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 Lytham.

Government Guidance says that we should review neighbourhood governance every ten to fifteen years. (You can read the guidance here [LINK to www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-governance-reviews-guidance]). As we last looked at neighbourhood governance in 2010, it’s time to carry out another review.

Why a town council for Lytham?

People in Lytham are proud of their local area. Local groups such as the Civic Society work to preserve and maintain the built environment and heritage. Others like Park View 4U have engaged and energised the local community to provide public amenities. Campaign groups have mobilised the local population in opposition to development proposals that have been perceived as threatening the character of the area.

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

What area would a Lytham Town Council cover?

A new parish council for Lytham would cover the new borough council wards of Lytham West and Lytham East. This corresponds to the existing borough council wards of Clifton and St Johns (except for 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 L1 to refer to this proposal.

What would the new town council be called?

The name of the new council would initially be Lytham Parish Council. The council itself could decide to change 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. Lytham has a population of approximately 9,000. We are recommending that the parish council for Lytham should have ten councillors. There would be two parish wards (corresponding to the proposed new borough council wards of Lytham West and Lytham East) and there would be five parish councillors for each ward.

What do you think?

You can let us know what you think about the proposal 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.