Becoming a Community Councillor
The Role of the Community Council
Community Councils are the most local tier of statutory representation in Scotland, but are voluntary bodies with have statutory duties in terms of licensing and planning. Their purpose is to ascertain and express the views of the community on a wide range of issues. They bridge the gap between the council and communities, helping to make public bodies aware of the opinions and needs of the communities they represent and influence decisions in planning, provision of local services and policies. Many Community Councils also involve themselves in a wide range of other activities including fundraising, organising community events, undertaking environmental and educational projects amongst others.
The Role of a Community Council Member
The role of a Community Council member is extremely diverse. Most Community Council members are active people who engage with other agencies, organisation and members of their community to ensure that the views are represented when a subject is being discussed or a public consultation is being responded to. Members could be involved in activities as varied as checking on a planning application, responding to a consultation, lobbying elected members and politicians for change, involvement in a Community Asset Transfer (transfer of buildings or land to communities) or even weeding flower-beds. Most members have an interest in specific areas like planning, environmental issues and climate change, education, licensing and road and rail infrastructure. Where members who have an interest in a specific subject usually lead, undertake work consulting with the public and then inform the Community Council of their findings. Views are then used in response to consultation or are passed on to the suitable agency and to elected members.
Am I eligible to become a Community Council member?
To become a community council member you must qualify to be nominated to stand for election to a specific community council. A candidate must:
- be 16 years of age or over (by the date of the close of nominations).
- be registered as an elector on the local government electoral register in the area which the community council operates
- be resident in the community council area for which he/she is being nominated.
- not be an elected member of a local authority or parliament
- not be subject to any other disqualification e.g. bankrupt or convicted with a sentence of more than 3 months within the last 5 years