Community Governance Review

Parish Councils in Dorset Council area

Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007

Terms of Reference

Published on 22 July 2021


1. Introduction

What is a Community Governance Review?

A Community Governance Review is a review of the whole or part of the council’s area to consider one or more of the following:

  • creating, merging, altering or abolishing parishes
  • the naming of parishes and the style of new parishes
  • the electoral arrangements for parishes (the ordinary year of election, council size (the number of councillors to be elected to council), and parish warding); and
  • grouping parishes under a common parish council or de-grouping parishes
  • other types of local arrangements, including parish meetings

A Community Governance Review is required to take into account:

  • the impact of community governance arrangements on community cohesion; and
  • the size, population and boundaries of a local community or parish

The council is required to ensure that community governance within the area under review will:

  • be reflective of the identities and interests of the community in that area; and
  • be effective and convenient

If the council is satisfied that the recommendation of a Community Governance Review would ensure that community governance within the area under review will reflect the identities and interests of the community in that area, and is effective and convenient, the council makes a Community Governance Order.

Why is the Council carrying out this Community Governance Review?


The council is required to keep its area under review – every 10-15 years. Following the creation of Dorset Council, and a number of requests from Parishes for a Review, it was deemed appropriate to undertake a Review of the whole principal council area, rather than dealing with review requests piecemeal. A Community Governance Review offers an opportunity to put in place strong, clearly defined boundaries, tied to firm ground features, and remove the many anomalous parish boundaries that may exist.

Scope of the Review

The Review will consider any Community Governance Review requests received following publication of the Terms of Reference.

2. Consultation

How the Council proposes to conduct consultations during the Review?

Before making any recommendations or publishing final proposals, the council must consult local government electors for the area under review and any other person or body (including a local authority) which appears to the council to have an interest in the review. The council will therefore:

  • publish a Notice and these Terms of Reference on the council’s website and arrange for copies to be available for public inspection at County Hall, Dorchester, Dorset  DT1 1XJ during normal office hours
  • send a copy of the Notice and these Terms of Reference to all parish clerks and to the Dorset Association of Town and Parish Councils
  • seek to arrange for the notice to be published on parish council websites and notice boards; and
  • send a copy of the Notice and these Terms of Reference to all local Members of Parliamen

Before making any recommendations, the council will take account of any representations received. The council will publish its recommendations as soon as practicable and take such steps as it considers sufficient to ensure that persons who may be interested in the Community Governance Review are informed of the recommendations and the reasons behind them.

The council will notify each consultee and any other persons or bodies who have made written representations of the outcome of the Review.

3. Timetable for the Community Governance Review

The council has to complete a Community Governance Review within twelve months from the day on which the Council publishes the Terms of Reference.  A Community Governance Review is concluded on the day on which the Council publishes the recommendations made by the Community Governance Review.


Action Timeline Details
Report to Full Council 15 July 2021 Council approves the principle of the Community Governance Review and its Terms of Reference. 
Publish Terms of Reference

22 July 2021

(The CGR must be completed within 12 months of the date of publication)

Publish Terms of Reference and notify stakeholders of the commencement of the Review. 
Prepare draft consultation document and invite initial submissions 5 August 2021 to 28 October 2021 (12 weeks)

Initial submissions invited: 

  • town and parish councils 

  • Dorset Association of Parish and Town Councils (DAPTC) 

  • Member of Parliament 

  • local groups and interested parties such as local businesses, local residents’ associations, local public and voluntary organisations such as schools or health bodies. 

Publish proposals on Dorset Council website. 

Consider submissions 29 October 2021 to 14 December 2021 Consider any submissions/representations and prepare report of draft recommendations for Full Council on 14 December 2021. 
Publish draft recommendations 20 December 2021 to 28 February 2022 (10 weeks)

Publish draft recommendations for further consultation with: 

  • all local government electors 

  • all town and parish councils 

  • DAPTC 

  • Member of Parliament 

  • local groups and interested parties 

Publish draft recommendations on Dorset Council website. 

Make final recommendations 14 April 2022 Full Council meeting  Consider any further submissions/representations and prepare final recommendations for report to Full Council. 

Publish final recommendations

May 2022

Publish final recommendations and make Order. 


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