Community council review launched

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By Mark Davey and Hannah O’Hanlon

Earlier this year Campbeltown Community Council encouraged people to join and serve. Its plea was successful and three members were co-opted. Some community councils are more active than others – members of the public often go to East Kintyre and West Kintyre to make their views heard.

A community council is the first stage of democracy and will advise on many matters including planning.

In addition, with wind farm trusts now well established and often run as council sub-committees, there is often cash to be disbursed. The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 requires each local authority to have in place a scheme for the establishment of community councils in its area.

The Act also states that councils should review their scheme by giving public notice of their proposals and inviting community councils and the public to make representation to the council regarding the proposals.

Against this background Argyll and Bute Council is reviewing its scheme for the establishment of community councils and has launched a consultation to seek the views of the public.

There are 56 community councils in Argyll and Bute covering the whole council geographical area, representing urban, rural and island communities.

Councillor Robin Currie, Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Communities, said: ‘Community councils play an extremely important role in local democracy by bridging the gap between the local authority and its communities.

‘The community councils help to ensure the council and other public agencies are aware of the opinions and needs of the communities it represents.

‘The feedback of the local people of Argyll and Bute is extremely important in letting the council know if proposals for community councils continue to be fit for purpose.
‘Community councils offer local people the opportunity to make a difference in the place where they live, from organising local galas or events, conducting local opinion surveys, campaigning on local issues, developing projects to improve their local area and commenting on planning or licensing applications.

‘We look forward to hearing from our communities and finding out what matters to them as the newly formed community councils will represent their collective views for the next four years and it is important that we have the framework in place to provide for this.’

To comment go to the consultation page on the council website – uk/consultations/review- scheme-establishment- community-councils-2017

Consultation documents are also available in the Aqualibrium.
Forthcoming community council meetings in Kintyre are as follows: East Kintyre: September 7, 7pm, Carradale village hall; West Kintyre: September 18, 7.30pm, Tayinloan village hall; Campbeltown: September 12, 7.30pm, Red Cross hall; The Laggan: November 13, 7.30pm, Drumlemble primary school; Southend: September 27, 8pm, Dunaverty hall and Gigha was unable to give the date of its next meeting, the Gigha Heritage Trust meets on September 18.