Community Councils are the most local tier of statutory representation in Scotland. They bridge the gap between local authorities and communities, and help to make public bodies aware of the opinions and needs of the communities they represent. There are around 1,200 active Community Councils in Scotland.
Community Council background
Community Councils were created by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973. The Act required local authorities to introduce Community Council schemes for their area outlining various arrangements including elections, meetings, boundaries, and finance. Local authorities have statutory oversight of Community Councils and are required by statute to consult Community Councils about planning applications and licencing matters.
Community Council Short-Life Working Group
As part of on-going engagement with stakeholders with an interest in strengthening and developing Community Councils across Scotland, the Scottish Government established a short-life working group. Following advice from the Group, a survey of Community Councils was carried out by the Scottish Government in October 2012 and published in December 2013. The survey was designed to gain a better overview and understanding of how Community Councils operate and the types of support that are being provided for them. The Group's final report and recommendations, provides further information.
Community Council Website
A recommendation from the Short-Life Working Group included the need for enhanced communication to encourage and enable the sharing of good practice, support and experience with stakeholders. Other recommendations included the need for Local Authority information and support for Community Councils to be more publicly available, and that Community Councils need to be more inclusive and representative of the communities they live in.
In response to these recommendations a Community Council website was created to provide a national digital source of information with the Community Council Location Finder, designed by Edinburgh Napier University.
Guidance for Community Councils
Guidance documents provide model frameworks on good practice for both local authorities and Community Councils. They are available in word and pdf formats from Publications.