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Community councils

How to set up a community council

If your local area does not have a community council you can start the process of setting one up by asking for a petition.

As soon as 20 people, who are on the electoral register for the local area, have signed the petition it can be sent to us asking for a community council to be set up in the requested local area.

If you sign the petition you are not agreeing to become a community councillor.  However, you are committing to be part of a steering group to draw up a constitution to govern the activities of the proposed community council. This part may take several meetings to successfully draw up a set of rules to govern the community council's activities. 

Petition for community councils

A copy of the petition can be viewed below.

Guidance for community councils

The Scottish Government, COSLA and the Association of Scottish Community Councils were all involved in developing and agreeing guidance documents for community councils which can be viewed below.


Once a draft constitution is in place this will be adopted at a public meeting. The steering group is then dissolved having fulfilled its purpose.  We will then handle the elections, asking for nominations and making arrangements to hold an election meeting.

Here is a step-by-step guide on what to do

  1. request for a petition by a local resident
  2. completed petition (signed by 20 local people who are on the electoral register) is sent to us
  3. we will advertise to ask for nominations for setting up the community council
  4. the inaugural meeting will include:providing funds for the work of the steering group
    • considering a constitution
    • electing interim office bearers for the period of the steering group's work
    • agreeing subsequent steering group meeting(s)
    • agreeing a constitution if required
  5. an advertised public meeting will take place to:
    • formally adopt a constitution
    • submit an agreed constitution to us for approval
    • we will set a date for an election meeting
    • agree and make arrangements for nominations
  6. election arrangements:
    • we will arrange sending out nomination forms
    • we will arrange posters for nominations
    • we will appoint a council officer to act as a returning officer
    • we will arrange any publicity
  7. election meeting
    • if nominations exceed the number of places available then the election will be contested by ballot
    • the election results will be declared
  8. the initial meeting of the new community council which will be organised by us will include:
    • election of office bearers
    • make a copy of the constitution available to all members
    • approval of standing orders
    • arranging dates for future meetings
    • considering any need for sub committees

Page last updated:
03 Aug 2022

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