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Bourton-on-the-Water Parish Council

Community Governance Review consultation

By Sue Cretney Bourton-on-the-Water Parish Council

Thursday, 16 August 2018

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Bourton-on-the-Water Parish Council Contributor

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A number of residents have been confused by the letter sent out in July by Cotswold District Council on the above, and have asked the Parish Council to provide a brief explanation of this, in layman’s terms.

In 2013 Cotswold District Council (CDC) made changes to the areas for which their Ward Councillors are responsible.  A Ward Councillor's role is to represent their Ward and the people who live in it, and provide a link between that community and CDC.  At that time, Bourton’s sole Ward Councillor was Len Wilkins, a long-standing Ward Councillor who will be well known to many of you.

CDC wished to make changes to the boundaries so that each Ward Councillor represented roughly the same number of residents (ideally, about 2,000 electors).  Unfortunately, as Bourton’s population had become so large, in order to do so CDC had to split our village into 2 different Wards – Bourton Village, and Bourton Vale (which also includes some other small outlying villages), both of which would have about 2,000 electors each.  In 2015 Len Wilkins was elected Ward Cllr for Bourton Village and Richard Keeling was elected Ward Cllr for Bourton Vale. 

Bourton Parish Council retained the same number of parish councillors as before (11) but, on paper only, 8 were now “allocated” to Bourton Village Ward and 3 to Bourton Vale Ward.  This made no difference within parish council meetings in which all councillors discussed and voted on all matters relating to both Bourton Wards.

Residents then discovered at the 2015 local elections that residents in Bourton Village were unable to vote in the Bourton Vale elections, and vice versa.  This was obviously far from ideal, and many were unaware this would be the case until turning up to vote and being refused permission to do so.  As this effectively prevented residents from voting for councillors who would be representing them within the Parish Council, the Parish Council asked CDC to reverse the split parish ward arrangement.  It agreed to do so, but had to wait till now to make these changes.

This is what residents are now being consulted on, so that any changes can be completed before the next round of local elections in May 2019.

If you support the reversal of the split parish ward arrangement, whereby Bourton Vale and Bourton Village Ward will still be represented by different Ward Councillors, but all residents within Bourton parish get to vote for all Bourton parish councillors in future local elections then you should answer “Yes” to question 4.

If you wish to retain the present arrangement (whereby you will be unable to vote for parish councillors in the “other” Bourton Ward in future elections) then you should answer “No” to that question.

We hope this goes some way to helping clarify the purpose of CDC’s letter.  We also trust residents will support the Parish Council in seeking a reversal of the split parish Ward arrangement, so that all residents wherever they live in Bourton have equal voting rights in future Parish Council elections.

Sue Cretney, Clerk

Contact Information

Sue Cretney

Find Bourton-on-the-Water Parish Council

The George Moore Community Centre, Moore Road, Bourton-On-The-Water, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 2AZ

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