Agenda and minutes

Electoral Review Committee - Thursday 20 April 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Kennet Room - County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN. View directions

Contact: Lisa Alexander  01722 434560 Email:


No. Item



To receive any apologies or substitutions for the meeting.


Apologies were received from Councillors Ernie Clark, Paul Oatway QPM, and Ian Thorn.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 21 December 2022 and 4 January 2023.

Supporting documents:


The minutes of the meeting held on 21 December 2022 and 4 January 2023 was presented, and it was,




To approve and sign as a true and correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 21 December 2022 and 4 January 2023.


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.


There were no declarations.


Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements through the Chair.


There were no announcements.


Public Participation


If you would like to make a statement at this meeting on any item on this agenda, please register to do so at least 10 minutes prior to the meeting. Up to 3 speakers are permitted to speak for up to 3 minutes each on any agenda item.


Please contact the officer named on the front of the agenda for any further




To receive any questions from members of the public or members of the Council received in accordance with the constitution.


Those wishing to ask questions are required to give notice of any such questions in writing to the officer named on the front of this agenda no later than 5pm on 13 April 2023 in order to be guaranteed of a written response. In order to receive a verbal response questions must be submitted no later than 5pm on 17 April 2023. Please contact the officer named on the front of this agenda for further advice. Questions may be asked without notice if the Chairman decides that the matter is urgent.


Details of any questions received will be circulated to Committee members prior to the meeting and made available at the meeting and on the Council’s website.


Public statements were received as detailed under the next agenda item.


Community Governance Review 2022/23

To receive a report following the consultation on the Draft Recommendations from 7 February – 28 March 2023.

Supporting documents:


The Chairman provided details of the background of the ongoing Community Governance Review and presented a report on the consultation on the Draft Recommendations which took place between 7 February – 28 March 2023, which included a number of public meetings. For each recommendation the Chairman along with officers presented summaries of the responses to the consultation and issues that had been raised, before the Committee discussed the available options and determined what action to take.


Recommendation 1

Recommendation 1 had proposed changes to the boundaries and internal arrangements of Heywood Parish Council and Westbury Town Council around the area of The Ham, currently divided between the two parishes.


A statement was received from Mr Francis Morland, providing further detail and clarification on the representation he had submitted including on the history of the two parishes and the current boundary.


A statement was received from Cllr John Masson, Heywood Parish Council, confirming that the Parish Council had revised its position and considered that the area of the Vivash Urban Park should be retained within the area of Westbury Town Council. The Committee sought additional details on Cllr Masson’s view on users of the park and access across the railway lines in the area.


The Unitary Member for Ethandune, which included Heywood, Cllr Suzanne Wickham, made a statement which disagreed with comments from the Town Council that Heywood was not a viable community or council. She provided further details of actions of the parish council and stated that Vivash Urban Park was used by residents from a wide area.


The Committee discussed their draft recommendation in the context of the representations which had been received. It was confirmed that legal advice was that if the Vivash Urban Park were included in the area transferred to Heywood then as a matter of law ownership, liabilities and obligations would be transferred to Heywood Parish council, and there was discussion of potential transfer of any funds held for the ongoing support for the park. The position of Westbury Town Council opposing the transfer of the area of The Ham, even if Vivash were retained, was raised.


The Committee acknowledged it had not been aware of the ownership of the park transferring to the Town Council in December 2022 when it had made its initial recommendation. It did not consider it would be effective to convenient governance to transfer the park and attendant responsibilities to the Parish Council.


In discussion the Committee considered that it continued to believe that, on balance, the area of The Ham represented a distinct community and that leaving it divided would not be in accordance with the statutory criteria for governance reviews. As an established community with some separation from and limited connectivity with the rest of the town, and with a very clear boundary in one of the railway lines to exclude Vivash Urban Park, they considered that the character was sufficiently different from the main urban area of the town as to be a community in its own  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.


Date of the Next Meeting

To confirm the date of the next scheduled meeting as 27 June 2023.


The date of the next meeting was scheduled for 27 June 2023.


Urgent Items

Any other items of business which the Chairman agrees to consider as a matter of urgency.


There were no urgent items.