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Community Governance Review: Second Stage Consultation for Eastwick and Gilston

East Herts Council has published draft recommendations for changes to the number of parish councillors to be elected to Eastwick and Gilston Parish Council with effect from May 2019. We need to know your views before a final decision is made

Have your say on a proposed increase in the number of Parish Councillors for Eastwick and Gilston Parish by filling in our online form, found on this page

What changes are being proposed?

The council's draft recommendations are:-

  • That the number of parish councillors to be elected to Eastwick and Gilston Parish Council by electors in Gilston Parish be increased from three to four, thereby increasing the total size of the grouped parish council with effect from the May 2019 parish elections to seven councillors. 

A plan of the area covered by Eastwick and Gilston Parish Council and within this the boundaries of Eastwick and Gilston parishes can be viewed in the maps section below.

Why is the review being undertaken at this time?

The changes are being proposed as part of a Community Governance Review of Eastwick and Gilston Parish Council. This is a legal process which can result in changes to town and parish areas or electoral arrangements to represent local communities.

East Herts Council agreed to conduct the review following a request from Eastwick and Gilston Parish Council. The parish council had asked for asked for an increase in the number of parish councillors by one, from six to seven. This request was made on the basis that the completion of the Terlings Park development has resulted in the number of dwellings in Gilston being more than doubled and the parish council feels that an increase in the number of parish councillors is required to support this growth.

The criteria for making recommendations

In carrying out this review, the council must consult local electors and other interested parties. Statutory guidance sets out the criteria to be used when arriving at recommendations. Community governance arrangements should be:-

  • reflective of the identities and interests of the community in the area; and

  • effective and convenient

When considering these, councils must take into account the impact on community cohesion; and the size, population and boundaries of a local community or parish. They must also consider the number of electors in the area(s) under review and any change in that number which is likely to occur in the next five years.

Consultation and the reasons for the council's recommendations

A first round of public consultation on the town council's proposal was held between February and April 2018. East Herts Council considered the results on 16 May 2018. Four responses were received to the consultation, three of which supported the parish council's request and the fourth, from Hertfordshire County Council, made no comments.

In considering the proposal from Eastwick and Gilston Parish Council, the council took into account all relevant information including the responses received to the consultation, the LGBCE's guidance on community governance reviews, geographical data, electorate projections and the recommendations of the Executive.

Eastwick and Gilston Parish Council is a grouped parish council and currently has six councillors, three from each parish. The total current electorate for the grouped parish council is 661. This figure has grown from 331 in 2015.

Electorate forecasts, taking into account planned development in the two parishes over the next five years, are as follows:-

Parish

Current electorate

Forecast electorate

at March 2023

Eastwick

126

215

Gilston

535

535

Total

661

750

Although there is no statutory guidance on the number of parish councillors to be allocated, the National Association of Local Councils has recommended that a council of no more than the legal minimum of five members is inconveniently small and that the practical minimum should be seven, to apply to any parish council with up to 900 electors.

The council recommended that the number of parish councillors to be elected to Eastwick and Gilston Parish Council by electors in Gilston Parish should be increased from three to four, thereby increasing the total size of the grouped parish council with effect from the May 2019 parish elections to seven councillors. 

You have until 27 July 2018 to comment on this recommendation.

Maps

Please see the attached pdf for maps of  the existing and proposed changes.  The map below shows the area covered by Eastwick and Gilston Parish Council and within this the boundaries of Eastwick and Gilston parishes

Gilston Consultation Map [463KB]

How would residents be affected by the proposed changes?

Parish and town councils are the most local tier of government in England. They play an important role in empowering their communities, may comment on planning applications and manage or provide services at the local level.

If the council's draft recommendations are confirmed, from the parish council elections in May 2019 electors of Gilston parish will elect four councillors to serve on the parish council rather than three as at present.

The table below gives current information about Eastwick and Gilston parishes.

Parish Council

Current number of registered electors

Current number of councillors

Council Tax Precept 2018/19 (Band D Equivalent)

Eastwick

126

3

£11.53 per annum

Gilston

535

3

*A precept is an amount charged by the parish council to provide additional local services.

East Hertfordshire District Council collects this money as part of the council tax and passes it on to the parish council.

WE WANT TO HEAR YOUR VIEWS - tell us what you think of the proposed changes

The Council believes that parishes should reflect distinctive and recognisable communities of interest with their own sense of identity and that electors should be able to identify with the parish in which they live. The views of residents and any submissions providing evidence of community identity or local linkages are therefore important considerations.

Please tell us what you think about the proposed changes by Friday July 27 2018. East Herts Council will consider all submissions received before making a final decision in October 2018.

How to have your say

You can provide your views on the matters in this leaflet or raise any queries by: