Introduction

1.1 North Devon District Council was subject to an Electoral Review conducted by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (“LGBC”) during 2017/18. As a result, some parish boundaries no longer correspond with ward boundaries. The primary purpose of this review is to align those boundaries again.

1.2 In carrying out the review the Council is mindful of the duties to ensure that community governance in its area:-

- reflects the identities and interests of communities in its area,
- is effective and convenient, and
- takes into account any other, non-parish, arrangements for the purpose of community engagement or representation in the area.

1.3 The Community Governance Review commenced on the 26th July 2018 with the publication of the proposed Terms of Reference for the Review. Public consultation has taken place and one response has been received. That response indicated that there was a wish for one Parish to merge with two other merged parishes so as to resolve issues of lack of membership.

1.4 It is considered that the issue of membership of Parish Councils is a general issue affecting the whole District and that a further more extensive Community Governance Review should be undertaken to consider this.

Scope of the review

2.1 The scope of the review will focus on the boundaries of a number of Parishes in the area. Most of the proposed changes are as a result of changes made by the LGBC but one comes as a result of a request from the relevant parishes. This request was made during the LGBC review.

2.2 Once completed, any approved changes will be implemented at the next Parish Council elections in May 2019.

Proposals in detail 

3.1 Mill on the Mole – At present, this area currently falls with the parish of Bishops Nympton. During the LGBC review, representations were received that the area had more association with South Molton which it is adjacent to. As a consequence the LGBC have recommended that it be incorporated into the South Molton District Ward and so the proposal is to incorporate the area into South Molton Parish.

3.2. The area of land and the dwellings affected are as shown on the Proposal Map 1 (pdf 2MB). The location of polling districts and polling places is also under review but it is likely that if the change takes place, residents would vote in the same location as existing. The current average Band C Council Tax for Bishops Nympton is £1630.41 pa compared to £1669.50 for South Molton.

3.3 Westacott – This area of land is currently situated within the Parish of Landkey. It is separated from the main village of Landkey by the A361 and a rural swathe of land. It is identified within the emerging Local Plan as an urban extension to Barnstaple with 950 new dwellings, although no houses have yet been built. The LGBC review has proposed that this be incorporated into the Westacott ward and representations received as part of that review indicated that the area ought to be included with Barnstaple Parish. The area of land affected is shown on Proposals Map 2 (pdf 2MB).

3.4 The Council Tax for a band C property in Landkey is £1607.90 compared to Barnstaple of £1671.39.

3.5 Mount Sandford Green – This area of land is currently within Landkey Parish. It is separated from the main village of Landkey by extensive rural land. The area is adjacent to the A361 Link Road. It is identified within the Local Plan as an urban extension to Barnstaple. The LGBC review has proposed that this be incorporated into the Newport ward and representations received as part of that review indicated that the area ought to be included with Barnstaple Parish. The area in question is shown on Proposals map 3 (pdf 2MB).

3.6 Gunn – The hamlet of Gunn is currently within the Swimbridge Parish. Representations were received as part of the LGBC review from residents who felt more of an association with the Goodleigh parish. It is therefore proposed to alter the boundaries so that Gunn falls within Goodleigh rather than Swimbridge. The exact area affected is shown on Proposals map 4 (pdf 2MB).

3.7 The Council Tax for a band C property in Swimbridge is £1601.33 per year and £1603.76 in Goodleigh.

3.8 It is also proposed that the area shown on Proposals Map 4 be a warded area of Goodleigh parish represented by one Parish Councillor but with no overall increase in the number of Parish Councillors sitting on the Parish Council.

Making representations

4.0 If you wish to make representations on the Proposals as set out above, please send them to:

Community Governance Review,
Electoral Services,
North Devon Council,
Lynton House,
Barnstaple,
Devon

4.1 Any representations should be received by 2 January 2019. If you need any further information please contact either Ken Miles, Head of Corporate and Community on 01271 388266 or ken.miles@northdevon.gov.uk or Judith Dark, Electoral Services Manager on 01271 388277 or judith.dark@northdevon.gov.uk