Agenda and minutes

Electoral Review Committee - Wednesday 4 January 2023 1.30 pm

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

Contact: Lisa Alexander  01722 434560 Email:

No. Item


Election of Chairman

To elect a Chairman for the remainder of the municipal year 2022/23.


Councillor Ian Blair-Pilling explained that he would be standing down as Chairman of the Committee, and would preside over the election of a new Chairman.


On the nomination of Councillor Ian Blair-Pilling, seconded by Councillor Allison Bucknell, it was,




To appoint Councillor Ashley O’Neill as Chairman for the remainder of the 2022/23 municipal year.


As there were only three members present, the Chairman proposed, and it was agreed, to adjourn the meeting until 4 January 2023.


Councillors O’Neill, Blair-Pilling, and Bucknell were in attendance on 21 December 2022. All other listed attendees were present for the readjournment on 4 January 2023.


The meeting reopened at 1330 on 4 January 2023.




To receive any apologies or substitutions for the meeting.


As the meeting opened on 21 December 2022 apologies had been received from Councillors Ernie Clark, Gavin Grant, Ian McLennan, Paul Oatway QPM, Ian Thorn, and Stuart Wheeler.


Apologies were also provided to the readjournment of the meeting on 4 January 2023, from Councillor Stuart Wheeler. Councillor Wheeler joined the meeting virtually, so would not vote upon any proposal.



Minutes of the Previous Meeting

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 28 September 2022.

Supporting documents:


The minutes of the meeting held on 28 September 2022 were presented for consideration, and it was,




To approve and sign the minutes as a true and correct record.


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 3speakers 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 14 December 2022 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 16 December 2022. 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.


No questions were submitted for the meeting.


Mr Francis Morland addressed the Committee under Minute 7, in relation to community governance proposals in Westbury and the surrounding areas.


Community Governance Review 2022/23

To receive a report from the Director, Legal and Governance.

Supporting documents:


A Community Governance Review was launched in August 2022 as set out in the report. This followed a decision of the Committee of areas to be included within that review at its meeting on 31 May 2022.


During the first stage of the review information gathering had taken place including meetings with potentially affected parish councils, local unitary members, online public surveys of submitted proposals, and other details included within the information pack attached with the report.


The Chairman updated the Committee on the information gathered on previously submitted proposals, as well as new proposals received since the commencement of the review. For each of the areas included as part of the review the Committee discussed the information and determined in turn whether they should make recommendations in respect of any boundaries or electoral arrangements of any parishes. This would be where recommendations were considered to be in accordance with the statutory criteria of ensuring effective and convenient governance, and that arrangements reflected community interests and identity.


Issues raised during discussion and debate included a detailed discussion of the multiple proposals relating to the Westbury community area, in particular the proposal from the Town Council that it be merged with Heywood parish or, failing that, that significant areas of that parish should be included within the town boundary.


The Committee was not persuaded that the parishes should be merged, noting the very strong evidence of lack of any local support for the proposal, and lack of reasoning or evidence to overcome such objection. The strong opposition of the parish council and public responses was noted. In respect of transfers, it was argued from various parties that the area known as The Ham was currently divided between the two parishes, and amongst other proposals this should be unified.


The Committee was persuaded by the representation of the parish council that, given the existing spread of semi urban properties which retained identity distinctive from the main settlement of Westbury, the railway line would form a clear and natural boundary between Heywood and Westbury, which would not be the case should properties at The Ham be moved the other direction.


It therefore agreed to consult upon a proposal to transfer land from Westbury to Heywood.


The Committee considered a proposal to transfer land from Edington to Bratton, but did not consider sufficient reasoning or evidence had been submitted which would justify under the criteria recommending a change.


In relation to the proposals for Tidworth and Ludgershall, the Committee was not persuaded that sufficient evidence or reasoning had been provided that would justify under the criteria a transfer of the area of Perham Down from Tidworth to Ludgershall. It then considered the proposal from Tidworth Town Council to adjust its councillor numbers, and made recommendations as appropriate.


The Committee noted the agreement reached between the parishes of Netheravon, Figheldean, and Fittleton cum Haxton, regarding potential transfers of land between their parishes. They accepted this appeared to be a sensible and reasonable proposal under the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Date of the Next Meeting

To confirm the date of the next meeting as 20 April 2023.


The date of the next scheduled meeting was confirmed as 20 April 2023.


Urgent Items

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


There were no urgent items.