To consider the review of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance (copy enclosed).
The Council considered the report of the Director of Resources presenting the outcome of a Community Governance Review (CGR) for determination following recent public consultation.
It was noted that in June 2018 a petition containing in excess of the requisite number of local government elector signatures was received by the Council seeking that the Basin Ward of the Parish of Heybridge become a separate civil Parish represented by a separate Parish Council. The Terms of Reference for the CGR were attached at Appendix 1 to the report and a map detailing the area the subject of the petition was attached as Annex A to Appendix 1. A public consultation had been undertaken and a summary of the issues raised through the consultation were set out in Appendix 2 to the report.
The report outlined the considerations the Council had to take into account when making a decision on the CGR. Members were informed that should they agree to proceed to make a Re-organisation Order to establish a separate civil parish and a separate Parish Council this would set out the necessary arrangements for bringing the proposals into effect, including transitional arrangements and consequential effects. This would include the setting of the initial precept, election arrangements etc. In addition, it was reported that if agreed the planned implementation should be for the start of the 2020 / 21 financial year.
Councillor A S Fluker declared an interest in this item of business as he had taken his yacht into Heybridge Basin.
Councillor Fluker proposed that the recommendations as set out in the report be agreed. This proposal was duly seconded.
Councillor I E Dobson agreed with the report and advised that he would be delighted to serve on the Steering Committee. He proposed that as recommendation (ii) would affect the whole of Heybridge that Heybridge Parish Council should be offered two positions on the steering group as well. This proposal was duly seconded.
In response to the proposal and some concern raised regarding it, the Director of Resources advised that the Council had not approached Heybridge Parish Council about becoming part of the steering group and this should be first step if Members were mindful to increase the membership of the steering group. It was suggested at this point that a nominated District Councillor who was not a Ward Member be added to the steering group, this was not agreed by the Council.
The Chairman then put the amendment in the name of Councillor Dobson and upon a vote being taken this was agreed.
Following further discussion, the Chairman put the proposal in the name of Councillor Fluker, as amended by Councillor Dobson to the Council. Upon a vote being take this was agreed.
(i) That as a result of the Community Governance Review under the Local Government and Involvement in Health Act 2007, it is determined that the Basin Ward of the Parish of Heybridge becoming a separate civil Parish represented by a separate Parish Council meets the law and associated Guidance with respect to the object of achieving effective and convenient community governance;
(ii) That a steering group be formed comprising the four District Ward Members for Heybridge, two Heybridge Parish Councillors and two representatives of the local Basin Referendum Team to discuss relevant preparatory matters with a view to informing the content and effect of the necessary Reorganisation Order;
(iii) That a report be brought back to the Council no later than June 2019 with a view to its authorising the making of a Re-organisation of Community Governance Order under the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 for the following:
· The creation of the new Parish and Parish Council, and the number of Councillors to be elected;
· Arrangements for the election of the new Parish Councillors;
· When the Order is to take effect for its various provisions;
· The resulting membership of Heybridge Parish Council;
· All necessary preparatory financial and administrative arrangements, including the initial precept and transfer of property.