CWAC parishes to see reform

More than 120 of the 161 parishes in Cheshire West and Chester are set to change after the council completed a review of processes across the borough.

In some cases, larger parishes with new councils will be created to streamline the current arrangements. Others will have new names or have undergone boundary changes to better reflect community identity.

Previously some parishes had remained untouched for more than 100 years. The changes will be implemented by April 2015 in time for the local elections in May.

Many civil parishes have ancient origins and were re-established in 1894 through the Local Government Act. Every civil parish must have an annual meeting of local electors to discuss things that matter to them.

Larger parishes may also have a Parish Council, a democratically elected tier of local government with their own councillors, council meetings and parish clerk. Parish Councils have powers to provide a range of services such as allotments, playgrounds, village halls, public toilets and cemeteries.

Cllr Ann Wright, community governance review committee chairman, said: "This major piece of work uncovered a huge diversity in the governance arrangements in place across our parishes and both councillors and officers worked hard on this very detailed and definitive project.

"It is important that community governance arrangements, where they exist, are effective, accessible and representative of local people. Our aim was to take stock of the current situation and make improvements where necessary.

"There is increasing interest from residents in the work of local government and it is important that the right mechanisms are in place for them to influence and control what is happening in their communities."

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