Public asked for feedback on governance recommendations

People are being asked for their feedback on draft recommendations which will have an impact on some parish areas and their electoral arrangements.

The recommendations are part of the ongoing Community Governance Review, a process which can make a number of changes to parish area and their electoral arrangements, such as:

  • Merging, grouping, creating or abolishing parishes
  • The naming of parishes and adoption of alternative styles for new parishes
  • Parish council size, for example number of councillors to be elected, and warding arrangements;
  • Internal or external boundaries
  • Any other electoral arrangements.

Earlier this year Wiltshire Council's Electoral Review Committee carried out a public survey in relation to the areas included within the review. More than 500 responses were received and following analysis of the feedback; as well as information received from emails; public meetings and information gathering sessions; the committee has formed draft recommendations.

People will have their chance to provide their feedback on the recommendations with a consultation getting underway from 15 May until at least 10 July 2020. Such a consultation can involve public meetings taking place, however due to COVID-19 that won't be possible at this time. If social distancing restrictions are reduced then there is a possibility that some public meetings could take place later in the summer but this will be dependent on a number of factors. If the restrictions are not relaxed the council will consider alternative arrangements, including the possibility of virtual meetings.

Any changes to electoral arrangements for parishes, arising from the current Community Governance Review, would need to come into effect at the next scheduled ordinary parish council elections in May 2021.

Further information including full details and reasoning for each recommendation can be found at the council's webpage.

The online consultation is available to look at. 

Those who live in an affected area will be written to and will receive a list of all recommendations, along with a hard copy response form although the council encourages responses to be made online where possible. They are recommended to post any such form back while undertaking their daily exercise or other key activities. Those without the internet can write to the council to request further details relevant to their area by mail or telephone as appropriate.

Following the consultation, the committee will analyse responses and will then determine whether to formulate its final recommendations, due to be considered at a meeting of Full Council in September 2020.

Conservative Cllr Richard Clewer, Chair of the Electoral Review Committee, said: " It's important those who live in the areas highlighted by our recommendations provide their feedback and that will help shape the final proposals.

"We know this is an extremely disruptive time for people but if they could spare us a few minutes we'd be very grateful, and that will help us ensure everything is finalised before the election next year and give town and parish councils the best platform to be as effective as possible. 

"I thank everyone involved in helping us to get us to this part of the process, it's been a huge effort."

More information about the review can be found at the dedicated webpage.