To consider the report of the Director of Resources (copy enclosed).
The Council considered the report of the Director of Resources, updating Members on arrangements for implementation of the outcome of the Community Governance Review for the Parish of Heybridge – Basin Ward and seeking Members’ agreement on the matters to be the subject of a Reorganisation Order.
The report outlined the Council’s decision in February 2019 to create a new Civil Parish and Parish Council for the area currently forming the Basin Ward of the Parish of Heybridge. A Steering Group was set up at the same time by the Council to inform the content and effect the necessary Reorganisation Order. A copy of the plan proposed to be used for the Reorganisation Order was attached at Appendix 1 to the report. The report set out the conclusions agreed by the Steering Group to be reported to the Council and the proposed timescales.
It was noted that Heybridge Parish Council had confirmed it wished to retain 12 Members which if included in the Reorganisation Order would require a separate election to fill that one additional seat.
In response to a question regarding financial implications, the Officer time required and the need to understand the costs, the Director of Resources advised that the Council had a requirement to support the Parish Council under the Community Governance Regulations which would require resources (both internal and external). Such costs needed to be recovered on a full cost recovery basis and Officers would continue to measure and monitor the time that was spent on this taking into consideration value for money.
The Leader of the Council then proposed that all the recommendations as set out in the report be agreed. This proposal was duly seconded and agreed.
(i) That the Council notes and endorses the conclusions reached by the steering group with a view to the following matters being included in the Reorganisation Order required to implement the outcome of this Review:
· That the number of Councillors for the new Parish Council should be seven;
· That the name of the new Council should be Heybridge Basin Parish Council;
· An effective date of 1 April 2020 for implementation, with the new Parish Councillors being elected in early May 2020.
(ii) That should Heybridge Parish Council wish to retain a membership of 12 Councillors it is advised that this will require a separate election consequent upon implementation of these proposals, the cost of which will be an expense attributable to the Parish Council;
(iii) That the Director of Resources be authorised to continue and conclude discussions with Heybridge Parish Council and representatives of the Local Referendum Group as required in relation to budget and other administrative matters and also transfer of land and property;
(iv) That a further report be brought back to the Council in the light of the receipt of a provisional budget 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 to include the matters identified in (i) above together with the following:
· 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.
(v) That Officers also report back on the means of addressing the financial implications for the Council in implementing this proposal.