District council wards and county council divisions cannot be altered in a Community Governance Order. However, a request may be made to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England to carry out a review for changes to district or county boundaries as a result of a local community governance review (CGR).
Who can request a CGR?
A CGR can be initiated by one of the following:
- a valid petition from electors (a minimum number of signatures is required, depending upon size of electorate). Any petition must define the area to which the review relates and be signed by the following number of local government electors:
- fewer than 500 electors - 50% of the electors
- 500-2,499 electors - at least 250 of the electors
- more than 2,500 - at least 10% of the electors
The petition must specify one or more recommendations which the petitioners wish that CGR to consider making. If valid petitions are received in respect of these parishes, we are required to undertake a (limited) CGR on the terms of that petition. The requirements for a valid petition ensure that any proposals must have both clear objectives and elector support.
- a formal request from a parish council or a local member (approval is then required from the principal council)
- a decision taken by the principal council itself if it feels a review is appropriate (eg the number of electors for a non-warded parish is too large and makes a single election impracticable, or the splitting of an existing parish, or the creation of a brand new parish following the completion of a major housing development).
The CGR Process
In Huntingdonshire, we will undertake all CGRs by first publishing terms of reference and then carrying out the required consultation(s) and recommending changes to be made. The review has to be completed within 12 months from the publication of the terms of reference.
Once we have approved any recommendations as a result of the CGR and made an Order, any changes to the electoral arrangements, such as amendments to the parish boundary or decrease/increase to the number of parish councillors, will normally come into effect from the next scheduled elections which are in May 2018.
Great and Little Gidding Parish Council – request to increase the number of parish councillors from seven to eight.