019
Our CGR is now in Stage Three, where draft recommendations are formally published and a further consultation period begins. All the submissions we have received have been published.
Stage Three will run until Sunday 26 May 2019, after which the Council will consider all submissions and make its final recommendations.