Community Governance Reviews
A Community Governance Review is a way for district councils to make sure that, at parish level, governance arrangements are working as efficiently and effectively as they should be. This is achieved by asking the public, parish councils and any interested parties whether they feel their communities are suitably represented and whether parish councils would like to see any changes made to their current governance arrangements.
We have the power to undertake such reviews under Part 4 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 and the relevant national guidance document.
The Council is required to consult with local government electors living in the Stroud District as well as any other individuals and organisations (including local authorities such as parish councils) who 'appear to have an interest in the review'.
The Council must take into account all representations that it receives during the review's periods of consultation and will make all representations available for public viewing.
What can a Community Governance Review do?
A Community Governance Review can make a number of changes to parish councils when there is clear evidence to do so:
- Creating, merging, altering or abolishing parishes;
- Change electoral arrangements for parishes including the ordinary year of an election, number of parish councillors and changes to parish wards;
- Convert a parish council to a parish meeting;
- Change the name or the style of a new parish/town council or parish meeting; and
- Group parishes together under a common parish.
What can’t a Community Governance Review do?
A Community Governance Review cannot:
- Change the number of district or county councillors;
- Change a district or county council ward boundaries;
- Change the amount of money that a parish council raises through your council tax (known as ‘precept’);
- Change individual parish councillors; and
- Create a unitary authority.
The government has a commitment to improve the capacity of the parish structure to deliver better services and to represent the community's interests. Therefore, the council is anxious to ensure that parishes should be viable and should possess a precept that enables them to actively and effectively promote the wellbeing of their residents and to contribute to the real provision of services in their areas in an economic and efficient manner.
It will be desirable for parish or town council boundaries to be readily identifiable. This can be by reference to physical features or may follow adopted electoral ward boundaries in the district. Any changes should also take into account population shifts or additional development that may have affected community identity.
For frequently asked questions (FAQ's) about Community Governance Reviews please see section 2 on our FAQ page.
Stroud District Council Community Governance Review Order 2023
Following a Community Governance Review, The Stroud District Council (Reorganisation of Community Governance) Order 2020 was published on the 14 December 2023. This order will come into force on 1 April 2024.
This Order gives effect to the final recommendations made by Stroud District Council and approved at a meeting of the Full Council on the 20 July 2023 for:
- the creation of Great Oldbury Parish Council,
- the increase of the number of parish councillors for Frampton-on-Severn Parish Council and Hunts Grove Parish Council,
- the decrease of the number of parish councillors for Eastington Parish Council
- a change to the warding arrangements for Stonehouse Town Council; and
- a change to the Severn, Stonehouse and Hardwicke District Ward Boundaries to ensure coterminosity.
The electoral arrangements will be applied in respect of parish elections that are due to take place on Thursday 2 May 2023.
A revised register of electors will be published on 1 February 2024 reflecting changes to Polling Districts required by the Order.
The consultation for the 2022/23 Community Governance Review has now closed and the Final Recommendations have been published and agreed by Council.
Stroud District Council has undertaken a community governance review pursuant to the provisions of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007, and other relevant statutory provisions. The following Parish/Town areas have been reviewed:
• Hunts Grove
The period for initial submissions closed on the 29 January 2023 and comments on the draft recommendations closed on the 26 April 2023. The Council has now published the Final Recommendations and identified proposals for Parish arrangements (including both changes to, and retention of, existing arrangements) in response to the consultation comments received.
The review had regard to the ‘Guidance on Community Governance Reviews’ issued by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE). The aim of the review was to ensure that the arrangements for community governance reflect ‘the identities and interests of the community in the area’ and are ‘effective and convenient’. The review was conducted in relation to the Terms of Reference contained in this document and agreed by Council.
Who carried out the review?
Stroud District Council is statutorily responsible for carrying out the review. The conduct of the review was overseen by the Council’s Community Governance Review Members Working Group. Formal decisions as to the recommendations arising from the review were made by full Council. The Terms of Reference for this review were agreed by Council on the 20 October 2022 and the Final Recommendations were agreed on the 20 July 2023.
What areas were under review?
The Parish and Town Council areas included in the review were:
Why isn’t my area listed?
If you don’t see your parish or town listed above, it means that that we did not receive a request from the Parish/Town Council to be included as part of this Community Governance Review.
Why is the Council carrying out a community governance review?
A Community Governance Review provides the opportunity to consider whether changes should be made to parish arrangements in response to these and other issues raised by local people. It is intended that any new parish arrangements will take effect at the May 2024 local elections.
A full CGR took place across the whole of the Stroud district in 2019 and several changes were implemented across a number of parish and town council areas including the establishment of Hunts Grove Parish Council. When approving the final recommendations of the 2019 review, Council resolved for a further CGR to be undertaken for the parishes that contain the Great Oldbury development (Eastington, Standish and Stonehouse) by the end of 2023. The reasoning for this was that at the time of the last review, Great Oldbury was a new development and any decisions made may not reflect the identity of a community which was yet to have established.
Ahead of commencing this CGR, all Parish and Town Councils were asked if there had been any significant changes to their electoral arrangements since 2019 and whether their parish or town council areas should be considered for a CGR. Following this consultation with Parish and Town Councils the Council agreed to carry out a review in:
How was the review carried out?
We carried out two phases of consultations on parish arrangements in the areas specified. The first phase of consultation asked for proposals on changes to existing parish arrangements. The Community Governance Review Members Working Group reviewed all responses received during this period of consultation in order to draw up draft recommendations for changes to parish arrangements in the district. A second phase of consultation on these draft recommendations was held, during which time we invited comments and any proposed alternatives to the areas where we recommended a change.
- The first period of consultation took place from Monday 31 October 2022 to Sunday 29 January 2023.
- Following the close of the first period of consultation, the draft set of recommendations were published on Wednesday 1 March 2023.
- These draft recommendations were subject of a second period of consultation, which ran from Wednesday 1 March to Wednesday 26 April 2023.
- Following the end of the second period of consultation, all comments received were be considered against the draft recommendations. The final set of recommendations were considered and agreed by full Council on 20 July 2023.
- It is intended that the final recommendations, which will include any changes to the current parish arrangements, will be implemented in time for the May 2024 elections.
The Council will make a Reorganisation of Community Governance Order in order to implement any recommendations. The Order may cover ‘consequential matters’ required to give effect to the Order, such as the transfer of property or other assets, the setting of precepts for new parishes and staffing matters.
What matters did the review focus on?
The final recommendations made at the end of the review sought to ensure that community governance across the district:
- Reflects the identities and interests of the community in that area
- Is effective and convenient
Who did we consult?
The Council is required to consult with local government electors living in the Stroud District as well as any other individuals and organisations (including local authorities such as parish councils) who ‘appear to have an interest in the review’.
The Council must take into account all representations that it receives during the review’s periods of consultation and will make all representations available for public viewing.
We wrote to all parish councils and identified umbrella organisations (including Gloucestershire Association of Parish and Town Councils) at the start of the first period of consultation, inviting them to submit their views. The same process was followed with the second period of consultation.
We have also publicised the review on our website through our internal communication channels and asked the relevant Parish/Town Council to further publicise the review to help engage with residents, community groups and other stakeholders.
What are the next steps?
The Council will now prepare a Reorganisation Order and publish this together with the reasons for the changes, making maps available for public inspection.
There are also various bodies that must be notified of the changes including:
• The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
• The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE)
• The Office for National Statistics
• The Director General of Ordnance Survey
• Any other principal council whose area the order relates to (in this case, Gloucestershire County Council)
• The Audit Commission.
All residents whose property has been affected by a parish boundary change will be notified in writing.
Map of original Parish and Town Council Areas:
The review will have regard to the ‘Guidance on Community Governance Reviews’ issued by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the Local Government Boundary Commission for England. The aim of the review is to ensure that the arrangements for community governance across the district reflect ‘the identities and interests of the community in the area’ and are ‘effective and convenient’. The review will be conducted with the Terms of Reference contained in this document.
Stroud District Council Community Governance Review Order 2020
Following a Community Governance Review, The Stroud District Council (Reorganisation of Community Governance) Order 2020 was published on the 31 January 2020. This order came into force on 1 April 2020.
This Order gives effect to recommendations made by Stroud District Council for the creation of Hunts Grove Parish Council and the alteration of the areas of the Parish Councils for Bisley-with-Lypiatt, Brimscombe and Thrupp, Chalford, Cranham, Eastington, Hardwicke, Haresfield, Minchinhampton, Nailsworth, Rodborough, Stonehouse, Stroud and Upton St Leonards.
The electoral arrangements were applied in respect of parish elections that were held on Thursday 5 May 2021.
Community Governance Review of the Stroud District – Final Recommendations
- Final Recommendations approved at full council on the 18 July 2019
- Maps relating to the Final Recommendations
- Final Recommendations Report for full Council – 18 July 2019
- Council meeting minutes - 18 July 2019
The Council will now draw up the necessary Reorganisation of Community Governance Order for the changes to come into effect on the 1 April 2020.