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About community governance reviews


What is a community governance review?

Principal councils (district councils or unitary councils) have the power to carry out community governance reviews and put in place or make changes to local community (parish) governance arrangements.

However, we retain the responsibility for making any related alterations to district ward or county division boundaries following a parish boundary change. Community governance reviews replace the parish reviews that principal authorities undertook under the Local Government and Rating Act 1997.

A review can consider a number of issues, including:

  • whether to create a new parish
  • whether to alter the boundary of an existing parish
  • whether to group a number of parishes together in a grouped parish council

Local people can petition a principal council to undertake a community governance review. A principal council must undertake a review if the relevant conditions in relation to the petition are met.

The principal authority is responsible for setting the terms of reference of any review and must also undertake consultation when considering what changes to make.

Our powers

The Commission has responsibility for changing the ward or division boundaries following a community governance review. These are called 'consequential changes'. Proposals for consequential changes should be consulted on as part of a review and the recommendation made to the Commission. The Commission is then responsible for making the changes to the wards or divisions.


Local authorities conducting, or considering conducting, a community governance review should refer to our joint guidance with the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The legislative framework is found in Part 4 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 (PDF)

Parish electoral arrangements and Electoral Changes Orders and Order maps 

An 'Order' is a legal document that brings into force change to, in this case, parish electoral arrangements. Orders made by us, or our predecessor the Boundary Committee for England, to implement parish petitions and parish reviews under the Local Government and Rating Act 1997, and any maps referred to in those Orders, are listed below. Each Order and Order map is in PDF format.

These were the reviews conducted under old legislation (before 2008). Local authorities are now responsible for implementing electoral arrangements.

Visit the Adobe website if you need technical assistance on using PDF readers to view these maps.