Community governance reviews
A community governance review is a legal process where a council can ask the public and other interested parties about the most suitable way of representing local communities.
A community governance review enables us to review and then put in place or make changes to community governance systems and structures. For example, this could be done by creating, merging, abolishing or changing parish or town council arrangements in the review area.
The government has emphasised that the aim of a review should be to bring about improved community engagement, more cohesive communities, better local democracy and more effective and convenient delivery of local services.
The law and guidance which the council must comply with when undertaking a review is contained in Sections 93 and 100 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007, and guidance issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.
Communities considering the formation of a parish council, or parish councils wishing to make potential changes to their council size or parish boundaries, are encouraged to contact us and their local councillors in the early stages.
Changes to the legislation affecting community governance reviews were made in March 2015. The changes are intended to reduce restrictions that were seen as preventing or hindering local communities from requesting a local authority to carry out a review regarding the setting up of new town or parish councils.
The three key changes were to:
- lower the threshold of signatures required to make a valid petition.
- shorten the amount of time a local authority can take to complete a review.
- allowing neighbourhood forums to trigger a review.
Central Durham (including Durham South (part), Elvet, Gilesgate and Nevilles Cross)
We have published draft recommendations for the Central Durham area recommending the formation of a parish council:
We have carried out community governance reviews in the following areas:
- Forest and Frith - (item eight on the agenda)