Recommendation approved for no changes to be made to a parish council near Banbury
The Cherwell District Council recently approved a recommendation there should be no changes made to Adderbury Parish Council, and it should not be split and the village divided.
The CDC set up a 'Working Group' in May 2020 to examine a proposal to create a new parish council for West Adderbury. This followed a petition from West Adderbury Residents Association and the plan meant separating West Adderbury from the existing parish. There were two formal consultation stages during the review.
The Working Group concluded that given the level of opposition to the proposals during the consultations, the recommendation was made to the full council that no changes be made to the existing parish area of Adderbury, and the number of parish councillors remain at 12.
Following the consultation it was clear that residents of Adderbury did not want a split to take place, with 553 of the 739 submitted responses disagreeing with the proposal.
The Adderbury Parish Council issued the following statement on the decision: "The parish council is pleased at this decision because it confirms the fact that the current parish council is working very well.
"The current councillors live in all areas of the village (including six in west Adderbury) and do their best for all areas of the village. There is no separate ‘village’ of west Adderbury. We are one village.
"In the last couple of years, when residents were misled to believe the parish council was not functioning properly, in fact, the opposite is true. Councillors work very hard for the community, usually completely under the radar. This included going out in the poor weather over the Christmas period to assist residents around the Lucy Plackett Playing Field, who needed sand bags and putting in many hours to bring traffic calming measures to the village.
"Councillors have also established many volunteer initiatives, including ‘Paint Means Poo’ (addressing dog waste), Snow Wardens among others."
"There is no need for dividing and splitting the village or the parish council. If that had happened, the community would have been the poorer for that decision. It is now important that everyone accepts the result of Cherwell District Council’s democratic decision.
"The parish council now calls on all residents to move forward as one united village and work with the parish council on all the really positive projects which are happening in Adderbury."
The West Adderbury Residents Association (WARA) issued the following statement in response to the CDC decision: "Far from trying to 'split the village,' the petition for a Community Governance Review was submitted in an effort to reinstate the parish council that West Adderbury had up until 1972.
"At a time when Adderbury was a much smaller village, we had two parish councils, each making decisions on what was appropriate and best for residents on their side of the village. Adderbury has grown massively over the last decade, and many believe it is simply no longer practical for a single parish council - however well-run, or not, it is - to represent all areas of what is now a very large village.
"The petition signed by almost 200 residents - some WARA members, some not - specifically requested that Cherwell DC looked at whether the current governance of West Adderbury reflects the needs and identity of West Adderbury residents, and whether it is effective and convenient.
"These are the criteria set out in law for consideration during a CGR. The petition made it clear that West Adderbury is a minority which is often outvoted by the majority in the rest of the parish. This is fine when the vote is on issues that affect the whole of Adderbury, but when West Adderbury is outvoted on issues that only affect West Adderbury, this seems very unfair."