To consider recommendations to amend parish governance arrangements in South Lakeland.
Note – The following Councillors had declared non-pecuniary interests in this item of business by virtue of the fact that they were also members of town or parish councils regarding which recommendations had been made:-
· Councillor Giles Archibald (Kendal Town Council)
· Councillor Pat Bell (New Hutton Parish Council)
· Councillor Jonathan Brook (Kendal Town Council)
· Councillor Stephen Coleman (Kendal Town Council)
· Councillor Gill Gardner (Lower Holker Parish Council)
· Councillor Eamonn Hennessey (Kendal Town Council)
· Councillor Hazel Hodgson (New Hutton Parish Council)
· Councillor Helen Ladhams (Kendal Town Council)
· Councillor Susanne Long (Kendal Town Council)
· Councillor Ian Mitchell (Dent Parish Council)
· Councillor Jon Owen (Kendal Town Council)
· Councillor Matt Severn (Kendal Town Council)
They remained in the Council Chamber during the discussion and voting on the item.
Councillor Helen Chaffey declared a non-pecuniary interest as a Member of Arnside Parish Council regarding which a recommendation had been made, however, by virtue of the fact that she felt that she was pre-determined on the matter, left the Council Chamber during the discussion and voting on the item.
Councillor Doug Rathbone declared a disclosable pecuniary interest by virtue of the fact that he was in receipt of an allowance as Deputy Mayor of Kendal Town Council regarding which a recommendation had been made and left the Council Chamber during the discussion and voting on the item.
The Performance, Innovation and Commissioning Specialist presented a report on the final recommendations for the amendment of parish governance arrangements in South Lakeland arising from the responses received during the second consultation phase of the Community Governance Review and having regard to the South Lakeland Community Governance Review Terms of Reference as agreed by Council on 24 July 2018 (Minute C/20 (2018/19) refers).
At its meeting on 18 December 2019 (Minute C/59 (2018/19) refers), Council had approved a number of draft recommendations for the second consultation phase, details of which were provided within the report. The second round of consultation had been based on the draft recommendations, and views had been welcomed from all stakeholders, whether for or against the proposals. In line with the Terms of Reference, the Council had taken full account of views in regard to the draft recommendations, as well as potential changes or proposals other than those recommendations set out to Council on 18 December 2018. The second consultation (Stage 3 of the Review) had ended on 26 May 2019, and the report set out the proposed changes at paragraphs 3.12 to 3.22, as well as details, recommendations and comments which were shown at Appendices 3 and 4 to the report.
Once the final recommendations had been made, there were a number of steps that the Council had to take in order to implement the decisions. The decisions had to be published, together with reasons being provided for the making of the decisions. The Council also had to take steps to inform persons interested in the review of the decisions and reasons. Referral was required to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England for some of the final recommendations, should the Council proceed with these. The Order would then be made and the Council was required to deposit copies thereof to give effect to the decisions. It was anticipated that the Order would be made during August 2019.
Full details of the consultation carried out were included within the report and details of all of the consultation submissions, findings and recommendations were publicly available on the Council’s Website.
Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder, thanked officers for their hard work and diligence in the production of the report. He explained that this was an officer report, with officers being responsible for providing their views and recommendations. Councillor Archibald, therefore, moved the recommendations as set out at paragraphs 2.1 (1), (2) and (3), 2.2 (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8) and (10) and 2.3 of the report. He further moved two additional recommendations, replacing recommendations 2.2 (9) and (11) shown in the report:-
· 2.1 (4) that there be no change to the existing wards of Grange Town Council; and
· 2.1 (5) that there be no change to the existing numbers of councillors on Windermere Town Council.
Councillor Archibald explained that the reason for moving an alternative recommendation for Grange Town Council was in response to the proposal from Grange Town Council that the Town Council be re-warded to three wards as described in paragraph 5.9 of the report. As this proposal had arisen in response to the most recent consultation stage, it had not been subject to consultation with the community of Grange. By leaving the current warding arrangements in place, there would be opportunity for Grange to petition South Lakeland District Council for the change and for the District Council to address the proposal outside of the current Community Governance Review. The reasoning for moving that there be no change to the number of councillors on Windermere Town Council reflected the comments made by Windermere Town Council and described in paragraph 5.7 of the report and due to the fact that co-options had recently been made.
Councillor Jonathan Brook, Deputy Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder seconded Councillor Archibald, saying that healthy democracy was key to a vibrant community. He added that the District Council would continue to visit and work with town and parish councils across the district.
In response to a query, the Performance, Innovation and Commissioning Specialist informed Members that Windermere Town Council’s current membership was made up of 14 elected and 5 co-opted Members. District Ward Members for both Grange and Windermere expressed support for the recommendations as proposed by Councillor Archibald.
It was unanimously
RESOLVED – That
(1) it be noted that, as a result of the second consultation (Stage 3 of the Review), the following draft proposals to parish governance arrangements, as set out to Full Council on 18 December 2018, are not recommended:-
(a) altering of the parish boundary of Kendal Town Council to include an area of proposed development land north of High Sparrowmire;
(b) altering of the parish boundary of Kendal Town Council to include properties on Natland Mill Beck Lane and The Beeches, and to include a small area of proposed development on land at Watercrook;
(c) changing the names of the wards in Kirkby Ireleth Parish Council;
(d) changes to the existing wards of Grange Town Council; and
(e) changes to the existing number of councillors on Windermere Town Council;
(2) the following be approved:-
(a) a reduction in the number of councillors on Arnside Parish Council from 11 to eight;
(b) abolishing the current wards of Dent and Cowgill and having Dent Parish Council as an un-warded parish;
(c) the creation of a new Parish which amalgamates the parish of Fawcett Forest with the parish of Whitwell and Selside to create the Parish of Selside and Fawcett Forest;
(d) a reduction in the number of councillors on Lower Allithwaite Parish Council from 15 to 11;
(e) that Lower Allithwaite Parish Council consists of two wards - Allithwaite and Cartmel with Upper Holker comprising 6 and 5 parish councillors respectively;
(f) that the parish elections for Lower Allithwaite Parish Council be re-scheduled to coincide with the District Council elections, with the next Lower Allithwaite Parish Council elections to be held in 2022;
(g) that the parish elections for Lower Holker Parish Council be re-scheduled to coincide with the District Council elections, with the next Lower Holker Parish Council elections to be held in 2022;
(h) altering the election cycle of Skelwith Parish Council to ensure that the elections are held on the same day as South Lakeland district elections for the ward of Ambleside and Grasmere, with the elections in 2020 to have a reduced term and the following elections to take place in 2023; and
(i) aligning the Kendal Parish Boundary with the development plan boundary at Rochester Gardens and Burton Road, Oxenholme, causing a consequential alteration to the boundary of Kendal and Natland Parish and that the final recommendation be referred to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England; and
(3) the next steps outlined in paragraph 3.23 of the report be delegated to the Director of Strategy, Innovation and Resources.