Agenda item

Community Governance Review-Formal Consultation on Draft Proposals

To consider a report on the Community Governance Review – Formal Consultation on Draft Proposals.


The Committee considered a report on the draft proposals for formal consultation on the community governance review, and the recommendations of the Community Governance Review Sub-Committee in relation thereto.


The Community Governance Review Sub-Committee meeting on 26th February 2021, having considered the draft proposals, had resolved:


That the Sub-Committee recommends to the Constitution Committee that the draft proposals attached at Appendix B to the report be formally agreed for the purposes of consultation and consulted upon for a 12-week period, subject to any amendments required to reflect the response of Holmes Chapel Parish Council to the pre-consultation survey.


A number of amendments had been made to the draft proposals following feedback from the Sub-Committee, including reference to the response from Holmes Chapel Parish Council to the pre-consultation survey. In addition, the maps had been amended to display all the potential expansion areas within each map view.


It was confirmed that all parish council clerks and chairmen, as well as other organisations affected by the community governance review, would be notified when the 12-week consultation period commenced. Parish councils and others would be able to feed back their comments through the dedicated Cheshire East Council website or in writing. Consideration was also being given to holding briefings for parish councils.


There was support among members for the suggestion that, where there was a proposed change to a parish boundary or parish name, and where requested by the relevant parish councils, those affected by the change should be given the opportunity of a referendum on the matter. Reference was made to the postal ballot-type “referendums” which had been put in place in respect of the Community Governance Reviews for Crewe and Macclesfield shortly after the Council came into being. It was also felt that where a parish council could not afford such a poll, the costs should be met by Cheshire East Council.


Officers advised that there was no budget for any referendum or poll and that this was outside of the existing budget framework. Any financial implications outside of existing resources would need to be considered as part of the Medium-Term Financial Strategy.


Officers, and the Council’s external adviser, Dr Humphreys, further advised that it would be appropriate for any referendum or poll to take place after the consultation, when the proposals were formulated. However, members considered it appropriate to seek the views of residents on the proposed changes in the consultation document during the consultation period.


Officers further advised that the outcome of any such referendum would not be binding on the Council although it could be taken into consideration by Council when making a decision on the final recommendations. Members felt that it should be binding on the Constitution Committee and referred to in the report to Council.




That the draft proposals attached at Appendix B to the report be formally agreed for the purposes of consultation and consulted upon for a 12-week period, and that where there is a proposal to change a parish name or alter a parish boundary, Cheshire East Council will conduct a referendum, reflecting the request of the parish council, and the result of that referendum will be binding.


Supporting documents: