Community Governance Review 2023/24 - Phase 1 Consultation

Closed 31 Jan 2024

Opened 28 Nov 2023


We are responsible for electoral and governance arrangements within the area, these include town and parish boundaries, the number of town and parish councillors, arrangements for wards, and meetings of groups and parish councils.


Following government and Local Government Boundary Commission for England guidance, we carried out a review this summer (2023) to seek requests from parishes who wanted to make certain changes to their parish arrangements. 

The feedback from this work and from the Commission identified some changes to amend certain governance arrangements, which could be seen to be appropriate due to population changes and shifts in ‘natural settlements’ caused by new development. 

A Community Governance Review offers an opportunity to address these issues. These could be addressed by putting in place strong, clearly defined boundaries, tied to firm ground features, and remove any parish boundary anomalies that may exist to help ensure community governance arrangements continue to reflect local identities and facilitate convenient and effective local government. 

As the relevant principal authority, West Northamptonshire Council is responsible for conducting any reviews within its electoral area. However, it is important to note that this is not a review of the entire area that the council covers. Instead we are focusing on parishes where we are aware of changes following the previous review by the Local Government Commission and areas where parishes have expressed a wish to participate. 

Further information: What is a Community Governance Review

A Community Governance Review allows us to review and make appropriate changes to the existing governance arrangements of Parish and Town Councils, in order to ensure that:  

  • Parish governance is robust, representative and able to meet new challenges; and  
  • There is clarity and transparency to the areas that parish/town councils represent and that the electoral arrangements of parishes are appropriate, equitable and readily understood by their electorates.  

The review can include:  

  • Abolishing, creating, merging or altering parishes  
  • Changing the name of a Parish or set the style of a new Parish Council,  
  • Altering the boundary or warding arrangements of one or more existing Parish,  
  • Bringing a number of Parishes together as a grouped parish council, and  
  • The electoral arrangements for parishes i.e. the number of parish councillors 

The review cannot: 

  • Alter the West Northamptonshire Council boundary.  
  • Make changes to the electoral arrangements of an existing parish where those arrangements have been made as part of an electoral review (conducted by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England). In such instances, the Council must seek consent from the LGBCE. 
  • Make changes to principal area wards. 


Timetable for the review 

The council has to complete the Community Governance Review within 12 months from when it publishes the Terms of Reference. The Terms were agreed and published following Full Council 28 September 2023. 

The Council will oversee the review and produce draft and final recommendations; Full Council will approve the final recommendations before a Community Governance Order (Order) is made. 



Commencement of CGR – Terms of  

Reference Published 

29 September 2023 

Initial consultation stage 

28 November 2023 to 31 January 2024 

Draft recommendations prepared 

27 January 2024 to 26 April 2024 

Draft recommendations published 

26 April 2024 

Consultation on draft recommendations 

26 April 2024 to July 2024 

Final recommendations prepared 

26 July 2024 to 23 September 2024 

Final Recommendations considered  

and approved by full Council 

29 September 2024 

Community Governance Order(s)  


Between October and November 2024 

New community governance  

arrangements come into force 

1 May 2025 

How to provide your views 

We are inviting views from residents, parishes and stakeholders. 

You can provide your views and make your submission by:

  • Community Governance Review
  • Electoral Services
  • West Northamptonshire Council
  • The Guildhall 
  • St Giles Street
  • Northampton
  • NN1 1DE

Related information and documents

If you have any queries, comments or would like a copy of this questionnaire in another format you can contact us by email at 

This consultation closes at midnight on Wednesday 31 January 2023 

For information about how your responses are managed please see the Consultation and Engagement Privacy Notice.

What happens next

Following this first phase the Council will oversee the review and produce draft recommendations.

Further update following Phase 1:

On March 21 2024 a report was presented to Council (Item 185, Council, Thursday 21 March 2024 - this link opens in a new window). The report invites the Council to consider the outcome of the first stage consultation and the recommendations of the Democracy and Standards Committee regarding proposals for further consultation.

Draft recommendations will make up Phase 2 of the Community Governance Review which will be consulted on before final recommondations are prepared and taken to Full Council for a final decision.

The second phase on consultation should take place between April and July 2024.


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