Community Councils are made up of local people who give time to, and have a genuine interest, in the wellbeing of their community. They consult the local community on all issues affecting them and tell us, and other public bodies, the views of local people. Community Councils are consulted on licensing and planning applications within their area.
Their main role is to represent the views of their community. Most Community Councils also involve themselves in a wide range of local activities - such as fundraising and running community events.
Elections August 2022
There are 23 Community Councils in the Falkirk Council area.
At close of nominations one community council was formed; Bo'ness Community Council.
The Executive of the Council has agreed that for those Community Councils where nominations for two-thirds or more of the vacancies were received can form and fill the remaining places. These are:
- Airth Parish 4 nominations for 6 places
- Banknock, Haggs and Longcroft 6 nominations for 7 places
- Brightons 4 nominations for 6 places
- Grangemouth 9 nominations for 12 places
- Polmont 5 nominations for 7 places
Nominations are now closed.
Any candidate wishing to withdraw from nomination should notify the council by 12 noon Tuesday 13 December 2022.
What is a community council
A community council is a voluntary organisation set up by statute by the local authority and run by local residents to act on behalf of its area. As the most local tier of elected representation, community councils play an important role in local democracy.
Community councils are comprised of people who care about their community and want to make it a better place to live. Community councils must represent all people in the area without prejudice. Therefore they should:
- be non-party political and non-sectarian
- represent a full cross-section of the community and encourage the involvement of people regardless of gender, race, age, disability, nationality or sexual orientation
They must ascertain and express the views of the community to local authorities and other public bodies, and to take action which is in the interests of its community. They can complement the role of the local authority but are not part of local government. They should have a positive working partnership with the local authority - therefore they must be informed on the council's policies, and keep the council updated on their activities.
To effectively represent their community they must be proactive in consulting and engaging with local residents.
As well as representing the community to the local authority, community councils facilitate a wide range of activities which promote the well-being of their communities. They bring local people together to help make things happen, and many community councils protect and promote the identity of their community. They advise, petition, influence and advocate numerous causes and cases of concern on behalf of local communities. Here are some examples of their work from across the country:
- carry out projects to enhance their community for all types of citizens such as elderly, single mothers, minority groups, youths
- issue community newsletters
- conduct local surveys
- campaign on local issues
- organise community events such as local galas
Community councils are the strongest means of becoming involved with your local area. It will give you a good understand of the workings of local government and what is going on locally and nationally. All local authorities in Scotland encourage citizens to become a member of their community council.
Being a community councillor
Being a community councillor means you have shared responsibility for the success of the community council, even if you are not an office bearer. You must commit to the role and uphold the standards and values of the community council. All members should contribute to discussions and decisions concerning the work of the community council.
Roles within a community council
There are various ways in which you can play your part in your community council. Each community council must have a chairperson, a treasurer and a secretary – the office bearers – and these roles carry the most responsibility. The office bearers, as elected members representing their local communities are responsible for the efficient and effective operation of the community council.
This doesn't mean to say that the office bearers must do all the work, but they are responsible for making sure that everything is done according to the Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils and the Community Council’s Constitution.
All members of the community council are equally responsible for the community council’s decisions and actions and may take on additional activities in support of the community council.
The office bearers’ roles are described below, followed by an outline of other potential roles within a community council.
The chairperson can make a massive difference to the success of a community council. Meetings are key to the community council making decisions on what its priorities are and what work it has to do. The chairperson is responsible for ensuring that discussions are productive and run on-time and that clear action points are set.
The secretary ensures the smooth running of the community council by organising meetings, setting the agenda and keeping minutes and records. Secretaries also ensure effective communication between committee members.
The treasurer is responsible for handling the community council’s finances. It is his or her responsibility to ensure that the finances are kept healthy and the community council does not get into debt. The treasurer must oversee all financial administration and transactions of the community council and make decisions regarding these.
Community councils might want to consider if there is a need to create a specific role in response to an area or project that needs a lot of attention, for example:
- Planning representative
- Community planning representative
- Project leaders
- Communications officer
You don’t have to take on an office bearer on the community council. It is often useful to serve as a community councillor for a period before taking an enhanced role to allow time to develop your understanding of the roles and responsibilities.
It is important that community councillors speak to people as they go about their daily life in their community, so that they can fully understand what is important to them.
Community councillors have an important role at meetings to express the views of people in their community about issues that have been raised. However, community councils should also work together to realise or facilitate projects in their area and it is important that all members of the community council take part in these activities and support each other.
Every member of your community can be a valuable member of society with something to contribute. Community Councils should attempt to engage with a wide range of people to create a large diversity of perspectives and insights which can help the Community Council to achieve more. Engaging community members in making decisions is also likely to make them more pro-active about their community's needs.
Community engagement is about building open and honest relationships between citizens and the Community Councils, based on mutual trust.
Engagement can range from providing information about current work or projects, to consulting on particular issues, to full empowerment whereby the community has decision-making powers. Some of the engagement needs to be ongoing and some of it might be short-term or one-off events.
Community Councils, by law, must be non-discriminatory. They should be welcoming, open and non-judgmental toward all citizens, including youths and individuals from hard to reach or minority groups. Nobody should be blocked from Community Council activities.
Engaging with a wide range of citizens will make the Community Council a better representative of the community and make both other local communities and the local authorities more likely to work with and listen to the Community Council. Community Councils should also try to engage with citizens even if they are not eligible to become an official member of the Community Council (e.g. children).
There is not one correct way for a Community Council to engage with its citizens and what works for one part of the community might not reach other members of the local area. As representative voices for their communities, it is important that Community Councils do not just share information, but also gather the views of local citizens.
To make sure that the Community Council engages with as many as possible, it can be useful to consider combining or using many different approaches. In some cases it can be useful to meet face to face at meetings and events, other times information posters and flyers in public places might be the right approach and in many cases it is worth considering using digital resources such as surveys or social media to reach an even larger or maybe a new audience. Many minority groups will also often have an online presence which makes them easier to approach.
As with all kind of communication, there is no right way of doing it, and you might have to try a lot of different methods to find out what works best in your area.
|Avonbridge and Standburn
|Banknock, Haggs and Longcroft
|Camelon, Bantaskine and Tamfourhill
|Carron and Carronshore
|Denny and District
|Grahamston, Middlefield and Westfield
|Langlees, Bainsford and New Carron
|Larbert, Stenhousemuir and Torwood
|Reddingmuirhead and Wallacestone
|Shieldhill and California
|Slamannan and Limerigg
Community Council Forum
The Community Council Forum consists of the convenors of all of the active Community Councils in the area. It meets four times a year to discuss common issues on the running of Community Councils, such as claiming grants, using new media, etc in order to improve the representation of the Falkirk Council area’s communities.