Histon and Impington: One community, two villages. Situated three miles north of Cambridge, they have grown and entwined together. Using OS data, the villages successfully merged to become one parish council, saving money & resources, and delivering best practice.
What were the challenges?
- Combining two separate, adjoining parish councils which acted together in decision-making with shared resources managed through a joint committee.
- The size of both parishes were significant – and larger than average to group.
- Grouped parish councils are uncommon in Cambridgeshire.
- Putting a consultation process in place to judge public opinion.
What was the solution?
Being able to show the consultation results on a map gave us confidence that we’d got the message out to the whole community – there weren’t any gaps! And that map helped convince the District Council in two ways – both as to the coverage and the presentation of a professional and thorough case.Denis Payne, Chairman of Impington Parish Council
Distribution maps were created showing the spread of voting using OS VectorMap District (OpenData) mapping, which was used in the Business Case for the single parish application. It was revealed that votes were spread uniformly with no hotspots of dissent – a key result of the geovisual analysis.
It was also revealed that the level of support fell short of the 10% needed to force a full Community Governance Review. This saved administrative time and costs, too.
What were the benefits?
- South Cambridgeshire District Council granted the grouping order and Histon & Impington Parish Council came into being from 1 April 2012.
- Saving of £8,000 as a result of not opting to go with conducting a full Community Governance Review.
- The parish boundaries are retained separately; it is only the administration that became a joint venture, thereby ensuring community identities are retained.
- A more efficient governance of the Grouped Parish as well as a saving in time and resources for Parish, District and County Councillors
- Best Practice is now implemented across both parishes simultaneously as opposed to independently.