SWINDON Council is to reconsider its decision to create a new parish council for Nythe.

And Stratton Parish Council is seeking legal advice to potentially challenge the controversial move.

Swindon Council agreed on April 11 to cut off 1,138 homes from Stratton parish to create a new Nythe Parish Council from May 2014, after councillors Dale Heenan and Richard Hurley (Con, Covingham and Dorcan), said it would cut council tax, improve services, and boost local accountability.

The change is part of Swindon Council’s community governance review, which aims to ensure every parish council or meeting reflects the identities and interests of the community, and is effective and convenient.

But Stratton Parish Council has questioned the legal and rational basis, pointing out that petitions showed most residents were against a new Nythe parish and saying the Conservative-led full council went against a recommendation from the Conservative-led community governance review group.

Stratton Parish Council held an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday. It originally intended to decide whether to take legal action to overturn the decision, but this was postponed following an email from Stephen Taylor, Swindon Council’s director of law and democratic services.

It reads: “So far as next steps are concerned, I am seeking to arrange a meeting of the corporate governance review working group to consider the decision of council and see whether it wishes to make any recommendations which can then be considered at a special council meeting.

“I would hope that the CGRWG can meet during the next fortnight and special council be scheduled to meet early in June.

“On that basis, I would suggest that Stratton St Margaret Parish Council may wish to await the outcome of the CGRWG and special council before proceeding.”

Stratton parish clerk Paul Russell said the parish council had allocated £2,500 to pay a legal expert for advice on a potential challenge, if Swindon Council does not overturn the decision.

He said: “We’re going to seek initial legal advice from an expert in local government law to advise us on the best course of action.

“And if nothing changes, if we were to decide as a council to go to judicial review, we only have a limited time to bring that action against Swindon Borough Council.”

Parish chairman John Foley said: “We’re hoping it will be overturned but not expecting it to be because of the political aspects of it. It’s nothing to do with local governance, it’s to do with politics.”

Stephen Taylor was unavailable yesterday to explain why steps were being taken to review the decision.