What is a Community Council?

What We Do – Community Council Rights & Responsibilities

Community councils were first established in Scotland following the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973. Thereafter, the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act, 1994, which produced the current system of unitary local authorities, made provision for the continuation of community councils. Under the legislation, every local community within an identified community council boundary area in Scotland is entitled to petition their local authority to establish a community council.

The general purpose of community councils established under the Glasgow City Council’s Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils is 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’’

Community councils are voluntary bodies which exist within a statutory framework and which have been granted statutory rights of consultation.

Community councils, unlike other community organisations, are included in the consultation process for all planning applications. They have the right to receive copies of applications, and will be recognised as competent bodies to make representations regarding applications, as long as they abide by the Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils and are recognised by the City Council.

Community councils may also undertake other functions within the terms of their Constitution. It is the responsibility of a community council to satisfy Glasgow City Council, that it has 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.

It is essential that these views are shown to be accurately representative of the community i.e. evidenced consultation; agendas and minutes from special meetings; questionnaire responses. The legitimate consultative mechanisms will be recognised by Glasgow City Council as validation of the wider community’s views and their engagement.

Community councils are statutory consultees in terms of section 21 of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 and are consulted on all applications for provisional/premises licences and major variations to premises licences. They are also consulted on the development of the Licensing Policy Statement and any supplementary Licensing Policy Statement.

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