Cornwall Community Governance Review Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We’ve listed a number of frequently asked questions about the Cornwall Community Governance Review below. These complement and refer to the key information about the aims, scope, process and timeline of the Review which can be found at our Community Governance Reviews page.
We will update this page regularly as the review progresses.
The Electoral Review Panel is a committee of Cornwall Council that was set up to oversee the recently concluded electoral review of Cornwall and has now been tasked with completing the Community Governance Review for Cornwall 2019.
Cornwall Council is the final decision making body in this review and full Council will review the recommendations made by the Electoral Review Panel to decide the final outcome and make the necessary Order.
Minutes of the formal Electoral Review Panel meetings are published on the Electoral Review Panel page.
The Electoral Review Panel wishes to facilitate the review process, promote stakeholder engagement and support informed decision making.
During Stage 2, the Panel will be holding public engagement meetings across Cornwall in September and early October to enable the Panel to hear views about submissions, in particular around any proposals that involve significant boundary changes and/or the creation of new councils. These meetings will help the Panel to make its draft recommendations later this autumn.
For their Panel meetings in October and November, the Panel may also invite those who have raised substantive issues in their submission so that the Panel members can ask for clarity on those issues.
Following the publication of the draft recommendations at the end of Stage 2 of the Review, there will be a public consultation (Stage 3) and comments made during the public consultation will then be considered by the Panel before making its final recommendation to Cornwall Council.
We have published all submissions received by the end of Stage 1. These will be reviewed by the Electoral Review Panel throughout Stage 2 (18th July 2019 to 10th December 2019) to inform their draft recommendations. The minutes of the Electoral Review Panel meetings will also be published in accordance with the standard procedures and can provide additional information.
Recommendations will then be published via our Community Governance Reviews page and the consultation stage (Stage 3) is currently envisaged to commence on 11th December 2019 and last until 10th March 2020.
During Stage 2, the Electoral Review Panel will be holding public engagement meetings across Cornwall in September and early October to enable the Panel to hear views about submissions, in particular around any proposals that involve significant boundary changes and/or the creation of new councils. These meetings will help the Panel to make its draft recommendations later this autumn.
During stage 3 all draft recommendations will be published and there will be a public consultation on these recommendations, in which all residents, businesses and parish councils will have an opportunity to comment.
The Council will use all feedback to assess if its draft recommendations are reflective of the identities and interests of the community in that area.
View the slides that were presented at the Cornwall Association of Local Councils (CALC) conference in February 2019.
Further questions or comments can be sent to CGRs@cornwall.gov.uk.
Parish councils are welcome to forward to their residents any information or guidance provided by Cornwall Council, provided that the message is not altered or the sentiment changed. If a parish council adapts any guidance, advice and data made available by Cornwall Council then it should be clearly stated that it has been issued by the parish council and not be passed off as being issued by Cornwall Council.
Parishes know their residents well and can deliver the message in the most relevant way.
Any resident, parish council, business or community group could make a submission towards the Community Governance Review during Stage 1 of the Review, which ended on July 17 2019. There was no maximum limit to the number of submissions in relation to each parish.
Submissions had to be received by 17 July 2019 using a submission form that was available on the CGR webpage and on request. The form set out the requirements in terms of what was being proposed and the evidence in support.
Proposals had to ensure that they were reflective of the identities and interests of the community in that area; and are effective and convenient.
No, but the public consultation during Stage 3 of the Review will provide you with an opportunity to comment on draft recommendations and to put forward alternative proposals.
Cornwall Council undertook an initial data gathering exercise prior to the formal start of the project to ascertain the appetite for this review. The initial expressions of interest have been used to plan the required resources to administer this review and we are actively monitoring and reviewing the resources required for future stages.
Grouping may best be considered as a working alliance of parishes that have come together under a common parish council with the electors of each of the grouped parishes electing a designated number of councillors to the council. This approach has been found in other parts of the country to be an effective way of ensuring parish governance for small parishes that might otherwise be un-viable as separate units, while retaining their parish identity.
Grouping is not the same as a merger. In a merger the original councils are dissolved and a new parish council is formed.
Parish councils are responsible for making changes as a result of the final published Order and will be responsible for the respective costs.
CALC is the membership association for parish and town councils in the Duchy. The Association offers support in all aspects of the work of local councils in Cornwall.
For this review, the role of CALC is as an enabler, facilitator and sign-poster to other sources of information.
CALC will not be the arbiter of any disputes between parishes (e.g. over boundaries), but can serve a useful function as a critical friend.
CALC has agreed for this review to undertake this role for all councils, including non-member councils
Community Link Officers employed by Cornwall Council can be approached individually or as a part of the 19 community network panels. They have been trained in aspects of the Community Governance Review and are able to seek information where expert advice is required.
A parish council or residents group that wishes to propose a change to the current arrangements or parish boundary needs to consider whether its submission for changes or no change would be reflective of the identities and interests of the community in that area, and would be effective and convenient. It should also take into account the impact of any proposal on community cohesion as well as the size, population, and current and proposed boundaries of the parish.
The stronger the evidence of appropriate and effective consultation and the stronger the evidence of community support for the proposal being put forward, the more weight Cornwall Council is likely to place on it. What ‘appropriate and effective consultation’ is depends on the context and it should be proportionate to the changes that are being considered.
Cornwall Council will conduct a public consultation on draft recommendations during stage 3 of the review. Parish councils and resident groups can promote this consultation to residents. Parish councils and/or resident groups will be responsible for undertaking any consultation or engagement they wish to undertake to inform their own response to Cornwall Council’s public consultation.
In essence, the Community Governance Review framework and the planning policy framework are two separate processes and any change in parish boundaries will not have an effect on designated Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) areas. NDPs will continue to exist for the original designated areas.
If a parish, whose boundaries change as a result of the Community Governance Review, then decides to review their NDP and amend the designated area to reflect their new parish area, then this would necessarily also affect adjacent parish NDPs and NDP areas as there cannot be any overlapping NDP areas.