Community Governance Review guidance
A Community Governance Review (CGR) is a legal process that allows principal councils (in the South Lakeland District Council area) to ask the public, parish councils and other interested groups whether they feel their communities are suitably represented.
Councils can consider the following:
- creating, merging, altering or abolishing parishes
- the naming of parishes
- the style of any new parishes
- 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, of the de-grouping of parishes
A CGR must:
- reflect the identities and interests of local communities
- take into account the impact of community governance arrangements on community cohesion and the size, population and boundaries of a local community or parish
Parish councils and parish meetings
Parishes and Town Councils are the most local form of government. They collect money from council tax payers (via the District Council) known as a 'precept', which they invest in the area to improve facilities or services. Parish Councils can take different forms, but they're usually made up of local people who stand as Parish Councillors to represent their area. They can be the voice of the local community and work with other tiers of government and external organisations to co-ordinate and deliver services, and work to improve the quality of life in their area.
Some parish councils are divided into wards for the purposes of elections.
Under the Local Government Act 1972, all parishes must hold at least one parish meeting per year, and most parish or town councils hold more than one. If the parish does not have a council, the meeting is organised by the parish meeting itself and there are several parishes in the South Lakeland area that have a parish meeting rather than a parish council.
In some cases, it can be preferable to group together parishes to form a common parish council. Grouping can be seen as a working alliance, and can be an effective way of ensuring parish government in areas where small parishes may not be viable on their own, but allows their separate community identity to continue. The parishes within the group will have a designated number of councillors, but each parish must return at least one councillor.