Community Governance Review – Whitstable

Map showing Whitstable boundaries impacted by Community Governance Review

A Community Governance Review for Whitstable, to consider setting up a town council, has begun and we are asking for your views.

What is a community governance review?

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

Canterbury City Council is responsible for carrying out a Community Governance Review.

The Full Council is responsible for overseeing this process and for agreeing the terms of reference, and draft and final recommendations.

What is a town council?

A town or parish council is an elected body made up of local people representing the interests of their community.

The creation of a new town council would be in addition to and not instead of Canterbury City Council.

A town council has the same powers as a parish council.

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 that for this review the deadline is December 2024.

Public consultation will start in January 2024 and a report on the first stage responses will be submitted to the committee and council in April 2024.

Councillors will consider the initial consultation results and decide what to recommend.

A second round of consultation will then take place and final recommendations published before the deadline.

How are town and parish councils funded?

Town and parish councils are funded through a sum of money called a ‘precept’ – this is a separate charge which is added to, and collected along with, your existing council tax.

The town or parish council will decide what it will need for the coming year and that depends on what services and facilities are needed by the local community.

Town and parish councils can also apply for grants and loans. As the precept will depend on the size of the town or parish council, the services it provides and the number of properties across which it is spread, it is not possible to say how much a precept would be for an area which does not currently have a town or parish council.

However, as an indication, nearby town councils such as Folkestone, Broadstairs, Ramsgate and Faversham charge between £60 and £80 a year for an average Band D property.

What can a town council do?

Town and parish councils have powers granted to them in statute to perform certain functions. Examples are set out in this guide produced by the National Association of Local Councils.

In addition, a town council can work with the city and county council and local partners to promote cultural events, civic pride in the town, community safety and wellbeing, providing local community facilities and lobby on matters beyond its direct control.

Have your say

Give us your views by completing our questionnaire by 5pm on Friday 1 March 2024.

All responses will be published so you should take care not to include any personal details when you comment.

Paper copies of the questionnaire are available on request. If you need a paper copy, please contact Victoria Asimaki, Principal Policy Officer (Engagement) at consultations@canterbury.gov.uk.

If you would like to see what questions you will be asked before you start filling in the survey, you can see a list of the questions.

Please note: only one submission per person will be accepted for this consultation, any subsequent submissions will be deleted.

We are holding various public information sessions:

  • Swalecliffe & Chestfield Community Association, 18 January 2024, 5pm to 7pm
  • Seasalter Christian Centre, 22 January 2024, 5pm to 7pm
  • Whitstable Umbrella Centre, 1 February 2024, 5pm to 7pm

More information

We have produced a brochure which contains more information on this process.

You can find answers to a number of the key questions we think people will have about the process and town councils.

You can also watch a presentation on the Community Governance Review below and view the presentation slides.

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 April 2024.

Published: 5 January 2024

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