Councillor Mrs Macpherson
Leader of the Council and Chairman of the General Purposes Committee
To consider the attached report.
Contact Officer: Craig Saunders (01296) 585043
On 2 July 2019, AVDC had received a petition from Kingsbrook and Broughton electors requesting that a Community Governance Review be conducted with a view to establishing Kingsbrook as a new Civil Parish separate from Bierton with Broughton, with its own Parish Council, in time for the next Parish Council elections in 2020. The petition also suggested that Broughton Hamlet would become a Parish Meeting and that the remainder of the Bierton with Broughton Parish and Broughton Crossing be re-named as “Bierton Parish”, comprising a Bierton Ward and the Oldhams Meadow Ward.
Kingsbrook was currently one of four Wards of the Bierton with Broughton Parish area. As such, the review necessarily had to consider the impact on the whole of the Bierton with Broughton Parish area.
The background to the CGR had been detailed in the report to the General Purposes Committee on 31 July 2019. The report explained that legislation had been amended to explicitly address situations where structural changes such as a community governance petition were received during a transition period to establish a new Council. This was the position locally where the Buckinghamshire Council would be formed from 1 April 2020 to replace the existing County Council and the four District Councils.
The implications of this legislation was that while AVDC had resolved to conduct the CGR, in due course the final recommendations will have to be reported to the Shadow Executive who would be responsible for approving any structural changes.
The terms of reference for this review had been approved by the General Purposes Committee at its meeting on 31 July 2019, namely:-
· That Kingsbrook be established as a new Civil Parish separate from Bierton with Broughton, with its own Parish Council, in time for the May 2020 elections.
· That “Bierton with Broughton Parish” be renamed “Bierton Parish” (consisting of two wards – Bierton and Oldhams Meadow).
· That Broughton Hamlet become a “Parish Meeting”.
Following on from the 31 July 2019 meeting, an initial stage of consultation with stakeholders on future arrangements under the terms of reference had been undertaken between 9 August 2019 and 6 September 2019.. The outcomes along with details of the 8 representations received, draft recommendation(s) and electoral consequences were detailed at Appendix 1. All of the representations were supportive of a new Kingsbrook Council being formed in advance of the 2020 local elections.
Community Governance Reviews required two stages of public consultation to be undertaken. Taking into account the terms of reference and the responses received during the initial stage, it was proposed that the draft recommendations for public consultation should be on the three issues relating to a Kingsbrook Parish Council, a Bierton Parish Council and a Broughton Hamlet Parish Meeting, as previously mentioned.
In addition, the second stage consultation would also seek feedback on the proposed electoral consequences if the Parishing arrangements were agreed. This would be:-
· Kingsbrook Parish Council – proposed number of councillors to be 9. The current electorate was 792 and growing by the month. It was projected that the population would increase to 2,000 by 2023.
· Bierton Parish – proposed number of councillors to be 9, comprising 8 Councillors for the Bierton Ward and 1 Councillor for the Oldhams Meadow Ward. This mirrored the current situation for the Bierton-with-Broughton Parish Council, which was prior to the recommendations of the 2018 CGR being implemented. The current electorate was 1,591 (Bierton Ward: 1,258 and Oldhams Meadow Ward: 333) and was not projected to change significantly over the next few years.
· Broughton Hamlet Parish Meeting – a Parish Meeting was a public body exercising public functions, however, there would be no separate Parish Council nor were Parish elections held. The current electorate was 47 and was not projected to change over the next few years.
The Committee was informed and asked to bear it in mind that at this stage the Committee was only approving draft recommendations that would be subject to public consultation. Following that public consultation, final draft recommendations and any representations would be reported back to the General Purposes Committee for consideration. Later in the year or very early in 2020, the Shadow Executive would be able to consider final recommendations in the light of representations received.
Formal consultation on the draft proposals would take place over a one month period from 11 October and 8 November 2019. It is usual for the draft consultation period to run for 2 months. However, the Committee had agreed in July 2019 that the CGR timetable should be condensed so that the review could be finalised, agreed and a Re-Organisation Order made by February 2020 so that issues such as Parish budgets could be reported to the Shadow Authority budget setting meeting on 27 February 2020.
That the proposals for change as set out in Appendix 1 be approved as draft recommendations for local consultation.