Agenda and draft minutes

Community Governance and Electoral Issues Committee - Monday, 28 February 2022 6.00 pm, NEW

Venue: First Floor Meeting Space, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, Milton, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 4SB

Contact: Michael Flowers, Democratic Services Officer  email:  Michael.Flowers@southandvale.gov.uk

Note: This is a public meeting and will be available to watch live on the council's YouTube channel. You can watch this meeting here: https://www.youtube.com/c/SouthandValeCommitteeMeetings 

Items
No. Item

18.

Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

19.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 100 KB

To adopt and sign as a correct record the Community Governance and Electoral Issues Committee minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 16th February 2021.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 16 February 2021 as a correct record and agree that the chair signs them as such.

 

20.

Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting. 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

21.

Urgent business and chair's announcements

To receive notification of any matters which the chair determines should be considered as urgent business and the special circumstances which have made the matters urgent, and to receive any announcements from the chair.

Minutes:

The chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.

 

22.

Public participation

To receive any questions or statements from members of the public that have registered to speak. 

Minutes:

Councillor Sue Cooper had registered to address the committee.

23.

Community Governance Review - terms of reference pdf icon PDF 309 KB

To consider the report of the head of legal and democratic.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Sue Cooper addressed the committee. She welcomed the decision of the committee taken in 2017 to undertake a community governance review every four years. However, she questioned why this review was only considering matters submitted by parishes. She expressed the view that the council should undertake reviews of areas where new housing developments were planned across parish boundaries which would result in people being in different parishes from their neighbours. This was particularly the case where developments occurred in smaller parishes adjacent to larger parishes or towns. 

 

Committee members commented on how the Community Infrastructure Levy income was distributed between parishes where a new development straddled two or more boundaries. The response from the speaker, and expanded upon by the chair, was that the income was distributed to parishes based on the number of houses within its boundaries. The amount of money received was also dependent on whether a neighbourhood plan was implemented at the time.

 

The democratic services manager provided further context to the committee of the review process. The committee were informed that the committee had previously passed a resolution in October 2017 to undertake a community governance review every four years to address localised issues. A review of the whole district area was undertaken in 2014 and such a review would be undertaken following the 2023 elections – well within the good practice guidance for conducting such reviews every 10-15 years.

 

A councillor asked how the reviews the council conducted every four years compared to other local authorities across the country. The democratic services manager responded by explaining that while they did not have specific comparisons available, they were aware that a significant number of councils were not as proactive in undertaking community governance reviews. A further question sought clarification on the length of the consultation process, to which the officer confirmed it would last about six weeks.

 

Councillor Lynn Lloyd, Chair of the Committee, advised that the purpose of the meeting was to agree the terms of reference for the review and not to discuss the merits or otherwise of the items submitted for review or to make proposals on them. The committee would in due course be asked to agree draft proposals for consultation, at a meeting in May, following the initial period of engagement with relevant stakeholders.

 

Councillor Mocky Khan, a member of both the committee and Didcot Town Council, provided further clarification on the process the town council took to gather feedback. The committee was advised that the following recommendations from a town council working group would be considered by Didcot Town Council on 7 March:

 

·       South Oxfordshire District Council to conduct the full boundary review based on population growth.

·        The whole of Great Western Park to be within the Didcot boundaries and under the remit of Didcot Town Council. 

·        Aspiration to have an equal number of councillors to represent an equal number of residents on each town council ward.

 

The committee was advised that, in respect of the second bullet point,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.