Agenda and minutes

Electoral Provisions Sub-Committee - Wednesday 27 June 2018 7.00 pm

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


The Chairman welcomed Members to the meeting and noted the presence of the Strategic Director (Internal Services) and the Electoral Services Manager.


It was confirmed that all Members had received a published copy of the Addendum to Item 4 – Community Governance Review.


An apology for absence was received from Councillor Bryan Read due to ill-health (Substitute Cllr. J Hayes). Members wished Cllr. Read a speedy recovery.


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest from Members including the terms of any Grant(s) of Dispensation by the Audit Board or Managing Director.


There were no declarations of interest.


To confirm the Minutes of the meeting of the Electoral Provisions Sub-Committee held on 31 October 2017 pdf icon PDF 71 KB


The Minutes of the sub-committee meeting held on 31 October 2017 were confirmed as an accurate record.


Community Governance Review pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To consider the draft recommendations for the Community Governance Review for the Borough of Dartford as set out in Appendices A to H attached and put forward recommendations to the General Assembly of the Council accordingly.

Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee received a report and addendum document from the Electoral Services Manager which asked Members to consider draft recommendations for the Community Governance Review (CGR) for the Borough of Dartford and put forward recommendations to the General Assembly of the Council for further consideration and approval.


The Strategic Director (Internal Services) advised Members of the background to the CGR including the following principal points:


·         The terms of the CGR were published on the Council’s website and looked at the Parish arrangements across the Borough;

·         The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) had published their final recommendations following their wider review of the Borough’s Ward boundaries, which had included some changes to Parish internal electoral arrangements. However, the Council were able to seek consent to alter those recommendations concerning the Parishes;

·         The timing of the CGR was therefore unusual; it would normally have been undertaken before the wider Borough Warding review; and the Council’s request to the LGBCE to make changes to their Parish recommendations (in the period between the Commission publishing their final recommendations and actually implementing them) was also unusual;

·         The Council had therefore sought advice from the LGBCE on their proposal to conduct a CGR [normally a delegated power of a Council’s Chief Executive] and the Commission had commented that given the unusual timing, they might wish to consider whether or not to grant consent for the CGR themselves;

·         The Council had therefore shared their draft proposals with the Commission on that basis, but had received no indication that the proposals would give the LGBCE any concerns. However, their consent would still need to be obtained for the final CGR proposals agreed by the GAC.


She advised Members that, in general terms, the Council’s Community Governance Review would look at creating, merging or abolishing parishes, altering the boundaries of existing parishes and making changes to the electoral arrangements of parish councils, to ensure that parish governance of the borough was robust, representative and able to meet the challenge of Dartford’s growing population. The Review could not make any changes to the Borough Wards or County Divisions: those arrangements should, wherever possible, be kept coterminous to avoid any confusion amongst electors.


The 1st stage of the Review, to invite initial submissions from Parishes, had been completed and their submissions considered and reflected in the draft proposals set-out in the report. Further comments, received following the publication of the Commission’s wider Borough Ward boundary review, were contained in the tabled Addendum document before Members that evening.


Following approval of the draft proposals that would be presented to the GAC on 16 July 2018; the wider public consultation phase of the CGR would begin. All Parished properties would receive a separate notice advising them of the Review and inviting them to respond with their views. In some areas it was clear that there were a number of possible options to consider, and the views of residents of Stone, Darenth and Wilmington Parishes would be sought on those options.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.