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People are being asked for their feedback on a review which aims to ensure town and parish councils in Wiltshire continue to be effective as possible, and reflective of the communities they serve.

Wiltshire Council’s  Community Governance Review can make a number of changes to parish area and parish electoral arrangements, such as:

  • Merging, grouping, creating or abolishing parishes
  • The naming of parishes and adoption of alternative styles for new parishes
  • Parish council size, for example number of councillors to be elected, and warding arrangements;
  • Internal or external boundaries
  • Any other electoral arrangements.

Earlier this year town and parish councils were contacted and consulted with and were requested to submit expressions of interest for any changes to their governance arrangements. Reasons for such a review can include a change in population, housing growth or anomalous boundaries.

Following this pre-consultation, the following areas in Wiltshire have been confirmed to be part of the review:

  • Trowbridge, Hilperton, North Bradley, Southwick and West Ashton
  • Salisbury and Netherhampton
  • Chippenham, Chippenham Without, Kington St Michael, Lacock and Langley Burrell Without
  • Melksham, Melksham Without and Seend
  • Derry Hill and Studley (proposed new parish)
  • Wilcot (and Huish), Manningford, Woodborough and Pewsey

Other areas in the county will be reviewed at a later date.

The review will be overseen by Wiltshire Council’s Electoral Review Committee, and when their work is complete they will make formal recommendations to Full Council for them to make a final decision.

Councillor Richard Clewer, Chair of the Electoral Review Committee, said: ‘Communities change and it’s only right that local governance evolves and adapts alongside them. This review will ensure that town and parish councils are given the best opportunity to be as effective as possible and therefore are fully meeting the needs of their local communities.’

It is expected the final recommendations for approval will be made mid-to-late 2020.

A list of currently proposed schemes for the areas listed can be found at https://cms.wiltshire.gov.uk/ecsddisplayclassic.aspx?name=sd4301&id=4301&rpid=20457214&path=14165 and people can submit initial comments against them to committee@wiltshire.gov.uk, and propose alternative schemes for the areas listed by 30 November.

Further consultation will follow in 2020.

More information about the review can be found at http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/council-democracy-cgr.

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