We have decided to review the set-up of the most local form of government in this area. This is called a Community Governance Review (CGR). It is good practice to carry one out every 10 to 15 years.

We encouraged all interested parties to engage in this important project and have already carried out two consultations. The first received over 1,000 responses from the public, local organisations, parish councils and other interested parties.

You can view the responses we received.

We have now completed the review and Full Council approved the final recommendations at the Full Council meeting on 22 March 2022. We will implement the recommendations ahead of the city and parish elections in 2023.

New parish councils

We have now made the formal legal order to set up new parish councils, which you can also inspect at the council offices (you need to contact Electoral Services to make an appointment). 

The order provides for the creation of two new local councils, namely Chelmer Village Council and Chelmsford Garden Community Council, on 1 April 2023. To help smooth the transfer of responsibilities, we have created two shadow councils.

Shadow councils

We have appointed representatives from the city council and existing local parish councils to both shadow councils. We have also appointed as a resident to one of the shadow councils.

The representatives for the Chelmsford Garden Community Shadow Council are:

  • Cllr Jo Bowman (Broomfield Parish Council) 
  • Cllr Brian Jeapes (Springfield Parish Council) 
  • Cllr Stephen Robinson (City Council) 
  • Cllr Chloe Tron (City Council) 
  • Cllr Melanie Williamson (Little Waltham Parish Council)
  • Andrew Wright (resident) - chair

The representatives for the Chelmer Village Shadow Council are:

  • Natacha Dudley (City Council) 
  • Cllr Mandy Girling (Springfield Parish Council)
  • Cllr Neil Gulliver (City Council) 
  • Cllr Rose Moore (City Council) 
  • Cllr Yvonne Spence (Springfield Parish Council) 
  • Cllr Susan Sullivan (Springfield Parish Council) 

The shadow council does not have any formal decision making powers but will help with early preparations for the creation of the new council and consult with us. You can also read the Terms of Reference for the shadow councils

You can view a map of the area the CGR covers.

Completed steps

  • 9 December 2020: Full Council approved Terms of Reference for the Community Governance Review
  • Mid-January to end-March 2021: Formal initial Community Governance Review consultation
  • June to July 2021: Connectivity and Local Democracy Working Group considered responses and preparation of draft recommendations
  • 21 July 2021: Full Council approved an updated timetable and modified Terms of Reference for the Community Governance Review (you can view the papers from Full Council on 21 July 2021)
  • 8 September 2021: Governance Committee considered draft recommendations and recommended them to Full Council for approval (with slight amendment)
  • 22 September 2021: Full Council approve draft recommendations
  • 30 November 2021: second stage of consultation closed
  • Winter 2021/22: Connectivity and Local Democracy Working Group and Governance Committee draft final recommendations
  • 22 February 2022: Full Council considered a report regarding an amendment to the timetable and Terms of Reference
  • 22 March 2022: special meeting of Full Council to consider final recommendations
  • 5 July 2022: Set up of Chelmer Village Shadow Council and Chelmsford Garden Community Shadow Council

  • 5 August 2022: Reorganisation Order made in relation to CGR (as set out in the final recommendations from March 2022, we will apply to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England for minor consequential amendments to city boundaries) 

Next steps

  • April 2023: new councils for Chelmer Village and Chelmsford Garden Community created
  • May 2023: Parish council elections held under any new arrangements

You can also read the City Life article from 22 March 2022.

Final arrangements

You can view a summary of the final arrangements and the reason for the decisions.

We have decided to leave the arrangements unchanged in:

  • East Hanningfield
  • Good Easter
  • Great Waltham
  • Highwood
  • Pleshey
  • South Hanningfield
  • South Woodham Ferrers
  • Stock
  • Woodham Ferrers and Bicknacre

This is because we think the current arrangements in these areas are effective and convenient, and reflect the residents’ identities. 

There were no responses submitted for these areas during the final stage of the consultation to challenge these views.

Furthermore, we also decided to leave the arrangements unchanged in:

  • Chignal
  • Little Baddow
  • Mashbury
  • Rettendon

In Chignal, we did not think it was appropriate to redraw the boundary of the parish as initially proposed. This is because the residents voiced a strong affiliation with the parish council.

In Little Baddow, we did not think it was appropriate to reduce the number of parish councillors as initially proposed. This is because the parish council have shown they have a significant upcoming workload.

In Mashbury and Rettendon, we consulted residents on specific issues raised in the earlier stages of the review. The majority supported maintaining the current arrangements.

We have decided to increase the number of councillors in:

  • Great and Little Leighs, from 9 to 10
  • Sandon, from 7 to 8

We have decided to reduce the number of councillors in:

  • Margaretting, from 9 to 7
  • Roxwell, from 9 to 7
  • West Hanningfield, from 9 to 8

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has recommendations for the number of councillors an authority should have, which we aim to follow where possible. We have therefore adjusted the number of councillors in this area to match the recommendations.

There were no responses submitted during the final stage of the consultation to challenge these views.

In addition, we have decided to reduce the number of councillors in Danbury from 15 to 12.

The parish council did not agree with this decision. However, as the parish has carried multiple vacancies since the last election, we do not believe their argument to be justified.

There is a new development that sits partially in the parish (Area H), but also sits over boundaries for three other parishes. This means that residents of the same development are served by four different parish councils. 

We think that one new parish council for this area could better reflect the residents’ identities. This new authority will be called Chelmsford Garden Community.

The were no responses received during the final stage of the consultation to challenge this view. 

Further to review of the consultation, we do not think it is appropriate for the area of the war memorial or New Hall School to become part of the new parish. This is because they are of significant importance to the history of Boreham.

You can read details of the full changes for Boreham, including a map, by downloading the CGR report (see Area H, item 4.34.3 and area L, item 4.34.4).

We recognise there has been significant development in Broomfield since the boundaries were first considered. We therefore believe that some boundary changes are needed to ensure that the parish is effective, convenient and reflects the residents’ identities.

The parish boundary currently sits in the middle of Area E, meaning that residents are currently in different parishes, despite the area only being accessible from Broomfield parish. We believe that it would be more effective if the whole area was within Broomfield parish.

There were no responses submitted during the final stage of the consultation to challenge this view.

There is another new development sits partially in the parish (Area F) but also sits over boundaries for three other parishes. This means that residents of the same development are served by four different parish councils.

We think that one new parish council for this area could better reflect the residents identities. This new authority will be called Chelmsford Garden Community.

The majority of responses received during the final stage of the consultation supported this view.

You can read details of the full changes for Broomfield, including a map, by downloading the CGR report (see Area E, item 4.32.3 and Area F, item 4.32.4).

There is a ward currently within Springfield parish council (Area K) where residents have expressed a strong sense of community. They believe is has a different identity to the rest of the parish.

With this in mind, we have decided to create a new parish, called Chelmer Village. We believe it would be the most effective community governance arrangements, and would best reflect residents’ identities. The majority of responses received in the final stage of this consultation were supportive of this view.

You can read details of the full changes for Chelmer Village, including a map, by downloading the CGR report (see Area K, item 4.35.5).

There is a new development that currently sits over multiple parish boundaries, meaning that residents are served by four different parish councils. We believe that one new parish council for this area could better reflects the residents’ identities.

This means we will create a new parish called Chelmsford Garden Community, that will have 13 parish councillors. It will consist of areas taken from Boreham, Broomfield, Little Waltham and Springfield parishes.

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has recommendations for the number of councillors an authority should have, which we aim to follow where possible. We have therefore set the number of councillors in this area to match the recommendations.

As a result of creating this new parish, we need to make a slight boundary adjustment to Area L, as it falls outside of the new parish area.

The majority of responses received during the final stage of the consultation supported this view.

You can read details of the full changes for Chelmsford Garden Community, including a map, by downloading the CGR report (see item 4.36 and Area L, item 4.34.4).

Further to review of the consultation and other factors, we have decided to remove the parish wards for Galleywood.

This is because we think it would be effective and convenient, and reflect residents’ identities.

There were no responses submitted during the final stage of the consultation to challenge this view.

Apart from minor boundary change, we believe that the current arrangements in Great Baddow are effective, convenient and reflect residents’ interests and identities.

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has recommendations for the number of councillors an authority should have, which we aim to follow where possible. We have therefore adjusted the number of councillors in this area to match the recommendations.

There were no responses submitted during the final stage of the consultation to challenge this view.

You can read details of the full changes for Great Baddow, including a map, by downloading the CGR report (see Area B, item 4.30.3 and Areas C and D, item 4.30.4).

We recognise there has been significant development in Little Waltham since the boundaries were first considered. We therefore believe that some boundary changes are needed to ensure that the parish is effective, convenient and reflects the residents’ identities.

The parish boundary currently sits in the middle of Area E, meaning that residents are currently in different parishes, despite the area only being accessible from Broomfield parish. The council believes that it would therefore be more effective if the whole area was within Broomfield parish. There were no responses submitted during the final stage of the consultation to challenge this view.

There is another new development sits partially in the parish (Area G) but also sits over boundaries for three other parishes. This means that residents of the same development are served by four different parish councils.

We think that one new parish council for this area could better reflect the residents’ identities. This new authority will be called Chelmsford Garden Community.

The majority of responses received during the final stage of the consultation supported this view.

An adjustment to the number of parish councillors is then needed to accommodate these boundary changes.

You can read details of the full changes for Little Waltham, including a map, by downloading the CGR report (see Area E, item 4.33.3 and Areas G, item 4.33.4).

Further to review of the consultation and other factors, we have decided to create a new parish ward for Runwell. We believe it would be effective, convenient and reflect the residents’ identities. A change in the distribution of parish councillors is then needed to accommodate this.

We have noted and considered the parish council’s opposition to this change. However, the focus of the review must be the needs of the residents. The support that was offered to these proposals was from residents of the St Lukes area.

You can read details of the full changes for Runwell by downloading the CGR report (see item 4.27).

There is a new development that currently sits partially in the parish (Areas I and J) but also sits over boundaries for three other parishes, meaning that residents are served by four different parish councils. We believe that one new parish council for this area could better reflects the residents’ identities. This new authority will be called Chelmsford Garden Community.

There is also a ward currently within Springfield parish council (Area K) where residents have expressed a strong sense of community. They believe is has a different identity to the rest of the parish.

With this in mind, we have decided to create a new parish of Chelmer Village, which will include part of the current Springfield ward. We believe it would be the most effective community governance arrangements, and would best reflect residents’ identities. The majority of responses received in the final stage of this consultation were supportive of this view.

In addition, we identified a minor adjustment in relation to New Hall School, which we thought should be part of the Boreham parish, rather than Springfield as it is currently. There were no responses received during the final stage of the consultation to challenge this view.

You can read details of the full changes for Springfield, including a map, by downloading the CGR report (see item 4.35, Areas I, J and K).

We believe that the current arrangements in the unparished area are effective, convenient and reflect the residents’ identities. This excludes the previously-mentioned areas that are currently part of Great Baddow, which we have decided to make part of the unparished area.

There was support for creating parishes in this area during the consultation. However, a significant number of the responses supporting this were from individuals and organisations that do not live in the area. We must prioritise the interests of the residents in the area so have not taken this forward.

You can read details of our decisions around unparished areas by downloading the CGR report (see items 4.30.3 and 4.30.4, Areas B, C and D).

Further to review of the consultation and other factors, we have decided to remove the parish wards for Writtle.

This is because we think it would be effective and convenient, and reflect residents’ identities.

There were no responses submitted during the final stage of the consultation to challenge this view.

You can read details of our decisions for Writtle by downloading the CGR report (see item 4.28).

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Last updated: 26 September 2022