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Agenda item

Community Governance Review

To consider the responses to the consultation on the Draft Recommendations of the Committee which ran from 15 May 2020 – 10 July 2020.


Public Participation

A statement from Francis Morland was received.

Clive Blackman made a statement regarding Recommendation 3.

Annie Spilsbury made a statement regarding Recommendation 3.

Nick Westbrook made a statement regarding Recommendation 12.


At its meeting on 24 March 2020 the Committee agreed proposals to be included in Draft Recommendations for the Community Governance Review 2019/20 to be consulted upon. The consultation, which was extended as a result of Covid-19, took place from 15 May 2020 to 10 July 2020. Details of all responses received were included with the report.


The Committee received the responses and determined which Recommendations it considered should be put before Full Council as a Final Recommendation.


Prior to debate on the Recommendations, a statement was read out from Mr Francis Morland regarding use of electorate projections and interpretation of statutory guidance. In response it was stated that reading the whole guidance in context supported the position taken by the council and set out in the report.


The Committee debated each Recommendation, discussing the responses which had been received and arguments which had been made in support and objection. Full reasoning for any recommendation would be included in the Final Recommendations.


In relation to Recommendation 1 to transfer the Netherhampton East ward to Salisbury Harnham West, the Committee upheld its Draft Recommendation. The proposal was supported by both parish councils, and the area’s character and interests would appropriately fit with the city more than the parish. The Committee did not consider there was grounds to seek to amend the area to be transferred as suggested in one response.


In relation to Recommendation 2 to merge two Salisbury City Council wards into a single ward coterminous with the Electoral Division of Salisbury Milford, the Committee upheld its Draft Recommendation. The situation was clearly anomalous compared to every other city ward. The Committee did not consider there were grounds to change the name of the City parish as suggested in one response.


In relation to Recommendation 3 to transfer the Rawlings Farm and Barrow Farm wards of Langley Burrell Without to Chippenham Monkton and Chippenham Hardenhuish, and the Showell ward of Lacock to Chippenham Lowden and Rowden, statements in opposition to the Lacock proposals were received from Clive Blackman and Annie Spilsbury, highlighting opposition by local residents in Rowden Lane and historic connections with Lacock.


The Committee considered all responses and relevant information, noting that all the parish councils involved supported the proposals. The objections to the Lacock proposals was noted, however during debate it was considered that the changing character of the Showell ward as a whole, the isolation from any remaining part of Lacock, and reasons of effective and convenient governance in respect of parish and Division boundaries, meant that the proposals should continue to be recommended to Full Council. However, the Committee did consider that the precise line between the two parishes, and Divisions, could possibly be reviewed again in the future as the situation development further.


In relation to Recommendation 4 to transfer Cedar Lodge, Allington, from Kington St Michael to Chippenham Without, the Committee confirmed its Draft Recommendation. The proposal was supported by both parish councils and the resident affected and better reflected the communities below.


In relation to Recommendation 5 to transfer an area of Manningford to Woodborough, the support of both parish councils was noted, subject to clarification of the exact line along the roads detailed, along with the support of respondents who agreed the area was more appropriate in community terms with Woodborough. It was therefore confirmed.


In relation to Recommendation to remove the wards of Pewsey Parish Council, the lack of objection was noted and it was therefore confirmed.


In relation to Recommendation 7 to transfer a small area of Pewsey to Wilcot it was agreed the current situation was anomalous and it remained appropriate to support the transfer as proposed by the parish councils.


In relation to Recommendation 8 although a few responses had objected to the merger of Wilcot and Huish, most respondents had supported the proposal, and it was noted that in effect the very small parish had been in joint arrangements with Wilcot for some time, and it was an anomaly that this had not been officially approved. The Committee therefore upheld the recommendation as a whole.


In relation to Recommendation 9 to not create a new parish at Derry Hill and Studley at this time, but to undertake a further, wider community governance review, it was noted there remained significant support for a new parish, with some feeling there was no need for a delay. However, the Committee continued to consider that it was necessary to take account of impacts on surrounding parishes in the event a new parish was created, and upheld its recommendation.


In relation to Recommendation 10 to amend the ward boundaries of two Calne Without wards, it was agreed that the proposals corrected a clear anomaly and should be supported.


In relation to Recommendation 11 to transfer the White Horse and Park wards of North Bradley to Trowbridge Drynham, and Trowbridge Park respectively, it was noted that over 60 objections and only one supporting representation had been received to the online survey, with many more emailed and physical objections received.


The Committee debated the objections, including but not limited to suggestions the proposals were premature, impact on the emerging Neighbourhood Development Plan, scale of the proposals, the inclusion of several properties access off Woodmarsh whose neighbours would remain in North Bradley parish


The Committee discussed advice it had received in relation to Neighbourhood Development Plans that these were a distinct process and did not prevent the transfer of land if considered appropriate under the criteria for community governance reviews. The designated plan area would remain unaffected.


A proposed amendment to Recommendation 11 was suggested by Councillor Andrew Bryant, Trowbridge Drynham Division, to exclude a number of existing properties accessed off Woodmarsh from the transfer between parishes. This would also require amendment to the Electoral Division by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.


The Committee noted the boundaries of the incoming wards and Divisions, and that to consult upon further proposals at this stage would in effect mean those wards would come into being in May 2021. It considered that although the boundary line including a few of the existing properties within the Trowbridge Drynham Division was not ideal, there would be a detriment to effective and convenient governance for the ward as a whole if there was not a transfer ahead of the May 2021 elections, and it also considered for the whole of the White Horse and Park wards the proposals were appropriate in community terms. However, the Committee did consider that the precise line between the two parishes, and Divisions, could possibly be reviewed again in the future as the situation development further.


On balance, and after discussion, it was therefore agreed to continue to recommend the transfer of the areas.


In relation to Recommendation 12 regarding rejecting a proposed merger between Melksham and Melksham Without, a statement was received from Mr Nick Westbrook seeking a deferral of a decision by the council. The Committee did not feel there was justification to delay a decision, and considered that its reasoning for rejecting a proposed merger continued to apply and should be proposed to Full Council.


In relation to Recommendation 13 to transfer the Hunters Wood ward of Melksham Without to Melksham East, and the ‘Land north of Sandridge Common’ to Melksham East, it was agreed to uphold the recommendation. The proposals were supported by most respondents and the council involved, and reflected the communities appropriately.


At the conclusion of debate,




To delegate to the Director of Legal and Governance in consultation with the Chairman, the preparation of a detailed Final Recommendations document for consideration by Full Council, in accordance with the discussions above.

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