Recommendations for Britwell Parish Council

Public consultation on council recommendations

Abolition

The council believes that there is a case for abolition of the parish and dissolution of the parish council and is recommending as part of this review that local electors and other interested parties are consulted on this option. As the statutory guidance requires evidence of local support for abolition over at least a period equivalent to two terms of office of the parish councillors, the council has decided to carry out an all postal advisory poll of electors as a way of gauging views on the future of Britwell Parish Council and at the same time consult on changes to the size of the Parish Council.

The council has agreed to test public opinion again in a further four year’s time.

Changes to parish boundary

Pending a decision on the abolition of the Parish Council the council is consulting on changes to the area of Britwell parish, the size of the council and its electoral arrangements in the interim period.

In last year's review of the borough ward boundaries the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) agreed revised electoral arrangements for Britwell parish to take account of the statutory requirement that if a parish is to be divided between different borough wards it must also be divided into parish wards so that each parish ward lies wholly within a single borough ward. The LGBCE created two Parish wards - Britwell East and West. This warding is effective from the parish elections in 2015.

However, the council is currently undertaking a review of polling districts. Each parish must be contained within a polling district(s) and polling districts cannot include parished and non parished areas in the same polling district. The LGBCE decision to create Britwell West (now in Haymill and Lynch Hill ward) does not therefore create a long-term solution and so the council has agreed to recommend some adjustments to the parish boundary in the light of changes made to borough ward boundaries. These will remove that part of the existing parish that will fall into the new Haymill and Lynch Hill ward (Britwell West Parish Ward), realign the parish with the Britwell and Northborough local government western boundary, and remove the single member parish ward. This would result in the number of parish councillors being reduced by one to twelve with effect from 2015.

The council has also agreed to recommend a number of other alterations to the boundaries of the parish along Long Readings and Long Furlong Road to use major roads as boundaries for the parish and remove existing anomalies to take effect from 2014. This area is determined by the borough boundary to the north, the new Britwell and Northborough ward boundary to the west, Long Furlong Drive to the south and Wentworth Avenue to the east. If the proposals are agreed the new parish would comprise 859 properties and have an electorate of 1,653 drawn tightly around the community hall and related recreation areas and facilities run by the Parish Council and used by local residents.

Map shows the existing boundary of the parish council and the proposed new boundary.

Size of parish council

The recommended boundary adjustments will have implications for council size. If the parish area and electorate are to be reduced in size, as recommended, there is also a case for making a corresponding reduction in the number of parish councillors.

The council is consulting on a reduction in the number of parish councillors to seven as part of the changes proposed to the parish boundaries on the grounds that changes to council size, population and boundaries would bring about improved community engagement, better local democracy and more effective and convenient delivery of local services.

It is also recommends that the term of office of the existing Britwell parish councillors be reduced by one year from 2015 to 2014 in order to bring these changes into effect from May 2014, and that newly elected councillors serve a five year term of office initially and then revert to the traditional four year term.

Postal poll

The council agreed to carry out an advisory all postal poll to seek views on the options. Poll papers will be despatched to all electors in the parish on Friday 20 September. The poll is being administered by Electoral Reform Services (ERS) on behalf of the council and the ballot papers need to be returned to ERS by noon on Monday 14 October.

Have Your Say

The council welcomes all representations from any person or body who may wish to comment or make proposals on any aspect of the matters under review. You can submit your comments directly online by completing this online submission form.

Or you can write to:

The Community Governance Review Manager
Democratic Services
Slough Borough Council
St Martins Place
51 Bath Road
Slough, Berkshire
SL1 3UF

Or email the Review Manager at peter.edwards@slough.gov.uk

The closing date for the receipt of submissions and representations is 14 October 2013. Any representations on the review must be received by that date or they will not be considered.
Responses to the consultation questions may be published on the council website and will be considered as part of the report to the council on the community governance review.

What happens next?

When we have had an opportunity to consider all the responses received the Council will publish its final recommendations and make an order to bring them into effect.