Community Councils - Why are they not working for communities?

I have lived here for 12 years and during all of that time I have seen my community council reduced and decimation by an ongoing budget cuts, lack of community support, public apathy, no support from Central Government (apart from continual and extremely annoying 'Consultation' about what do you want), being completely ignored by local authority councillors and officers.  You had an extremely strong and well supported Community Empowerment tool in your hands and you 'Dropped It'.

Why the contribution is important

Because community spirit it dying.

by Ardgay on June 25, 2018 at 04:52PM

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Comments

  • Posted by LocalGovernanceAdmin June 28, 2018 at 09:22

    Thanks for your comment. Community Councils should be an important part of this discussion – how would you like to see them, or any other local decision making body, empowered to make a difference?
  • Posted by SimonBrooke August 21, 2018 at 11:43

    Community Councils have no powers and no independent revenue, and that's part of the reason they lack public engagement, are vulnerable to elite or closed-group capture, and are failing.

    Community Councils are also often organised for the convenience of the beaurocracy and not that of the communities they serve; for instance, several otherwise unrelated villages are commonly being lumped together as a single community council area.

    The solution is to transfer most or all powers and revenue from existing councils to community council level; to allow community councils to form voluntary collectives to run public services which transcend community boundaries; and for community council boundaries to be altered only by local referenda.
  • Posted by MJReid August 26, 2018 at 18:01

    Community Councils need to be fully accessible to and inclusive of their local communities. They need a budget to do this as well as training in how to be fully inclusive. It should not be up to individual members to bring this knowledge/skills to the table. There needs to be a funding package available for each Council to ensure this takes place.
  • Posted by JohnnyM September 05, 2018 at 20:28

    Agree with MJ Reid. Also believe that community councils need to be given genuine powers and funding - without either I believe increased empowerment will be an aspiration without any real prospect of attainment. They will continue to be largely irrelevant on significant local decisions.

    In reality, both national and local government appear to fear enhanced local decision making..
  • Posted by Gingerwill September 10, 2018 at 20:21

    As pointed out previously and as we are talking about Local Democracy

    There are not elected by the local community.

    You find that they are dominated time after time by the same people with their own agenda
  • Posted by SuzieQue September 18, 2018 at 19:30

    I agree with Gingerwill's basic thrust.

    I am reluctant to criticize Community Councils as I believe that a large number of those who become involved do so out of a desire to try to make things better.

    But..... they are not elected, and they are not accountable. They have no obligation, or indeed incentive, to act in a way which is representative of all local people (and as has already been said elsewhere we don't necessarily have much in common just because we live close together geographically).

    As such I would oppose giving them more powers until there is an obligation for contested elections, based on accessible manifestos. Powers should not be given without checks and balances. Checks and balances are a cornerstone of democracy, designed to stop any one individual of group becoming too powerful.

     Although civil servants have come in for some criticism in these posts, I believe that they are an essential 'check and balance' - professional financial and legal advice is essential, as is access to professional advice on whatever the subject of a decision is. There needs to be some form of individual responsibility for decisions taken, to ensure that decisions are taken in good faith, after due diligence, with regard to all relevant information.

    The present Community Council set up does not provide a sound framework to ensure the level of accountability necessary for anyone who puts themselves forward as a community representative, or the support necessary for sound decision making. For this reason no further powers should be devolved to Community Councils in their current form, or to any similar body.
  • Posted by LocalGovernanceAdmin September 20, 2018 at 10:22

    Thank you to everyone who has comments. It's particularly important to us that we hear some suggested solutions to the issues being raised, which certainly seem to be emerging on this thread. We're interested to hear from others who have any thoughts on "Community Councils - Why are they not working for communities?" (great topic raised by Ardgay!)
  • Posted by Lal September 20, 2018 at 10:56

    I've never heard about my local community council, I have no idea who they are, what they do or even if they exist. If more decision making is going to be devolved to community councils then there needs to be an obligation on them to reach out to their local communities.

    Suzieque refers to the need to have a framework for accountability for anyone who puts themselves forward as a community representative etc - isn't this what we already have through our system of local Councillors?
  • Posted by mikevickers September 26, 2018 at 23:44

    I am a member of our local Community Council and whenever asked as to the role of the Community Council I report our role as stated in the Local Government (Scotland) Act of 1973
    “The statutory purposes of community councils established under the Model Scheme are set out in Section 51 (2) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, as follows: -
     ‘’In addition to any other purpose which a community council may pursue, the general purpose of a community council shall be to ascertain, co-ordinate and express to the local authorities for its area, and to public authorities, the views of the community which it represents, in relation to matters for which those authorities are responsible, and to take such action in the interests of that community as appears to it to be expedient and practicable’’ “
    Superficially we have all we need to act as an erstwhile Town Council. In particular we can “take such action in the interests of that community as appears to it to be expedient and practicable’’.
    In practice we have no such power. We can and do “ascertain, co-ordinate and express to the local authorities for its area, and to public authorities, the views of the community”. However, with few exceptions the Local Authority takes no cognisance of the views of the community as we express. Indeed, in most cases the Local Authority does not even acknowledge our expression.
    A comment was made previously that our role surely is the role of our elected representative councillors. Whilst this is partly true, our councillors have expressed to me that as elected councillors their responsibility is to the Local Authority as a whole rather than to our local Town.
    I also find it extremely disappointing that we are excluded to participate in our Local Area Committee made up as it is of our Councillors and Local Authority Officials. We are merely allowed to listen to them reporting to each other on matters relating to the Town as they see it. There is no opportunity for us to follow up directly on “ascertain, co-ordinate and express to the local authorities for its area, and to public authorities, the views of the community”.
    BTW I was elected to the Community Council.
  • Posted by KenQxcc September 30, 2018 at 16:22

    I believe that Community Councils are not working because they have not been given enough powers and seen as irrelevant by participants. I offer two recent examples.

    1. I am secretary of a community council and several large houses have been converted to offices in our area to the extent there are many large multi coloured billboards down the main road in our area advertising "empty office space". (We are in Aberdeen with a very large amount of empty office space.) We protest when yet other Planning application goes in from a developer asking for yet another private house to be converted to offices. We always are overruled by the Council Planning Dept who advise Councillors to allow the application which they do. This is despite the first planning policy criteria "that the development must have due consideration for its context and make a positive contribution to its setting" and 'Does not have an unacceptable impact on the character or amenity of
    the surrounding area", and of course we have no right of appeal. Hence our area is deteriorating as a residential site, and we have no power to stop the process.
    2. Despite the Empowerment Act actually referring to Community Councils as relevant Community bodies our Community Planning Unit in the Council do NOT have Community Councils as one of the community bodies which they consult. Nor do the Council have any Community Council representatives on the various committees which constitute and advise on the Local Outcome Improvement Plan.
    It was hoped the New Planning Act presently proceeding through the Scottish parliament would give added powers to communities (Local Place Plans, ERA etc) but the recent letter by Kevin Stewart on behalf of the Govt does not offer much optimism on that front. We await results from Stage 2 and 3 on the Bill.
  • Posted by mikevickers October 08, 2018 at 15:18

    I suggest, as I reported in an earlier comment, that Community Councils do have the power they require as is set out in the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973.
    But I suggest that we have never used that power to any extent with our Local Authorities. Local Authorities have no wish to listen to us: they have their own ideas as what is good for us and bring all the powers they have at their command to do as they wish. It would be interesting if a Community Council took their Local Authority to court to establish once for all a Community Council’s right to Act on behalf of their community.
    Ardgay suggests that we are well supported by the recent Community Empowerment Act; I suggest otherwise. Community Councils are indeed recognised as a Community Body within the Act but so far and no further. The key body featured in the Community Empowerment Act is the Community Planning Partnership sitting at Local Authority level; when did the Community Planning Partnership last visit your community; ours hasn’t in my memory.
    I compare the ‘democratic deficit’ in Scotland with that in other countries across Europe and Scandinavia. For those who have not read it, I commend the COSLA (yes I do mean COSLA) report on ameliorating the deficit throughout the Scottish community; https://issuu.com/cosla/docs/final_report_august_2014.
    COSLA suggest that the number of Local Authorities be increased to 100; I would prefer a three tier arrangement; a return to the Old Town Council with real power and money raised locally. But the key here is that COSLA itself recognises the failure of its limited number of Local Authorities (32) to represent the people of Scotland adequately.
  • Posted by Patricia October 17, 2018 at 21:31

    I agree with many of the comments above. I am a Community Council member having previously been a Parish Council member in England. In England all Parish Councillors could apply to attend trading courses on their role. There were also specific courses for Office Bearer roles. All these courses were invaluable. Councils received funding for projects that had been approved at local level and put forward to Distric Level and approved. The result being that we carried out meaningful Community Action Plans and implemented them. Budgets were set accordingly and money raised by a local precept which added to the local rates but was accepted by residents because they had asked for the improvements and knew they would be carried out for them.

    Our local Community Council where I now live ( and it seems the norm in Scotland), has a tiny budget, the Community Action Plan was carried out by a local charity funded by wind farm monies and which has a huge budget. The Community Council is powerless. We are having contested elections this month for the first time in many years. I believe all Community Councillors should be elected to post, not just continue because there have been insufficient applicants to the Council. Yes, they should be accountable.

    Additionally, I feel that conflict / competition can arise where there are groups with similar remits such as Community Development Trusts and Community Councils. Particularly in rural areas with small populations, residents are confused between the roles and responsibilities of the two organisations. The Scottish Government is right to move decision making closer to the local communities, but please provide the necessary funding for plans to be achieved and do not muddy the waters by promoting two organisations with overlapping purposes.

    For example I know of a Community Council area where there is a Community Council which has recently become re-energised following a contested election, a Community Development Trust - set up because the previous Community Council was perceived to be non responsive to residents needs, a town conservation group set up with aims similar to the development trust, and a few other groups as well. Lots of enthusiastic, hard working volunteers who could do so much with a well thought out and funded Community Council framework, but frustrated because Community Councils are currently seen as powerless and a waste of time.

    Please decide what you want the Community Councils to do and then give them the resources and support to carry out that function
  • Posted by MJReid October 21, 2018 at 15:47

    Yorkhill and Kelvingrove Community Council in Glasgow is an active and effective Community Council supporting the community in the area across the issues that matter most.
    The Committee (Council) volunteers gather the views of the community and put those to the Local Authority on a monthly basis. Each meeting has at least one Councillor in attendance as well as the local Community Police. This is down to the partnership working of the Committee volunteers.

    More should be done to recognise the great work that Community Councils do (I realise that not all are active or indeed, effective but many are) and the time commitment given by those on the Committees and Sub Committees. This is local democracy at its best.
  • Posted by tigger November 09, 2018 at 13:54

    Agree with gingerwill. Those CCs calling for more money and power want to set themselves up in competition with local authorities and further their own agenda, have no desire to make things better for their local communities, and though one of their statutory duties is to consult with the local community, don't do so and simply state their own desires and try to pass these off as what the community wants. In effect I think they are (in some cases, clearly not all) people who have missed out on being elected to their local council and are desperately trying to show how they can do it better but have completely missed the point that they are simply following in the footsteps of some elected councillors and furthering their own agenda, albeit their agenda is not party political it's simply to boost and salve their own egos! I don't disagree that CCs could be far more effective but I would not want to see CCs getting more power and money before legislation that makes them accountable comes into force. I think an audit of CCs to find out what benefits they have brought to their local community would be a good starting point to find out how effective they are - or not! Training and an introduction to the Code of Conduct for CCs should be mandatory for all CC members when a new CC is installed - irrespective of whether they have served previously on a CC and any Code of Conduct transgressions should be enforceable by the LA and a member could and should be asked to stand down if it is found that the transgression has been a serious one. This is not about stifling people's opinions or voices but about respect for other people and knowing that it is not part of the role of a CC to 'name and shame' another person. Sorry, bit of a soap box rant but Democracy Matters - at all levels!
  • Posted by SeanRW November 09, 2018 at 20:31

    I’ve been on my Community Council for 11 and a half years, and it’s gone through three distinct phases. The one I joined was very active in it’s own way but didn’t do much in terms of ascertaining or reflecting the views of the commmunity. Then for a short period the Community Council was effectively highjacked by a small number of people who just used it to further their own agenda. This resulted in a backlash and an actual election (the first in living memory) which pretty much cleared out the old guard. Since then we’ve very much focused on actively consulting the community on issues and communicating that.

    However that’s still problematic. Our consultations are good qualitatively but not quantatively. We establish the range of views that’s exist but what the balance of opinion is unclear, due to self-selecting respondents , campaign groups etc. And whilst the Council are sometimes responsive ( we’ve done 2 Particpation Requests with some positive response) it’s very hit and miss. Some officers clearly coudn’t care less about what the Community Council is saying to them. And we do that at a loss. Our funding doesn’t actually cover our expenses.

    And, whilst I think what we’re doing as a Community Council is what we should be doing, if we folded tomorrow I’m not sure many people would notice.
  • Posted by ST214 November 09, 2018 at 21:57

    I was a member of my local CC. I am a full-time wheelchair user and as such felt that my input could be useful. However, I could not get my wheelchair into the 'accessible' toilet in the venue which, incidentally is a Council run community centre...says it all really! As I could not guarantee that I would not have need of this essential facility during the period of time I was at the meetings, I had to stop attending. I did report this to the community centre manager and to the local councillor, who also attends these meetings.
    I think that CCs can be a useful communication tool with the local Council, as any items for action are logged, reported and followed up until conclusion. They also have details of 'the right contact' within local council so are less likely to be given the run-around or fobbed off.
  • Posted by ST214 November 09, 2018 at 21:59

    I was a member of my local CC. I am a full-time wheelchair user and as such felt that my input could be useful. However, I could not get my wheelchair into the 'accessible' toilet in the venue which, incidentally is a Council run community centre...says it all really! As I could not guarantee that I would not have need of this essential facility during the period of time I was at the meetings, I had to stop attending. I did report this to the community centre manager and to the local councillor, who also attends these meetings.
    I think that CCs can be a useful communication tool with the local Council, as any items for action are logged, reported and followed up until conclusion. They also have details of 'the right contact' within local council so are less likely to be given the run-around or fobbed off.
  • Posted by desmartin November 12, 2018 at 09:50

    Participation requests. Agree with Sean
    What is the use of having a tool such as a participation request if the local council does everything in its power to ignore them.
    CC need mandatory powers that for certain requests or consultations the views or data collected will be recorded and quantified with the local Council
    KenQxcc on 30th Sept previous post summarises the key issues in his two points needing addressed. Thanks Ken
  • Posted by SeanRW November 12, 2018 at 13:43

    Going back to the Participation Request, we submitted one shortly after the legislation to effect and the initial response from Council Officers was fairly positive. Legal were a bit wary as there were issues of confidentiality about the process we were trying to be involved in, but we got agreement on consultation on a particular issue. The problem was that the Council's in-house consultation team took over. They had no understanding of our position and role, no interest in involving us in any meaningful way on designing the consultation itself, and disregarded our suggestions. We had to threaten to walk away before they reluctantly agreed to an on-line consultation in addition to focus groups, and then proceeded to word one in a way that was guaranteed to wind people up. The transcripts of the focus groups also demonstrate how poorly facilitated they were, with officers not really having a grasp of the facts of the situation. The process was so poor that we ended up running our own separate consultation in parallel, which wouldn't have been necessary if the Council had constructed their own consultation properly.

    I don't mind that Community Council's don't actually have decision making powers, but I'd like the resources to effectively consult, and I'd like Officers and Councillors to listen to what we're telling them, especially when we evidence what steps we've taken to consult and ascertain people's views.
  • Posted by SeanRW November 12, 2018 at 14:13

    I've another example of the inadequacy of consultation.

    The Council undertakes a review of our Conservation Area Character Appraisal. The consultation isn't particularly well promoted or designed to appeal to people in general. It only really generates responses from the local heritage organisations, which is fair enough, but that represents a very niche demographic. However Officers have committed to publicising by social media, have material on-line etc. for the final consultation when the draft plan is produced.

    Once that is in place they send out flyers notifying people of a one-off drop in event, with no additional information at all. No web page, link to a consultation form or the draft CACA itself. I look on-line at the Council's Consultation Hub and sure enough can't find a consultation for the CACA. I e-mail Councillors pointing this out only to be copied in on an indignant reply from the Consultation Team that it is indeed on the Consultation Hub.

    I look again and this time manage to find a link to the information. However, all they've done is added a link to the original consultation that's listed as closed. The only link to the live consultation, which they've not advertised the existence of on their flyer, is a footnote to a consultation that's archived. How did they expect anyone to find that?

    The City of Edinburgh's Consultation Team couldn't consult their way out of a paper bag.

  • Posted by JimmyS November 13, 2018 at 17:15

    Community Councils were set up to consult with their community and in my area the CC consults by facebook and emails. If you haven't joined their list then you effectively do not count. The CC wastes money and then complains that they need more - but for what? If more powers are to be shared from existing councils then the whole system needs to be redesigned rather than simply messing with something that is run by volunteers and is hi-jacked and controlled by a clique. If a suggestion comes from a member of the public then it is shouted down.
  • Posted by mikevickers November 20, 2018 at 21:01

    To SimonBrooke: "The solution is to transfer most or all powers and revenue from existing councils to community council level; to allow community councils to form voluntary collectives to run public services which transcend community boundaries; and for community council boundaries to be altered only by local referenda". I'm a total supporter of Community Councils but I recognise that whilst Community Councils remain staffed with volunteers they would not be a position to run public services. I am all for Community Councils to be elevated to the old Town Councils and in this respect I note the capabilities provide to Town Councils in England and I instance Penrith:
    https://www.penrithtowncouncil.co.uk/[…]/10-260218-Budget-2018-19-1.pdf.
    I would however suggest that a balance is required as to what is maintained at Local Authority Level and what is delegated to Community Councils. Our submission to the Democracy matters consultation suggested;
    "The distribution of functions between the Local Authority and their Town
    Councils would need careful balancing and the balance could vary from Town to Town. Refuse collection is likely to remain centralised whilst social housing, community facilities, street cleaning, parks and gardens, for example could be distributed. "
  • Posted by mikevickers November 20, 2018 at 21:17

    To Gingerwill: "You will find they are dominated time after time by the same people with their own agenda". I do not deny that there is a lot of truth in that the same people are in many of the town's organisations. This because voluntary organisations cannot pay staff salaries and must depend on retirees. This will only change with the establishment of formal paid organisations in the town, such as would occur with the reestablishment of Town Councils. In Linlithgow, we have the Community Council, The Community Development Trust, The Town Management Group, two BIDS and more. There remains a desire of all these groups to continue, although maintained by a lot of the same people. It could be desirable that an overarching organisation be established to provide coordination. It has been said that Linlithgow fails to get things done because it can never proposals that are agreed by all.
    In this respect we plan to investigate East Lothian's Partnership.
  • Posted by mikevickers November 20, 2018 at 21:27

    To Lai: "isn't this what we already have through our system of local Councillors". Whilst this could be true, I suggest it isn't working in practice in West Lothian. Ward Councillors are ex-officio members of our Community Council but do not fully participate in meetings.
    West Lothian has a separate structure of Local Area Committees at which Ward Councillors meet with Council Officers and discuss progress of Town Issues, many of which are relevant to our Community Council. However, as Standing Orders stand, members of the public may attend Committee meetings but may not question or comment on the proceedings.
    Individual private matters are, of course, discussed with Ward Councillors but these are largely personal.
  • Posted by mikevickers November 20, 2018 at 21:36

    To Patricia: "there are groups with similar remits as Community Development Trusts and Community Councils". I agree. As we said in our submission to the Democracy Matters Consultation "Community Development Trust aims is To make Linlithgow a better place to live and work, through a community led plan of action which provides services, amenities and/or financial support to local initiatives’ , ie potentially subsuming every aspect of life in the Town."
    I submit that these words could be equally applicable to the Community Council. We are in discussion with the Community Development Trust to see how best to resolve this overlap.
    I can only add that this was one of the consequences of the Community Empowerment Act that only recognised Community Councils in the final stage of that Bill.
  • Posted by mikevickers November 20, 2018 at 21:42

    To tigger: "Training and an introduction to the Code of Conduct for CCs should be mandatory for all members when a new CC is installed". It is in Linlithgow and is set ou in the Local Authority's Scheme for Community Councils. The legal need can be found in Local Communities Act under 52 Schemes point 2(c)
  • Posted by mikevickers November 20, 2018 at 21:48

    To SeanRW: " And whilst the Council are sometimes responsive ( we’ve done 2 Particpation Requests with some positive response) it’s very hit and miss. Some officers clearly couldn't care less about what the Community Council is saying to them". I'm afraid I agree with SeanRW. In a number of cases having carried out consultations, in line with our purpose, these have not even been acknowledged by the Local Authority.
  • Posted by Fleuch November 29, 2018 at 11:38

    Community Councils operate under and empowered by a Scheme of Establishment unique to each local authority. The document sets out the minimum requirements for the democratic operation of a community council, such as taking decisions at a public meeting. However in one instance, the only part of the Scheme that the local authority enforces is the election process every four years.

    The problem arises when a community council fails to comply with the Code of Conduct and the Standing Orders set out in the Scheme of Establishment. When this has been communicated to the local authority it has responded that it does not have the authority to take "punitive action" - whatever this might mean.

    TheScheme of Establishment is a document written by the local authority and it should be able to exercise oversight over the provisions set out within that document as a whole, not select the few that it wishes to enforce. It is not about taking punitive action, it is about ensuring that the requirements for a democratic body are upheld.

    The local authority provides a modest grant for the running of each community council, so in that respect it has the duty to ensure that the any decision to spend that money is arrived at according to the procedures set out in the Scheme of Establishment. A number of (mainly rural) community councils also have significant income from various community benefit trust funds. As the name implies it should be for the benefit of the community, and decided by the community how that funding is used, not by a community council chair outwith a public meeting.

    The democratic structure of both community councils and community planning partnerships need to be included any any re-design of local democratic structures. As a democratic body the conduct of a community council should be subject to the requirements of the Standards Commission and Audit Scotland, with the local authority being obliged to oversee the democratic process.
  • Posted by Aspinall November 29, 2018 at 15:03

    It is difficult for many community councils to show how they actually reflect the views of the whole community as the members are volunteers and often not supported by the local authority. There is also confusion about whether they should reflect the breadth of views within the community or arrive at some consensus or majority view. Often this depends on the whim or bias of the controlling clique in power. For instance, for one planning application, the Chair proposed writing a letter of support when the views of other community council members showed a majority against this. The Chair had to be forced into taking a vote by a member of the public. On another occasion the same Chair refused to hear any comments from those present forcing through his own view regardless of the results from a public consultation.
  • Posted by Cleisthenes November 30, 2018 at 17:04

    Community councils are way past their sell-by date. The one in my area is led by a clique of three who took it over with their cronies for a single issue and is basically self-selected and unelected. However, they cannot even be bothered to run it properly: agendas are rarely issued on time, apologies are not read out and recorded at the start of meetings, minutes are not approved and meetings are chaotic and badly chaired. Barely half of the membership turn up for meetings, there have been several resignations that have not even been announced at meetings and they refuse to fill the vacancies Members of the public are made to feel unwelcome, made to wait for ages to speak and have at times been shouted down by the chair. Newcomers to the area have observed that there is an “us and them” atmosphere at the meetings.

    They have run a number of biassed consultations, at times containing factually incorrect information, designed to garner the results they want and they circulate these consultations to the same group of followers every time, ignoring people who are not online or on Facebook. At times they have refused to object to planning applications even though their consultation showed a clear result for objection. They have also resorted to pressurising council officers and councillors into making the decisions they want. They have basically abused their power. The majority of them are white, middle-class, middle-aged males who are hostile to anyone who dares to challenge them or hold them to account. They have had at least one secret, unminuted meeting with developers over major planning applications after which they have gone on to promote said planning applications, sometimes acting as mouthpieces for developers. They see this consultation as a way of arguing for more power and money for themselves in order to have a disproportionate influence on the local area. Community councils do not work and a new form of local representation and decision making is required.
  • Posted by positivity November 30, 2018 at 22:11

    completely agree with you, Cleisthenes. I've witnessed similar behaviour in a local Community Council meeting. The board have got themselves into these positions of power which may not seem powerful to an onlooker but I too am aware of this power being misused in order to gain personal benefits. As you say, in my experience, the people who stand for election are generally white, middle aged plus, middle class and very vocal. In fact the few meetings I've attended over two different areas CCs have both been dominated by such people with their own very specific agendas and any variance from their plans is frowned upon. I was at such a meeting a few weeks ago where the overwhelming number of attendees were there over a single issue which differed from the main spokesperson on the board's point of view. He very rudely and grudgingly agreed to notify the local council by letter, at the insistence of the attendees, of our points. On receipt of the letter that he sent out I could see that it bore no resemblance to what had actually taken place that night and was not representative of the very valid points we'd made. Of course, the council official who had received it would not have known this so only got this one person's point of view - hardly democracy in action! Time for a refresh of this system. More accountable boards and meetings and less power unless it's closely monitored.
  • Posted by bak November 30, 2018 at 23:32

    Can't help but conclude that there is something very rotten in the State of Community Councils in Scotland, oh dear, what a sorry tale.
  • Posted by SeanRW December 01, 2018 at 16:00

    There lot’s of Community Councils doing good work. Here’s a case study as an example.

    mind.http://www.communityscot.org.uk/[…]/
  • Posted by SeanRW December 01, 2018 at 18:30

    From the Case Study linked to above:

    “Portobello Community Council's community engagement ensures that the local community has an opportunity to have their voice heard in decisions which directly impact on their lives. The Community Council's engagement activity has been assessed by SCDC as "exemplifying excellent practice" in community engagement.“
  • Posted by SeanRW December 01, 2018 at 21:46

    In some ways it is mundane, but that’s what Community Councils should be doing. Consulting as best they can to find out local opinion and reflecting that. There are akways flaws and limitations to consultation but that role can still be important. I’m not convinced Community Councils should have decision making powers, at least until they can demonstrate they do make the effort to reflect the views of the community they serve, putting the views of individual Community Councillors aside.
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