Edinburgh Community Council Elections – what you need to know

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With October seeing the upcoming communities elections, 44 communities this year are selecting their local Councillors, determined to deal with local issues and make a difference in what matters in the area.

How much do we know about such councils?

There are 46 community councils in Edinburgh. Anyone above 16 years old, registered on the electoral role can be nominated for the role. Each community council has a representative on the Neighborhood Partnership for its area. Edinburgh City Council states that the purpose of a Community Council to ascertain, co-ordinate and express to the local authorities the views of the community, it represents, on matters for which those authorities are responsible and to take what it considers to be appropriate action in the interest of the community. The councilors ensure that local people and their views are equally represented for the local authorities.

The meetings take place three times a year in City Chambers as part of the Community Council Support and Development Programme.

Community councils receive a grant from the City Council to cover administrative costs such as stationery, postage, advertising and newsletters.

Do Community Councils really matter in the city?

In the consultation on local government reorganization in Scotland, many suggested that community councils should have the opportunity to be more involved in local issues, particularly in relation to planning and licensing. The Government announced in 1993 that after reorganization, community councils would have a statutory right to be consulted on local planning issues, and that local authorities would be encouraged to keep them more fully informed about local licensing issues. Ministers reaffirmed these intentions during the passage of (Scotland) Act 1994.

Community councils have a crucial role to play in the planning system. Their local knowledge and ability to express opinion on applications for new developments, allow them to be the main stakeholders in Council’s final decisions. Development happens to allow the city to grow for future needs and by expressing local views, community councils can have a real say in how this happens.

Community council elections are coming up in October. 44 communities this year are selecting their local Councillors determined to deal with local issues and make a difference in what matters in the area.

To find out which community council covers your area a postcode search facility is available on the Neighbourhood Partnership website.

 

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