What is a Community Council?

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 the freedom to tailor schemes to the particular circumstances of their area.

Local authorities and other bodies consult with community councils on issues affecting the community. These issues depend to a large extent on what is important to each community, however local authorities are required to consult community councils on planning applications and involve them in the Community Planning process.

There are currently around 1200 community councils in Scotland, all composed of elected volunteers from the community.

In Scotland community councils have fewer powers than their English or Welsh counterparts. There are around 1,200 CCs in Scotland, some of which represent several communities within their boundary.

Community councils were introduced in 1975 under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973. The duty was placed on the newly established district councils to prepare an establishment scheme to divide their district into community council areas. In 1996 this duty passed to the present area councils. All of Scotland has had community council areas delineated, the numbers and boundaries of which can be altered by the area council. However not all communities have community councils, which in Scotland are statutory and only exist if local people are willing to stand for election. They are officially stated to be “non-party-political and non-sectarian” in their discussions and decision making. Community councils must adopt a constitution stating the name of the community council and dealing with such matters as the frequency of meetings, office bearers, method of election, finance and standing orders.