Two new councils are in the process of being created for the central area of Eastleigh.
A recent public consultation exercise – part of the community governance review (CGR) - indicated that householders in Eastleigh town centre and surrounding neighbourhoods are strongly in favour of more locally focused decision-making – and Borough Councillors responded by approving the creation of two new local councils: a Town Council for central Eastleigh and a Parish Council for Boyatt Wood; with both areas seen as having clear and separate identities.
More than 80 percent of residents who responded to the CGR survey, carried out in December and January said they wanted a new tier of local democracy: 51 per cent of the 872 respondents favoured the creation of a new single parish or town council to cover the whole unparished area, with 33 per cent wanting a new parish or town council just for their neighbourhood. Other stakeholders, including surrounding and relevant parish, district, city and county councils, businesses and community organisations were also consulted.
The consultation is part of Eastleigh Borough Council’s commitment to give residents greater ownership and control over the services and facilities delivered on their behalf. By creating a new, more local tier of government, the CGR brings the Eastleigh town area into line with the ten other parish and town councils across the Borough. Residents will be given a greater say in how the budget for local services - such as the maintenance of open spaces and play areas, and the management of community buildings and cemeteries - is spent.
The new Boyatt Wood Parish Council will cover the area west of the Eastleigh-Winchester railway line (which forms an obvious boundary) and to the east of Twyford Road (excluding Dutton Lane and Barton Road), with the remaining parts of the unparished town centre area forming a separate Eastleigh Town Council.
A working group has now been set up to consider a range of issues, including warding arrangements (with five wards planned for Eastleigh Town Council and three for Boyatt Wood Parish Council) , the range of assets and services that will transfer to the ownership and management of the new councils, and the initial level of council tax precepts.
A shadow council will then be formed for each area this year, pending elections of new parish and town councillors which should take place in May next year.
A copy of the legal Order that creates the new councils, a map and supporting information can be found here.