New burdens community governance review fund

The New Burdens Community Governance Review Fund 2016-17 is a fund to help local authorities facilitate communities who want to set up new town and parish councils do so. The fund was first introduced in 2015-16 by Government following the introduction of changes to legislation.

Make a bid

Local authorities are invited to bid for a share of the Community Governance Review Fund. Eligibility criteria are laid out in the guidance document but local authorities are not subject to any restrictions on how they conduct any governance reviews nor are they restricted to the number of bids submitted for areas within their control.

For further information download the full guidance document with instructions as to how to bid for the Community Governance Review Fund and the application form from the GOV.UK website.

About the fund

The fund helps councils deal with the potential rise in Community Governance Reviews due to changes in legislation and cover any costs they may incur as a result of the new measures to increase local democracy.

New measures were introduced in March 2015 to improve the Community Governance Review process, the process by which a local authority decides about whether changes are needed to local governance arrangements, including the creation of new parish councils. The changes followed public consultations which found that existing legislation required was too burdensome and bureaucratic, and discouraged local campaigners from establishing a parish or town council. The measures help to give communities a greater say in how their local neighbourhood is governed.

The measures introduced have:

  • lowered the threshold of signatures required to trigger a review of governance from 10 per cent to 7.5 per cent of residents
  • speeded up the process to create greater certainty for local campaigners by shortening the amount of time the local authority can take to complete a governance review to 12 months from receipt of a valid petition
  • allowed neighbourhood forums which have had a neighbourhood development plan passed at referendum to trigger a community governance review for a new parish council without requiring them to submit a petition

The measures have encouraged more local campaigners who wish their area to have a parish council to submit petitions; this is likely to lead to a rise in principal councils being required to carry out community governance reviews. The Department for Communities and Local Government has committed funds to help local authorities that are required to undertake governance reviews as a direct result of the new measures, to meet the additional burden where they would not have had to carry out a review under the old rules.

Relevant links

Making it easier to set up new town and parish councils: Consultation (31 October 2012 12:00am to 9 January 2013) and Government response (9 September 2013)

Proposal to use a legislative reform order to set up town and parish councils: Consultation on a proposal to use a legislative reform order for making it easier to set up new town and parish councils (27 March 2014 until 22 May 2014) and the draft legislative reform order for making it easier to set up new town and parish councils, the government response to the consultation on a proposal to use a legislative reform order for making it easier to set up a new town and parish council:

Modelling devolution – working together to deliver local services: a joint publication from the LGA and National Association of Local Councils (NALC), describing five models of how principal councils are devolving services to a more local level.

8 June 2016