The Interim Service Lead: Legal introduced the report and highlighted the intention to formally introduce the reorganisation order in time for the local elections in May 2023. To this end, an additional meeting of the Committee was proposed for Tuesday 31 January 2023, but this meeting would only be required if substantive issues arose during the further consultation period (recommendation 4 of the report refers).
Mike Evans (Whiteley Town Council) and Eric Bodger (Curdridge Parish Council) addressed the committee as summarised briefly below.
He thanked the officers involved in the governance review process to date. Whiteley Town Council believed that a town council covering the whole Whiteley Winchester area would be more efficient in delivering local services as well as representing the local community more effectively. The future town council would include councillors elected from the whole area and two North Whiteley residents had already been co-opted onto the council. The council supported the draft recommendations at Appendix 3 of the report and would hope that changes could be introduced before the May 2023 local elections.
He reiterated the thanks to officers and also to Councillor Achwal for chairing the Advisory Group. Curdridge Parish Council supported the draft recommendations and also hoped the changes could be introduced in time for the May 2023 elections. The parish council held a reserve of £10,514 for transfer to the Whiteley Town Council which could be written into the reorganisation order. He highlighted that confirmation of the boundary change was necessary for the parish council to set an accurate precept for 2023/24.
The Interim Service Lead: Legal responded to members’ questions on the report and appendices. He agreed to provide further clarification to committee members on the following:
(a) The section 106 agreement and deeds of variation currently being negotiated (paragraph 5.3 of the report refers);
(b) The basis of the estimated population rise in the North Whiteley area referred to in paragraph 11.24 of the report.
During debate, some members expressed the view that the number of parish councillors on the new Town Council should be increased to reflect the number of residents. The Service Lead confirmed that the number currently proposed was within the statutory guidance and had been supported by the town council. The recommendation about the number of parish councillors was part of the consultation process and could be reviewed as part of that process.
1. That the results of the recent consultation on the options for the future governance arrangements for the North Whiteley major development area be noted.
2. That the draft recommendations be approved, as set out in in Appendix 3, so they can be the subject of a further 28-day consultation to allow those with an interest to provide their views on the proposed changes.
3. That provided the further consultation process does not give rise to any issues that would require major changes to the draft recommendations, authority be delegated the Service Lead – Legal, in consultation with ... view the full minutes text for item 6