This consultation is now closed.
Community Governance Review of the unparished area of Chester
The Council is committed to undertaking a borough wide “Community Governance Review” which means it will explore and examine what existing governance arrangements are in place. This will enable local residents to have their say in what happens in their local areas and if necessary, the Council can propose changes.
Some communities in Cheshire West and Chester are represented locally by parish or town councils, funded through a separate charge on residents known as a parish precept. Town and parish councils are elected corporate bodies and their activities fall into three main categories: representing the local community, delivering services to meet local needs, and improving quality of life and community well-being. They can provide and maintain a variety of local services including allotments, bridleways, burial grounds, bus shelters, car parks, open spaces, community transport schemes, events and festivals, footpaths, leisure and sports facilities, litter bins, public toilets, street cleaning and lighting, tourism activities, traffic calming measures, village greens and youth projects.
Other communities are represented by different forms of community governance arrangements, e.g. community meetings, neighbourhood management, tenant management organisations, residents’ and tenants’ associations and community associations. These groups or organisations consider services such as winter gritting routes, grass cutting, bus services, the local environment or can host or stage local events. They are not funded through a separate precept. Areas represented by community governance arrangements, other than parish or town councils, are referred to as “unparished areas”.
Since April 2011, the Council has undertaken reviews of areas which were already represented by town or parish councils and, as a result, some changes to boundaries and parish council arrangements have been made. The Council is now embarking on a community governance review of the unparished area of Chester.
The wards in the unparished area of Chester are:
- Chester City
- Garden Quarter
- Handbridge Park
What a Community Governance Review is
Under the provisions in Part 4 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 (“the 2007 Act”) Community Governance Reviews are intended to improve the development and co-ordination of support for citizens and community groups so that they can make the best use of empowerment opportunities. The Government (through the 2007 Act and the Localism Act 2011) and the Council (through its corporate plan and agenda for locality working) recognise the important role that parish councils play in their local areas both in terms of community empowerment and engagement and the delivery of local services.
- Parish Councils - Parish councils are the most local tier of government in England and are responsible for areas known as civil parishes, funded through a separate charge on residents, known as a parish precept. They are elected bodies with powers and rights laid down by Parliament to represent their communities and provide services for them, including a right to raise money by precept. They must hold an annual meeting and at least three other meetings each year. Larger parish councils may be warded. A parish with a small electorate may share a council with one or more neighbouring parishes. A parish council may be known as a ‘town’, ‘community’, ‘village’ or ‘neighbourhood’ council. Those parish councils which border the unparished area are being consulted.
- Parish meetings - Not every civil parish has a parish council. However, all parishes must have an annual parish meeting consisting of all the local electors in the parish. A parish meeting has a number of functions, powers and rights of notification and consultation. The trustees of a parish meeting hold property and act on its behalf.
- Other (non parish) forms of community governance - Cheshire West and Chester Council must consider other forms of community governance as alternatives to or stages towards establishing parish councils. These include arrangements such as community meetings, neighbourhood management, tenant management organisations, area/community forums, residents’ and tenants’ associations and community associations.
How your feedback will be used
The review will allow residents in the unparished area of Chester to express their views about the community governance in their area. These views will be considered by the Council, through the Community Governance Review Committee at it's meeting on 25 January 2017, and may lead to further phases of consultation.
- Stage one: 20 October 2016 - 14 December 2016 (consultation now closed)
- Stage two: Draft Recommendations: 1 February 2017 - 26 March 2017
- Stage three: Publish final proposals: 26 April 2017 - 26 May 2017
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and quote 'Community Governance Review Chester' in the subject field
- Telephone: 01244 972283
- Write to: The Research Team, Cheshire West and Chester Council, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BE