Agenda item

Community Governance Review


The Council was reminded that, at its meeting on 26 February 2020, it had agreed to continue to the second stage of the Community Governance Review (CGR). At this meeting it had been agreed to establish a Working Group to consider options for the next stage of the review. The Working Group had met on 18 March 2020 and agreed in principle a way forward for the next stage of the review.


Members were advised that, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, consideration had been given to whether the Council could continue to meet all of its obligations in respect of the CGR. In particular there was concern that continuing with the CGR during the expected peak of the pandemic may not afford all of those affected a reasonable opportunity to participate in the consultation.


The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 required that a principal council must conclude the review within the period of 12 months starting with the day on which the council began the review. Legislation did not appear to provide for a CGR to be extended beyond this 12 month period. However, legal advice had been sought on whether, in these exceptional times, the Council could extend the timetable of the review. The advice had concluded that the Council could lawfully postpone the completion of the review.


It was emphasised that the Council was committed to reaching an outcome and would resume with the CGR as soon as considered reasonably practicable in order for the review to be concluded in a timely manner.


Members discussed the proposed deferral and noted that part of the proposed way forward was for Windlesham Parish Council to review its committee structure. It was suggested that the Parish Council should be encouraged to pursue this review as soon as possible.


It was moved by Councillor Colin Dougan, seconded by Councillor Sashi Mylvaganam, and


RESOLVED that the Community Governance Review be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the timetable be amended, as set out at Annex A to the agenda report.


Note 1: In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillors Peter Barnett, Sharon Galliford, Rebecca Jennings-Evans and Valerie White declared non-pecuniary interests as they were members of Windlesham Parish Council;


Note 2: It was noted for the record that Councillors Alan McClafferty, Emma-Jane McGrath, Pat Tedder and Victoria Wheeler declared they had met and discussed the Community Governance Review with residents.


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