Shake-up of town and parish councils could be on the way

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Cheshire East Council plans to undertake a review of the governance arrangements for all town and parish councils in the borough.

Cheshire East is responsible for the governance and electoral arrangements for the 186 town and parish council wards in 135 town and parish councils, which cover the whole borough.

The review will include:

● Town and parish boundaries;

● Numbers of town and parish councillors;

● Grouping of parishes; and

● Warding.

Nothing is changing immediately as a 'community governance review' (CGR) is a complex task and the main work will take place after the May 2019 local elections.

Any changes proposed under the CGR would follow a public consultation – including with town and parish councils. The aim is to complete the process well before the scheduled local elections in May 2023.

Government guidance advises that it is good practice to hold a review of town and parish governance every 10-15 years. The last was done before Cheshire East Council was created in 2009.

A team of officers has already started preparatory work and the council's cross-party constitution committee has appointed a community governance review sub-committee to drive the process forward.

Councillor Paul Findlow, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for corporate policy and legal services, said: "Holding a review of community governance arrangements for all our town and parish councils is normal good practice and Cheshire East is 'well ahead of the game' in its preparedness.

"The present arrangements predate the formation of Cheshire East and we are mindful that there has since been considerable change to the population, its distribution and to the borough's settlements.

"This review offers the opportunity to ensure that the tier of parish governance is fit for purpose for the future. Any proposed changes will be fully and extensively consulted upon to take account of the views of residents, town and parish councils and other stakeholders – and there won't be change for change's sake."

Cheshire East intends to undertake initial consultation during summer 2019 on the scope of the review and topics and proposals that should be included. The council will then further consult on the actual proposals.

This review does not include the electoral arrangements for borough council or parliamentary seats. These would be the responsibility of Whitehall (the Local Government Boundary Commission and the Boundary Commission for England, respectively) and are not currently proposed.

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Cheshire East Council
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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Howard Piltz
Monday 4th February 2019 at 2:17 pm
I'm afraid this is little more than the prison inmates being trusted with the keys. This Council is utterly shameless in its conduct of the area's affairs and hopefully the elected Councillors will be voted out en-masse at the next local elections. Please bring back Wilmslow UDC.
Nick Jones
Monday 4th February 2019 at 2:31 pm
@ Howard .. Agree fully with your summation !

The Wilmslow Town Councillor's by their positive action, and interjection informing residents has undoubtedly embarrassed CEC elected tribal Councillor's (Excluding independent's ! ) by their continued evidenced inaction / selected deafness that is well documented on these pages. Roll on election day !
Pete Taylor
Monday 4th February 2019 at 4:37 pm
Have the eight Cabinet Members who run Cheshire East Council completely lost the plot?

Seven unresolved Police investigations ongoing at CEC and they think they have any sort of mandate to propose change of this magnitude?

Collectively delusional- a winding-up order is what we need.
Rick Andrews
Tuesday 5th February 2019 at 11:40 am
We have to vote the incompetent councillors out - the elections are an opportunity to change to councillors who listen rather than riding on a wave of self importance. Need to stop the voracious property investors who have created the parking problems by over construction of un-needed office space. I agree that WUSC and MBC were better supporters of residents interests. Lets hope the planets align at the election.
Maria Quin
Wednesday 6th February 2019 at 6:16 pm
Totally agree with everything said above and just want to add my support. My only concern is that sufficient residents will be willing to take the absolutely imperative action required to clear out and clean up our local government and I wish someone could think of a way of ensuring everyone is made aware of the implications of doing nothing on all of us! It’s gone too far for too long now and, as residents, we have a duty to do all we can to repair and preserve the decent and great benefits of residing in Wilmslow provides. HELP!!
Manuel Golding
Saturday 9th February 2019 at 4:11 pm
With all the usual worthless pronouncements from CEC & its apparatchiks, one thing never changes: Cllr Findlow deftly refuses to acknowledge just how CEC will in the future, work with WTC & the other parish & town councils unlike the way it does today. CEC & its Conservative councillors have consistently ignored such councils' views & concerns. Cllr Findlow & your cohorts can gerrymander all you wish, go on play your little games, but until you agree to work with your junior councils nothing will change - you will continue to ignore them on issues of great concern to such council. A prime example is just how often CEC has ignored WTC's concerns, on planning,on parking, on development of green belt, state if the roads & New Homes Bonus to site just a few burning issues. It is hard to believe that WTC also has a CEC councillor but Cllr Barton very rarely attends WTC councils.No need to So much for "Holding a review of community governance arrangements ......is normal good practice....CEC is 'well ahead of the game' in its preparedness!", utters Cllr Findlow. "Ahead of the game" clearly indicates it is a very different game to that of WTC & others.
The "good practise! he talks about has certainly been to disregard, even ignire, WTC & others concerns.
If he wants "good practise" he needs to start acting as if he means it, not to simply mouth worthless PR speak.
Cllr Findlow is a prime example of all that is so arrogantly wrong with the current CEC - 'it's all their fault, not ours' is what CEC is saying.

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