Community Governance Review – Westbere and Hersden Boundary Review

What do you think

This consultation has now closed but we have retained the supporting information on this page.


What is a community governance review?

A community governance review enables a principal council such as Canterbury City Council to review or make changes to community governance systems and structures. Examples include creating, merging, abolishing or changing parish or town councils in the review area.

Canterbury City Council is responsible for undertaking a Community Governance Review. 

Canterbury City Council’s Full Council, which includes all 39 councillors, is responsible for overseeing this process and for agreeing the terms of reference draft and final recommendations.

What is the purpose of this review? 

We have received a petition proposing a change to the Westbere Parish Council boundary to incorporate a piece of land known as the Bread and Cheese Field. The land is currently part of Hersden Parish Council’s boundary. 

How long does a Community Governance Review take?

Legislation requires Community Governance Reviews to be completed within a year from receiving the petition. That means the deadline for this review is December this year.

Consultation ran from Monday 26 February 2024 for 12 weeks, concluding on Monday 20 May 2024. 

We are proposing to amend the timetable for the review to allow time for views to be submitted on our draft recommendations.

The revised timetable can be found in the Council agenda on pages 11-14. If approved, the draft recommendations will be submitted to the General Purposes Committee and Full Council in July. We will then seek views on the recommendations before making final decisions in October 2024.

An advisory group of Canterbury City Council councillors will consider the consultation results and decide what to recommend. 

When would any changes come into force?

Changes arising from a Reorganisation Order would take effect on 1 April 2025. 

Why undertake a review now? 

A review can be triggered either by the city council or by a petition with the required number of signatures (37.5% in this case) of the electorate within a defined area. 

This review has been triggered by a petition signed by 97 valid signatories who are registered in the Westbere Parish. 

The last community governance review was held in 2017/18 and was triggered by the city council, and covered the whole district. 

One of the outcomes of the last review was the creation of the Hersden Parish Council. 

The decision to create the new parish council, with the boundary lines as shown on the map below, was made by Canterbury City Council.

How does this relate to the Local Plan? 

The Bread and Cheese Field was included as a proposed site allocation for 150 homes in the draft Canterbury District Local Plan To 2045 which was consulted on in October 2022.

It had been submitted under what is known as the Call for Sites process and was assessed as being suitable for development.

Following feedback from that consultation, we are in the process of preparing a new draft which is expected to be published in March when we will again ask people for their views. At this stage, we are not in a position to confirm which sites we will be proposing should be allocated for housing in the new draft Local Plan.

The Community Governance Review and Local Plan process are entirely separate exercises conducted under different legislation.

Two maps showing the current and proposed boundaries of Westbere and Hersden

You can also view the presentation slides from public information sessions we held to find out more.

What happens next?

Canterbury City Council will consider the consultation responses and will report to its General Purposes Committee and the Full Council meeting in September/October 2024. 

Published: 26 February 2024

Sign up for email alerts

You can sign up to receive notifications when a post is added to an area you’re interested in.

Sign up