A review of how local communities in Hertsmere are governed is to be undertaken with residents being asked to give their views.
The review will examine if governance arrangements at parish council level can be improved to better reflect local identities and serve communities more effectively.
Hertsmere Borough Council will carry out a nine-week consultation exercise to explore whether changes need to be made to ensure our parish councils continue to be effective representatives of their residents and have appropriate boundaries.
As communities change over time, government guidance advises a review of town and parish governance every ten to 15 years, to ensure the arrangements are fit for purpose. Following the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) review of Hertsmere in 2018, changes were made to the borough’s ward boundaries.
The review looks at a range of issues, including parish boundaries, numbers of parish councillors, grouping of parishes and warding.
A Community Governance Review is a complex task. Any changes proposed would follow reflection on the responses to this latest public consultation – including with parish councils – and a decision by full council.
Councillor Morris Bright MBE, Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Communications, said: “The review is intended to ensure that residents across the borough are represented in the best possible way. Parish councils have a wide range of important responsibilities, which can include parks, village greens, playing fields, allotments, local events and activities, Christmas lights, public clocks and war memorials. They can also have great influence on decisions taken elsewhere, for example, they are consulted by the local planning authority on every planning application in their area.
“Communities change over time and it is vital that councils continue to reflect trends and have a real identity. This review and the proposals in the consultation offers the opportunity to ensure that parish arrangements meet local needs and are fit for purpose for the future. It’s important we keep local decision-making to give residents effective and accountable local representation.
“Any changes will only be adopted after they have been consulted upon to take account of the views of residents, parish councils and other stakeholders. I would urge people to share their views with the council via the online consultation on our website.”
The public consultation starts on 31 January and can be accessed on our Community Governance Review page.
The consultation ends at midnight on 1 April. Paper copies of the consultation can also be obtained on request by calling Electoral Services on 020 8207 7481 or email CGR@hertsmere.gov.uk
This review of community governance does not include the electoral arrangements for borough council or parliamentary seats. These would be the responsibility of Whitehall (the Local Government Boundary Commission and the Boundary Commission for England, respectively) and are not currently proposed.
Hertsmere Borough Council agreed to the community government review at its meeting on 17 November 2021. The review must be completed within 12 months and any agreed changes will be implemented by May 2023 ready for the whole borough and parish elections.
The review will encompass Aldenham Parish Council, Ridge Parish Council, Shenley Parish Council and South Mimms Parish Council.
To find out more about the review or to complete the survey, please visit our Community Governance Review page.
Posted on Tuesday 1st February 2022