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Community Council Elections

community council elections local democracy

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33 replies to this topic

#1 shetlandpeat

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 05:50 PM

Well, here is another chance for contributors to here to have a go and get involved. Community Councils are an excellent way to get to understand how councils work, and knowing that the best way to look at how folk can make it better.

http://www.shetnews....y-election.html

There will be the "what is the point" attitudes, I am sure there has been enough bad press on the SIC policies to encourage folk to stand for Community Councils and have some influence. If you think it is not worth it, really that is it, no need to try and put others off from even looking.



#2 tarotangel

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 10:37 PM

I'd encourage folk to stand as well. I stood and got in last year, unelected due to the fact there weren't enough folk to have an election. I'm finding it interesting and able to put folks points of view across, who would not normally get involved with Community Council stuff, as well as my own.

#3 admin

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 11:46 AM

This might be of interest to Shetlink users

 

Folk encouraged to stand in community council elections

 

For more info on becoming a Community Councillor visit https://shetland.gov...g-elections.asp



#4 Nigel Bridgman-Elliot

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 03:25 PM

If elected, do you get any powers ?



#5 Ghostrider

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 03:32 PM

^ The ability to express your opinion at specially convened meetings which are then virtually ignored - kinda a bit like posting on Shetlink, but with a very restricted and exclusive audience, and minimal opening hours. So, basically, 'No'.


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#6 Colin

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 04:51 PM

As GR said.  No powers, but you do get to waste an hour or two of your life every month and, occaissonally, a collective opinion is sought under the banner of "consultation".  It does give the community something of a "voice" on some matters but, no power to veto/approve anything.



#7 peeriebryan

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 05:16 PM

I've been to quite a few community council meetings and found them to be interesting and productive.

 

And I've been to SIC meetings where feedback from community councils has been valued and taken into consideration.

 

The community councils are particularly useful for matters where local knowledge and experience is a key factor - planning applications, road safety issues, public transport, community project funding bids etc



#8 Ghostrider

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 07:09 PM

Isn't local knowledge and experience what we have local Councillors for? As far as I'm concerned a Councillor should be keeping in touch, and be in touch well enough with the area they represent that their finger is on the pulse with things like planning applications, road safety etc. I don't really see the point or purpose of involving the extra layer of the CC to go through with such things, when a Councillor, if they're doing their job properly, is far better placed to both gauge local feeling, and represent it in places where it makes a difference.

 

No doubt CC's work better in some areas than others, and are more valuable to the areas where they do work better. I can only gauge these things based on our local one, and I've yet to meet anyone within the area with much enthusiasm for the concept, unless current and past members.

 

As long as they had a budget of their own, they did over time make a handful of very minor projects happen that otherwise probably woudn't have, and that was fine, but since the budget was cut back to nothing but covering their own running costs, the local CC seems generally superfluous, in this area at least.


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#9 Suffererof1crankymofo

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 08:12 PM

I've been to quite a few community council meetings and found them to be interesting and productive.

 

And I've been to SIC meetings where feedback from community councils has been valued and taken into consideration.

 

The community councils are particularly useful for matters where local knowledge and experience is a key factor - planning applications, road safety issues, public transport, community project funding bids etc

The local one appears to be a glorified talking shop.  The SIC appear to think that if they consult with a community council that they have fulfilled their obligations for anything which requires public consultation - it doesn't.  The CC expects people to approach them.  They're not cheap either and not value for money.  The last time a community council newsletter was published around here was about 8-9 years ago.  I can see the benefit of having one in the town but the outer areas - nope.



#10 peeriebryan

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 09:36 PM

I only have praise for the Sandwick Community Council and the work they do for our community.

 

If folk aren't happy with their local CC then perhaps they should get involved and do something about it?


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#11 Ghostrider

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 10:39 PM

^ Sandwick seems to be one of the ones who have gotten their sh*t together and made the CC concept work for them, to a point at least. Sannik fokk ir generally paeceable enyoch dat dey can manage dat wi little budder.

 

Wis bu**ers be sooth ir far ower obstropolous fur hit ta ever be dat wye wi wis tho. ;) 


Edited by Ghostrider, 15 September 2018 - 10:41 PM.

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#12 Colin

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 07:54 AM

My wife used to be clerk to our community council and, when they had a little money to spend, they did manage to spend it wisely and make little differences around the place.  Chippings for "un-adopted" roads, upkeep of communal spaces etc.

All this was done at a cost that was less than the SIC could produce a report (on whether the work was necessary) for.

 

The local councillor also took a seat on the CC (I think that this might still be the case) so, there was direct feedback to the full council but, the CC never really represented the wider views in the community as most of the people involved hardly ever engaged directly with anyone outside of their own "circles" and, most of the community never went near them unless they had a problem which required some "favourable" treatment.

 

It was also the case that certain SIC officers saw the CC's as direct opposition and never really liked working with them..  Mainly, I suspect, because they could get things done quickly, at a reasonable cost, and didn't have to "answer" to them.

 

Nowadays, the funding has been cut back to a level that only allows for the absolute bare essentials and this has reduced (most of) the cc's to nothing more than powerless "talking shops".

OK, there are still things that can be achieved but, in the main, and with the exception of direct access to the local councillor(s), nothing worthwhile that "benefits" the community.

 

Nett result is that our CC has become virtually "invisible", there is little on no feedback, and hardly anyone in the community knows what they are up to.

 

A (not) fairly radical suggestion is;

Why not allow the Charitable Trust to offer a small annual grant to each CC ?  It is OUR money after all.

This could be "ring-fenced" for cummunity "assets" such as benches, small flower gardens, newsletters, whatever...  Just so long as it reminds the community that the CC's exist


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#13 Nigel Bridgman-Elliot

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 12:37 PM

> Sandwick Community Council and the work they do for our community.
 

Any examples there ?

I'd like to see more carparks built for example, for tourists, and access roads to beaches that currently do not have roads. (Only needs to be a dirty cheap dirt/stone track.)

 

As such, curious about how one might go about making that happen.

 



#14 Nigel Bridgman-Elliot

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 01:10 PM

> All this was done at a cost that was less than the SIC could produce a report (on whether the work was necessary) for.
 

To me that sounds like very good value for money and funding should be increased towards that group of people.

 

 

Though, it puzzles me why councillors aren't doing that task, perhaps because they don't have the power to do so ?

 

 

I wonder why funding was cut then to Community Councils ?
 



#15 MuckleJoannie

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 10:02 PM


A (not) fairly radical suggestion is;

Why not allow the Charitable Trust to offer a small annual grant to each CC ?  It is OUR money after all.

This could be "ring-fenced" for cummunity "assets" such as benches, small flower gardens, newsletters, whatever...  Just so long as it reminds the community that the CC's exist

The SIC already has a small grant scheme that allows community councils to request money for small local improvements. Currently the Scalloway Community Council is planning to provide cycle racks around the village. You can see what the Scalloway Community Council is up to by reading the reports in the Scalloway Notes or by subscribing to its Facebook page.