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Community Governance Review consultation

Findings from phase one

Phase 1 of this consultation has ended. Phase 2 will reopen on 6 March 2019 and close on 28 March 2019.

Phase one of the Community Governance Review consultation has now closed. This page summarises the council’s conclusions from the first stage of the review. If you would like to contribute to the second stage of the consultation please visit

Based on the initial findings and anaylsis, which you can view in full here. The council has set out what it believes are the four broad options:

    a) Adopt the petitioners’ proposals in full.

      b) Create a parish council but with modifications to the proposals made in the petition.

        c) Reject the proposal to create a parish council but instead create or strengthen non-parish forms of community governance.

          d) Reject the proposal to create a parish council and retain existing governance arrangements.

            At this stage the council’s recommended option is option c). It will be seeking, views outside the scope of this community governance review, proposals and ideas for how non parish forms of community governance could be created or strengthened.

            The council will also consult further on options b) and d). It acknowledges that parish councils are not a familiar form of local government in London and that information needs to be available to help local people come to a final view on their preferred option.

            The council is treating the petition from over three hundred local government electors with the utmost seriousness, as an expression of the wishes of those individuals. However, the council is also mindful of its duty to ensure that the other residents in the area, surrounding areas and the wider borough can have a say.

            Following the first phase of consultation and subsequent analysis the council’s assessment, prior to the second consultation phase and analysis taking place, is that it is not at this point persuaded that creating a parish would reflect the identities and interests of the community in that area nor be an effective and convenient form of local governance. Our reasons are as follows:

            1. The council does not believe that significant local support for the proposal to create a parish has been demonstrated, although it recognises that there are committed campaigners both for and against.
            2. The council acknowledges the historic and current identity of Spitalfields as a place; however it does not believe that the creation of a parish would best reflect the interests of the community in that area. Community identity is diverse and complex with many different interests and needs which have to be balanced.
            3. The council is particularly concerned that the establishment of a parish could have a negative impact on community cohesion. This was a significant concern expressed by respondents in phase 1 of consultation. The council would welcome views on how these concerns could be addressed.
            4. The option of a parish council for the Spitalfields area should also be considered alongside the broader needs of the borough. The strength of its many local communities adds up to a bigger community that is more than the sum of its parts. In the council’s view all areas of the borough should contribute to its civic life and public services.
            5. The council does not believe that the original proposal by the petitioners would lead to the delivery of effective and efficient local governance in terms of value for money or service provision. The council would welcome views on whether the extended boundaries proposed would address this concern.

            The council remains strongly committed to localism and community engagement within the borough. We acknowledge that the borough cannot and should not be run from one central location and the diversity of the borough and local needs must be reflected in how decisions are made. We committed to giving local people an effective say over decisions that affect them and an enhanced focus on responding to service users and local communities.

            You can view the full report from the consultation here.

            What happens next?

            The council has set out its draft recommendations and the rationale for them here. Before it makes a final decision it will consult further on these as required by law. The phase 2 of the community governance review will take place from 6 March to 28 May 2019.

            In accordance with the terms of reference for the review the council will consult on its draft recommendations with all local government electors for the wards of Spitalfields & Banglatown and Weavers, and any other person, organisation or business who appears to have an interest in the review.

            The council will write to all those who submitted a response in phase 1 of the consultation inviting them to give their views on the draft recommendations. It will also contact households in the area who did not submit a response inviting them to also contribute to the review. A consultation document containing frequently asked questions from phase 1 will be distributed. This will provide factual information about parish councils including their legal status, powers and how they are funded. It will also include information about the likely cost of a parish council to local council tax payers if one were to be established. The consultation document will be posted on the council’s website and may also be requested by email or post.

            An online consultation form will be made available on the council’s website. This is the council’s preferred method for gathering views for reasons of cost and efficiency. However, the council recognises that this may not be suitable for everyone. It will therefore make the consultation form available for download, or send it by email or post on request. Responses by letter will also be accepted. Individuals may ask for support in making a response if they are unable to do this themselves. The minimum requirement for a paper consultation response to be deemed valid is that a name, address and signature are provided.

            The council will organise a number of information giving events within the area under review. A static information display will be located for viewing in a public place within the area. General communications and targeted publicity about the review will be released throughout the consultation period. The council will concentrate efforts to publicise the consultation within the area of the proposed boundary options.

            All information relating to the community governance review will be published on the council’s website.

            The community governance review will conclude in July 2019 with a final decision made by the council.

            Documents from phase 1 consultation

            Community governance review terms of reference

            Phase one consultation document