The role of community councils is to express the views of the community to local authorities and other public bodies, and to take action in the interests of its community.
The election of members to serve on all community councils across West Lothian are due to take place in October 2017 and the council has just embarked on its 4-yearly process to elect around 350 community councillors to serve on 41 community councils for the next 4 years.
Community councils act as a voice for their local areas. Community councillors are active members of the local communities they serve and provide an important link between their local communities and the council and many other public bodies.
If you are interested in what is happening in your local area, why not become a community councillor and get actively involved in the issues that affect your local community? Community councils are consulted on a wide range of issues, including housing, highways, education, health, etc. They are statutory consultees on planning and must be kept informed about licensing issues.
Community councils must be non-political and anyone can stand for election regardless of background, gender or religion. The only criteria to becoming a community councillor is that you are aged 18 or over and your name and address, as well as those who propose and second your nomination, must appear in the relevant electoral register for the community council area.
If you are interested in getting involved you will have to complete the nomination form included in this pack Community Council Elections 2017 - Nomination Pack [111kb]. Alternatively, copies are available from the following council offices or by contacting the Community Council Liaison Officer (tel. 01506 281609) (e-mail email@example.com)
West Lothian Civic Centre
Bathgate Partnership Centre
Customer Service Information Offices
Strathbrock Partnership Centre, Broxburn
Fauldhouse Partnership Centre
Young people between the ages of 14-18 can also get involved as each community council is allowed to have four youth members. Youth members have full voting rights and can also hold certain office-bearer positions. A separate nomination form for youth members is available by contacting the Community Council Liaison Officer.
Nomination forms must be returned by 5pm on Thursday 14th September 2017.
Where more nominations are received than there are places available on a community council, an election may be necessary. The date of these Elections will be Thursday 26th October 2017.
West Lothian Council is required by law to have a Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils in its area. However, community councils are not part of the council's structure - they are independent bodies who run their own affairs.
The council arranges the community council elections which take place every 4 years in September or October. The last elections took place on 31 October 2013. There is provision for 41 community councils in West Lothian, of which there are currently 34 in operation. A list of the office bearers can be found in the related document section of this page.
The council is responsible for setting community councils up when asked to in areas where no community councils exist and where there is sufficient local interest. A list of the 7 areas where there are no community councils in operation at the moment, along with the procedure that needs to be followed to set a community council up in these areas, can also be found in the related document section.
The council provides basic annual grant funding and advice to community councils but what each community council does once it has been established, is a matter for each community council to determine.
In 1998, the West Lothian Association of Community Councils was set up. The aim of the Association is to strengthen the identity of community councils across West Lothian. Unfortunately, it ceased operating in January 2015 after it was unable to appoint a Chair at its AGM. Any community council interested in setting the Association or such similar organisation back up should contact the Community Council Liaison Officer for advice.
The Community Council Liaison Officer is able to provide advice and assistance. The council's Liaison Officer is Lorraine McGrorty who is based at West Lothian Civic Centre in Livingston. Telephone 01506 281609 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Scheme for Establishment of Community Councils in West Lothian sets out the basic rules which all community councils in West Lothian are expected to comply with.
Following extensive public consultation, a new scheme was adopted by the council on 24th February 2015. It is supplemented by a Code of Conduct which all community councillors must abide by and a model constitution/ & standing orders which all community councils automatically adopt.
All of the documents can be found at the related documents section on this page.