What is neighbourhood governance and why are we looking at it?

“Neighbourhood governance”, or “community governance”, is the term used to refer to local representative bodies covering a smaller area than a district or borough. Town and parish councils are examples of neighbourhood governance

Town and parish councils are the first level of local government. They empower communities by giving them a democratic voice and a structure for taking community action, as well as being able to provide some local services. Nearly every part of Fylde has a town or parish council. The only areas in the borough without one are Ansdell and Lytham. The review of neighbourhood governance allows us to consider whether there should be a town or parish council for Ansdell.

Government Guidance says that we should review neighbourhood governance every ten to fifteen years. (You can read the guidance here). As we last looked at the neighbourhood governance in 2010, it’s time to carry out another review.

Why a town council for Ansdell?

Though undoubtedly part of the wider urban area of Lytham St Annes, Ansdell has its own distinct sense of place. It has a thriving local centre focused around Woodlands Road, serving the locality. The revitalised Ansdell Institute, as well as other local institutions like churches and youth organisations, underpin the local community and demonstrate that Ansdell has an identity that is complementary to, but separate from, its neighbours.

Despite this, without a parish council Ansdell does not have a permanent, democratically accountable voice that represents the specific interests of the community. This stands in contrast with nearly all of the rest of the borough, including neighbouring St Annes. There does not seem to be a good reason why Ansdell should be at this relative disadvantage in terms of representation. A separate town council for Ansdell would be the best way of representing its interests and providing a focus for community life in the locality.

What area would an Ansdell Town Council cover?

A new parish council for Ansdell would cover the new borough council ward of Ansdell and nearly all of the new borough council ward of Park. This corresponds to the existing borough council ward of Ansdell, those parts of the existing borough council wards of Park and Fairhaven that are not in the parish of St Annes on the Sea and a small number of properties to the west of Church Drive. The area covered is shown on the plan below, outlined in RED.

We are using the reference A1 to refer to this proposal.

What would the new town council be called?

The name of the new council would initially be Ansdell Parish Council. The council itself could decide to change the geographical name of the council, for example to “Ansdell and Fairhaven”, or the style of the council, to “town”, “village” or “community”, instead of “parish”

How many town councillors would there be?

Parish councils should have between seven and 25 councillors. Most parish councils representing a population between 2,501 and 10,000 have between 9 and 16 councillors. Ansdell has a population of approximately 8,000. We are recommending that the parish council for Ansdell should have ten councillors. There would be two parish wards (corresponding to the proposed new borough council wards of Ansdell and Fairhaven and Park) and there would be five parish councillors for each ward.

Guidance from the National Association of Local Councils, endorsed in the Government  guidance, says that the minimum size for a parish council should be seven, with a maximum of 25. Having regard to this guidance and the size of existing parish councils in Fylde, we are recommending that the new parish council should have a council size of ten, and that it be divided into wards, based on the proposed borough council wards.

What do you think?

You can let us know what you think about the proposals on this page by filling in our questionnaire at https://forms.office.com/r/pg6VtqiVXD. You can also comment in the questionnaire on other changes to parishes that we are considering .If you prefer, you can send your views to: Parish Review, Fylde Council, Town Hall, St Annes Road West, Lytham St Annes FY8 1LW or email them to parishreview@fylde.gov.uk. Please reply if you can by the end by the end of March.