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Community Governance Review

Community Governance Review

What are Community Governance Reviews?

A Community Governance Review is a process to provide opportunity to review and make changes to governance arrangements to town and parish councils. This is to ensure that they continue to be reflective of the identity and interest of local communities, and that they are as efficient and effective in their governance as can be.

A Community Governance Review can make a number of changes to parish governance when there is clear evidence to do so:

  • It can make changes to parish areas – including: changes to boundaries between parishes, mergers of two or more parishes, creating a new parish out of part of one or more existing parishes
  • It can make changes to electoral arrangements within parish areas – including: changes to the number of parish councillors, introducing or changing parish warding arrangements
  • It can accommodate changing the name of a parish
  • It can accommodate the grouping together of parishes under a common parish council.

Principal councils (district councils or unitary councils) have the power to carry out community governance reviews and put in place or make changes to local community (parish) governance arrangements.

Wiltshire Council has established an Electoral Review Committee to oversee Community Governance Reviews. The Committee will make recommendations relating to any review to Full Council, who make the decision.


As principal authority Wiltshire Council may schedule a review in response to a reasonable request from an individual, group or parish when it considers it practicable to do so, except those that are the result of a petition containing sufficient signatures which must be reviewed once the petition has been verified. Wiltshire Council may also suggest a review when it considers it appropriate to do so.

The Electoral Review Committee will be responsible for deciding when it is practicable to review requests which have been received.

Reasons for a Community Governance Review can include, but are not limited to:

  • Changes in population
  • Housing growth
  • Anomalous boundaries

Any decision relating to parish arrangements must ensure that those arrangements:

  • Reflect the identity and interests of local communities
  • Ensure effective and convenient local governance

Any other factors, such as council tax precept levels, cannot be considered.


Community Governance Review commencement date 1 November 2019


From 2017-2019 the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) undertook an Electoral Review of Wiltshire Council. While this retained the number of divisions at 98, the changes which have been recommended to Parliament have made consequential changes to many town and parish governance arrangements. Combined with development growth across existing town and parish boundaries, or creation of new communities with their own identity within an existing parish, means Wiltshire Council believes a review is necessary in some areas to ensure the community governance arrangements are still reflective of local identity and interests, and are effective and convenient.

Due to the need to complete any review in time to make changes for the 2021 local elections, reviews could not be scheduled for all areas which have made a request.

The areas included within the review are detailed in the Terms of Reference those submitted schemes within those areas have been uploaded for comment using the links on this page, and people may submit further schemes within those areas.

Pre-consultationLiaising with parish councils on suggested areas for consideration for review and receipt of initial submissions.12 July 2019 -  30 September 2019
Stage one
  • Commencement of CGR - Terms of Reference published
  • Schemes uploaded to public portal for any initial consultation, to be updated with any relevant additional information. To include any further schemes received which fall within the scope of the Review
  • 1 November 2019
  • 1 November 2019 -  30 November 2019


Stage two
  • Consideration of submissions received in relation to proposed schemes. Local briefings and meetings as appropriate with unitary councillors and/or parish representatives.
  • Scheme consultation, draft recommendations prepared.
  • 1 December 2019 - 21 February 2020
  • 6 January 2020 - 26 February 2020
Stage three
  • Draft recommendations published
  • Draft recommendations consulted upon
  • May 2020
  • 15 May - 10 July 2020
Stage fourConsideration of submissions received. Final recommendations preparedJuly/August 2020
DecisionRecommendations submitted to Full Council for approvalSeptember 2020

Draft recommendations consultation

A consultation on the draft recommendations of the Electoral Review Committee of governance changes for some parishes will run from 15 May to at least 10 July. This may be extended if possible and appropriate. All households in an area which might be affected will receive a letter drawing attention to the consultation.

The draft recommendations document and online consultation is available in the links section on this page.

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Last updated: 1 May 2020 | Last reviewed: 1 May 2020