Community Councils are voluntary bodies which exist within a statutory framework and which have been granted statutory rights of consultation.
The purpose of a Community Council is to ascertain, co-ordinate and express the wider views of the entire community within its boundaries. Community Councils seek to represent and include all sections of their communities, regardless of age, gender, ability, ethnic origin, political or religious beliefs, or sexual orientation. They can complement the role of the local authority but are not part of local government.
Community Councils may also undertake other functions within the terms of their own constitution.
It is the responsibility of a Community Council to satisfy South Ayrshire Council that they have taken positive steps to ascertain the views of the wider community within their area before making representations on any matter on behalf of the community.
Community Councils should support and complement the role of South Ayrshire Elected Members in ensuring that local opinion is taken into account in matters of policy or operation. Community Councillors should develop their relations with South Ayrshire Council into one of partnership.
To become a Community councillor you must qualify to be nominated to stand for election to a specific Community Council. A candidate must:
• be 18 years of age or over (by the date of the close of nominations).
• have his / her name appearing on the current Register of Local Government Electors for the area concerned.
• be resident in the Community Council area or sub area for which he / she is being nominated.
• not be an Elected Member of a local authority (or an Elected Member of any other legislature).
• not be a person who would be disqualified from being nominated in a Local Government Election in terms Subsections 1(B) and (C) of Section 31 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 as amended.
Once elected, Community Councillors serve for a term of three years.
Community Councils usually meet between 8 and 12 times a year. Meetings take place locally on weekday evenings and can vary in length depending on the amount of business to be done. Meetings are generally open to the public.
Each Community Council usually appoints four office-bearers, Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer at the Annual General Meeting. They hold office for one year, after which they may seek re-election.
For more information on Community Councils go to www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk