"Leading a campaign to establish a local council is a journey, not a race".
To establish a local council, you need to trigger a Community Governance Review. A Community Governance Review can be triggered by either the principal authority themselves or by the community, through the submission of a petition. The number of minimum signatures required varies according to the size of the population. If the petition area:
Once the petition gathers the required number of signatures, it can be submitted to the principal authority, who will validate the signatures and, provided that the minimum threshold is met, will conduct a Community Governance Review within 12 months of submission. During this time, the principal authority will launch a consultation, asking residents to state whether they are in favour or against the establishment of a local council. At the end of the consultation period, the council will review residents' responses before reaching a decision. If the principal authority decides in favour of a parish council, it will also set the date for the first election.
It is important to keep momentum between these different stages. Your work isn't done once you have submitted your petition. It is your job to make sure that residents are well informed and vote during the consultation period. If the principal authority decides in favour of a local council, it is likely that the first elections will be months away. Your campaign group needs to make sure that residents don't lose interest during this time, encouraging people to stand for elections.
It is important to maintain a good working relationship with your principal authority throughout the campaign — you really need them on your side. ChALC can also assist, and it will be helpful to get in touch with us early in your campaign.