Community Governance Review

Consultation: 1 February – 18 March 2022

We have received a petition to conduct a Community Governance Review proposing the creation of a new parish area.

You have the opportunity to have your say on whether this happens or not. A consultation will be held between Tuesday 1 February and Friday 18 March 2022.

Please read the following information and if you would like to comment on the proposal, complete the online questionnaire before 5pm on Friday 18 March 2022.

A consultation document has been sent direct to householders in Stanwix. It is available on this webpage as a downloadable document.

The Terms of Reference, Community Governance Review guidance and proposed area map are also attached as downloadable documents.

If you require any of these documents in an alternative language or format, please contact us to discuss your needs. Email [email protected] or telephone 01228 817200.


The written request is shown below:

Petition for a local Stanwix Council

“Many areas around Carlisle have the benefit of Village Councils, but Stanwix does not. It could apply for lottery funding for projects. It would have a legal input to development planning proposals. It would build community spirit, civic pride and disaster resilience.

“This is a community governance petition to Cumbria County Council for a community governance review under the provisions of section 80 of the Local Government and Public involvement in Health Act of 2007 as amended by the Legislative Reform (Community Governance Reviews) Order of 2015. Whiteclosegate and Millcroft roads are currently anomalously classed as ‘rural’ but also lie within ‘Stanwix Urban’ division. Our proposal is that Whiteclosegate be outside the new petitioned area but that Millcroft should lie within. We propose that residents’ wishes should be sought by referendum and in consultation with the ‘Stanwix Rural’ Parish Council.”


What is Community Governance?

It is the way in which local communities are represented and governed at local authority level and through the involvement of other statutory and voluntary agencies and community groups and by the efforts of local people themselves. It is also about the way in which individuals and groups within the community are listened to and able to influence decisions that affect them.


What is a Community Governance Review?

A Community Governance Review enables a principal council such as Carlisle City Council to review, put in place or make changes to community governance systems and structures i.e. by creating, merging, abolishing or changing parish councils in the review area. Carlisle City Council has started a community governance review for the proposed “Stanwix Village” parish.


What is a Parish Council?

Parish Councils are not run by Carlisle City Council, they are separate elected bodies made up of local people representing the interests of their community. If any new Parish Councils are created because of a review, they will be in addition to and not instead of Carlisle City Council.


Who can undertake a Community Governance Review?

Since 13 February 2008, district councils, unitary county councils and London borough councils (all principal councils) have had responsibility for undertaking community governance reviews and have been able to decide whether to action the recommendations made in those reviews. In making that decision, they will need to take account of the views of local people. Principal councils are also required to have regard to the guidance on undertaking community governance reviews published jointly by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Local Government Boundary Commission.


How can a Community Governance review be Instigated?

Community Governance Reviews can be instigated in two ways:

  • By a resolution passed by the principal council (i.e. the district or unitary council for the area);
  • By a petition signed by local electors as follows:

1. For an area with less than 500 local electors, the petition must be signed by at least 37.5% of them.

2. For an area with between 500 and 2,500 local electors, the petition must be signed by at least 187 of the electors.

3. For an area with more than 2,500 local electors, the petition must be signed by at least 7.5% of them. (Carlisle City Council passed such a resolution on 14 September 2021.)


Who will undertake this review?

As the principal authority, Carlisle City Council is responsible for undertaking a Community Governance Review in its electoral area. The full Council is responsible for overseeing this process and for agreeing draft and final recommendations before a Community Governance Order is made.


How long does a Community Governance Review take?

Legislation requires Community Governance Reviews to be completed within a year.


Who determines the Terms of Reference for community governance reviews?

The 2007 Act requires principal councils to determine and publish the terms of reference under which a community governance review is to be undertaken. It also requires that the terms of reference specify the area under review. If any modifications are made to the terms of reference, these must also be published.


When does the Review start?

Individuals and organisations who want to raise issues to be considered by this review can do so. The Terms of Reference for the review will be published in February 2022 and it is expected the review will be completed in the autumn of 2022.


When would any changes come into force?

On the same day as the scheduled Parish Elections, Thursday 4 May 2023.


Who decides the outcome?

The principal council (i.e. Carlisle City Council) following consultation with local people and local groups will make recommendations to the new shadow Cumberland Council. There are a number of phases to the process which are outlined below:


Stage Action Timescales Approximate Planned Date
Commencement Terms of reference are published.   February 2022
Stage One Consultation period and initial submissions invited. Two months February to March 2022
Stage Two Consideration of submissions received – draft recommendations are prepared. Two months April – May 2022
Stage Three Draft recommendations are published – consultations on them. Two months June – August 2022
Stage Four

Consideration of final submission received.

– Final recommendations prepared.

– Final recommendations are published, concluding the review.

Two months August – September 2022
  Council resolves to make a Reorganisation Order.    


How can residents have their say?

All interested groups and residents will be invited to give their views. Where changes to existing parish arrangements or new parish arrangements are proposed, we will consult with the local electorate.


Why undertake a Community Governance Review?

A Community Governance Review can be triggered if a petition is presented to the principal council asking for a review to be undertaken, and the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 places a duty on principal councils to respond to such a petition. The objective of undertaking a community governance review is to ensure that local governance will continue to be effective and convenient and will reflect the identities and interests of local communities.


What must Carlisle City Council take into account when undertaking a Community Governance Review?

Carlisle City Council is required to consider:

  • The impact of existing community governance arrangements on community cohesion; and
  • The size, population and boundaries of any local community or proposed parish Council. In carrying out a Community Governance Review, Carlisle City Council must also consider the wider picture of community governance. This includes taking account of well-established forms of community governance such as residents associations and community forums. These can be considered as either alternatives to or stages towards establishing parish councils. Guidance does, however, indicate that parish and town councils are set apart from these other kinds of governance by the fact that they are a democratically elected tier of local government and can set a budget and possess specific powers.



What are the criteria by which options for the future will be judged?

Government guidance indicates that characteristics of good community governance to be considered in assessing the options when undertaking such a review include:

• A sense of civic pride and civic values.

• A strong, inclusive community and voluntary sector.

• A sense of place – with a positive feeling for people and local distinctiveness.

• Effective engagement with the local community at neighbourhood level.

• Strong leadership.

• The ability of local authorities to deliver quality services economically and efficiently.

• An area that is of a size that is viable as an administrative unit of local government.

Local people might consider these characteristics when submitting their views.


Who will Carlisle City Council consult with?

Before making any recommendations or publishing final proposals, the Council will take full account of the views of local people. The Council will comply with the statutory consultative requirements by:

• Consulting local government electors within the area under review consulting any other person or body (including a local authority) which appears to the Council to have an interest in the Community Governance Review (i.e. Cumbria County Council and any adjoining parish council affected).

• Considering any representations received in connection with the Community Governance Review.


How are Parish Councils funded?

Parish Councils are funded through a sum of money called a ‘precept’ – this is a separate charge which is added to and collected along with your existing Council Tax. The Parish Council will decide what it will need for the coming year and that depends on what services and facilities are needed by the local community. Parish Councils can also apply for grants and loans. As the precept will depend on the size of the parish council, the services it provides and the number of properties across which it is spread, it is not possible to say how much a precept would be for an area which does not currently have a parish council.


How many Town or Parish Councillors would there be?

If it is agreed to establish a Parish Council, one of the issues that will need to be decided is how many councillors will be elected. Parish Councillors can be elected to represent the whole of the parish area or smaller neighbourhoods within the area, called wards. Any councillors elected to the Parish Council would be in addition to the existing local ward councillors who are members of Carlisle City Council. It is possible for the same people to be elected to the district council and a parish council.


Can I express a view about the existing Parish Councils?

You can express a view about existing parish councils in the Carlisle district during the first consultation stage.


Should I express an opinion about the area to be included in a town or parish council in my area?

Yes, it is important that the size, population and boundaries of any local community or proposed parish council ensure a sense of place – with a positive feeling for people and local distinctiveness

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