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In launching this review Dorset Council asked Parishes to liaise with residents, here is some information which we recommend you read and discuss with others.

A Community Governance Review is a legal process whereby Dorset Council will consult with those living in the area, and other interested parties, on the most suitable ways of representing the people in the parishes identified in the Review. 

NOTE: confusingly “parishes” refers to both Parish Councils and Town Councils.

Parish Councils across the Dorset Council area typically comprise of elected/co-opted Councillors who are volunteers, not politically affiliated, arrange many local services within the parish, and simply represent the views of their residents as informed by Parish consultations and surveys.  Parish Councillors generally do not pay themselves allowances and are supported by part-time salaried Parish Clerks.

Town Councils across the Dorset Council area typically comprise of elected Councillors who are largely, but not wholly, affiliated to political parties. Town Councils provide local services often as the Local Centre. Town Councillors generally pay themselves allowances, within agreed protocols, and are supported by a  team of salaried officers.

The Consultation is open to electors, Councils and others within Dorset Council.

It is primarily about electoral representation and not about Council taxes (but see ** Caution below).

You can make a variety of suggestions:

  • the merging or abolishing of councils,

  • the number of Councillors,

  • changes to boundaries, etc., or respond with no changes at all.

It is important that you take this opportunity to make your representations so that the views of ALL are considered not just those who do complete the survey.

**Caution: Whilst Dorset Council have stated that the amount of money that a “parish” raises through your council tax (known as “precept) cannot be changed the Council’s Legal & Democratic Services Dept., have confirmed that a consequence of a boundary change between a Parish Council and a Town Council could be that your full Council Tax is substantially increased to the relevant Town Council level.

Equally the reverse could be the case if a change results in you finding yourself within a Parish Council boundary having been transferred from within a Town Council boundary.

Precepts are the amount of funding received by both Parish & Town Councils from YOUR council taxes.

Across the Dorset Council area the amount of a Town Council element of the precept can be 5x that of Parish Councils.

For those living within many Town Council boundaries this can result in YOUR full council taxes (which includes Dorset Council, Fire, Police etc.) being some £200 per annum higher than if you were living within a Parish Council boundary.

If you happen to live in an area where boundary changes may arbitrarily be made without YOUR consent you could find that you no longer live within a Parish Council boundary but have been transferred to within a Town Council boundary or vice versa.

NOTE: The level of precept variation between differing Parish Councils is much lower so any consequent change in YOUR Council Tax as a result of a boundary change between two Parish Councils would be less significant.

Compare your current Parish precept levels on this Dorset Council website page.

What happens next? 

The initial Consultation, which includes an option for no change to boundaries etc., closes on 28th October.

This will be followed by consideration of responses by Dorset Council.

Draft recommendations are scheduled to be published by Dorset Council on 20th December for further consultation by electors, Town & Parish Councils, local groups, and other stakeholders. This Consultation will be open for a period of 10 weeks until February 2022.

Dorset Council will then undertake final considerations pending the publication of the final recommendations in May 2022 with a view to any changes coming into effect in 2024.

For a detailed map of Bothenhampton & Walditch Parish visit this Dorset Website page and ZOOM in on Bothenhampton & Walditch Parish.

If you wish to find out more at Bothenhampton & Walditch Parish Council please contact us

If you want to support the retention of your Parish Council and not have the Parish absorbed by Bridport Town then please visit the Dorset Community-Governance-Review-Consultation website below and register your comments and support.

Please leave your comments and thoughts below.

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