What is a Community Council?
A Community Council is a voluntary organisation set up by statute by the Local Authority and run by 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 made up of people who care about their communities and want to make their area a better place to live. Community Councillors represent local people, voice peoples’ views on important decisions which affect them and work with others to improve services. A range of people must be part of a Community Council so different opinions and ideas are heard. Every four years people are asked to come forward as new Community Councillors. Anyone over 16 can take part.
Community Councils in Stirling Council area
There is provision for 42 Community Council within the Stirling Council area which are based on identifiable communities as far as possible. Elections for Community Councils take place approximately every four years (dependent on local elections) where people are nominated to stand as new Community Councillors. If there are more nominations than places on the Community Council, a postal ballot takes place. The next Community Council elections will take place in 2023.
The Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils is adopted by each Local Authority and sets out a basic framework for how they can be created and how they operate. It covers topics such as roles, membership, elections; meetings and responsibilities. Within the Scheme, Community Councils have a Constitution (adhering to the Scheme); Standing Orders to govern procedures; and a Code of Conduct.
Stirling Council provides an Administration Grant to each community Council for Administrative expenses such as hall/room hire, Photocopying, newsletters, websites and fees such as for data protection registration. Community Councils are responsible for how this money is spent. Community Councils are also responsible for producing a set of accounts each year which need to be independently examined and approved at their Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Insurance and Liability
Stirling Council arranges public and employers' liability insurance for Community Councils which covers many aspects of their activities. More information is on the guidance sheet below.
Community Grants/Community Pride ‐ provide grants ranging from £100 ‐ £1500 to promote community activities and to support local initiatives. Forms and guidance are available here.
In order to represent their community well, a Community Council needs to know its community and engage with residents businesses and groups to determine local needs and priorities.
Stirling Council provides community profiles for each Community Council area. Many other organisations gather and publish information and statistics on communities, these are a good starting point to examine what a community is like.
Engaging with a community is a continuous process, keeping them informed about issues so they can make informed choices, consulting them on options and getting their opinions on what should happen. Engagement methods and options will be different for each community depending on geography or other community-specific issues and might include newsletters, websites, surveys or events.
Policies and procedures which Community Councils should adhere to depending on what they are involved in and their activities.
Links to other guidance
- Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) - guidance on Data Protection, Fire Safety, Food Hygiene and more
- Volunteer Scotland - guidance on volunteering policy
- Disclosure Service (PVG)
- Volunteer Policies
- Health and Safety
Training and support for Community Councils is available from Stirling Council's Community Engagement Team.
- Community Council - Legislation
- Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
- National Government - Community Council and Empowerment
- National Community Council information website (Improvement Service)
Stirling Council links
Last updated: Tuesday, January 26, 2021 2:51 PM