Community Governance Review – update from Herefordshire Council

Herefordshire Council is conducting seven targeted community governance reviews over the coming year. I am writing to provide you with information on a Community Governance Review that will be happening in the Brockhampton group parish.

Community governance reviews provide the opportunity for principal councils, in this instance, Herefordshire Council, to review and make changes to community governance within their areas. A central purpose of any community governance review is to ensure that local parish governance arrangements reflect local identities and ensure parish councils can work effectively as the first tier of local government.

It can be helpful to undertake community governance reviews in circumstances such as where there have been changes in population, or in reaction to specific or local new issues. A community governance review looks at the whole or part of an area to consider:

• The creation, merger, alteration or abolition of parishes
• The naming of parishes and the style of new parishes
• The electoral arrangements for parishes, such as the ordinary year of election, council size, wards, and numbers of councillors
• The grouping or de-grouping of parishes

Brockhampton group parish council has put forward its interest in taking part in a community governance review on the basis that it wishes to decrease the number of parish council seats from the current level of 15 down to 10 to better reflect the proportion of parish councillors in relation to the number of local electors.

As part of the community governance review Herefordshire Council is consulting on whether communities and businesses locally agree with this proposed change. In addition, we have prepared a short information sheet that we hope will assist those wishing to take part in this consultation.

I wish to stress that at this stage no decision has been taken on any changes. Herefordshire Council is currently consulting residents in the parishes affected to inform any future proposals. Furthermore, the review will not automatically mean there will be changes. It will, however, see if there is a case for change and what solutions are the right ones to pursue with each individual parish.

The consultation can be found on Herefordshire Council’s website and will be running from 12 February to 23 March. Please see: www.herefordshire.gov.uk/brockhamptoncgr

Paper copies of the consultation can be made available on request by emailing CGR@herefordshire.gov.uk We would be very interested in receiving your views on the community governance review.

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