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January 11, 2012

Signs of a phoenix rising?

Last year we reported on the decision of Scotland’s umbrella body for community councils to shut up shop in March this year.  While concern has been expressed in some quarters that this will weaken the community council movement, leaving it without a collective voice, others see an opportunity for fresh debate and for new thinking to emerge.  One such group are the National Network of Community Councillors. They’ve just launched a new website


The Nationwide Network of Community Councillors in Scotland seeks to support members working together for a better future for community councils.

Does the Community Council (CC) concept in Scotland need review? While CCs have statutory rights to comment on licensing and planning matters, just how much power does that actually mean for the community councillors who engage. Is anyone listening? What sort of impact are Ccs actually making on policy decisions in these areas?

Should Ccs stop there? What about local democracy? Could or should community councillors have a place in helping to govern their local communities? If so, how can the election process be made more active, dynamic and meaningful?

There’s a debate to be had and it needs to grow. Community councillors from across Scotland are already giving their views. This network wants to stoke up that debate, and to make sure that it’s heard where it matters. We invite you to take part. We welcome articles, reviews and reports of best practice. 

Do you have something to say? How accountable can CCs be? In turn then, how much responsibility can they expect? Let’s hear it. Where do we go from here?