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Community governance review

The council received a valid petition on 23 July 2018 from 324 residents requesting the creation of a new parish council, ‘Spitalfields Town Council’, to be located within the two wards of Spitalfields and Banglatown and Weavers.

The petition was organised and submitted by the Spitalfields Forum, the Spitalfields Society and Spitalfields Community Group. The council carried out a community governance review under the provisions of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007.

Two consultation phases took place as part of the review. The first phase, on the proposals as set out in the petition, ran from 8 October 2018 and closed on 31 December 2018. The second phase ran from 6 March 2019 to 28 May 2019. It included the council’s preferred recommendation to reject a parish council but to look at a range of alternatives to create or strengthen other forms of community governance.

Consultation approach

A broad range of communication and engagement methods were used to inform people about the consultation and publicise it. This included the council’s

  • website
  • social media
  • press releases
  • the council’s e-newsletter
  • posters in public venues
  • letters; fliers and
  • events. 

As well as distributing hard copy consultation documents to residents, the council also wrote to local faith organisations and places of worship, voluntary and community groups in the area and local businesses.

Conclusions

At a Full Council meeting on 17 July 2019, councillors were asked to consider the final analysis and conclusions from the consultation phases, which found:

  1. There is not significant support for the creation of a parish council, either within the area or within the broader community.
  2. A parish would not be reflective of the identity and interests of the whole community.
  3. The creation of a parish would be likely to damage community cohesion both within the area and between the area and other parts of the borough.
  4. A parish council would not be an effective and convenient form of local governance and would not be best placed to deliver quality services efficiently and effectively.
  5. There is the potential for a significant additional financial cost to local residents from the precept raised by a parish council with a particular concern that this could have a greater impact on people living on lower incomes.

Decision

On 17 July 2019, the council agreed to keep the existing community governance arrangements within the wards of Spitalfields & Banglatown and Weavers and that a parish should not be created in the area.

No further recommendations were made in connection with this community governance review.

Supporting documents

Answer:

Final decision following statement of recommendations

The statement of recommendations of the Tower Hamlets Community Governance Review 2018-19 was issued under sections 93 & 96 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007.

At a meeting of Tower Hamlets Council on 17 July 2019, the council considered the final recommendations thus concluding the community governance review and is now publishing the decision made in accordance with sections 93(7) and 96(2) of the 2007 Act.

Background to the final statement of recommendations and decision

The final recommendations were presented to  Tower Hamlets Council (‘the council’) following a community governance review (‘the review’) carried out in the two wards of Spitalfields & Banglatown and Weavers following receipt of a valid petition from 324 local residents on 23 July 2018.

The review took 12 months and included two consultation periods undertaken in this time.

Details of the review and results of the subsequent consultations undertaken can be found on the council’s ‘past consultations’ webpage.

Decision

Following the review, the final recommendations were made under section 87(1) of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007. ‘A community governance review must make recommendations as to what new parish or parishes (if any) should be constituted in the area under review.’

At Full Council held on 17 July 2019, the council determined that there will not be any change to existing community governance arrangements within the wards of Spitalfields & Banglatown and Weavers and that a parish should not be constituted in the area.

The council makes no further recommendations in connection with this community governance review.

The full rationale for this decision and supporting documentation is set out in detail in the report to Full Council on 17 July 2019. These can be found on the council’s meetings webpage.

In summary, the council considers that: 

  1. There is not significant support for the creation of a parish council, either within the area or within the broader community.
  2. A parish would not be reflective of the identity and interests of the whole community.
  3. The creation of a parish would be likely to damage community cohesion both within the area and between the area and other parts of the borough.
  4. A parish council would not be an effective and convenient form of local governance and would not be best placed to deliver quality services efficiently and effectively.
  5. There is the potential for a significant additional financial cost to local residents from the precept raised by a parish council with a particular concern that this could have a greater impact on people living on lower incomes.

Issued on 19 July 2019