Community Councils bring local people together to help make things happen. They talk to West Dunbartonshire Council and other agencies about issues affecting their area, from children's playgrounds, busy roads and street lighting to public transport and community safety - anything of interest or concern to local people.
Community Councils were set up by Act of Parliament in 1973 to carry out the following activities:
Their role is to:
- Find out the views of their community
- Co-ordinate and express these views to the local and public authorities
- Act in the interests of their community.
In order to do this Community Councils need to:
- Be proactive and consult the community
- Encourage community spirit
- Represent the whole community including young people, disabled people, lone parents and elderly people
- Be familiar with West Dunbartonshire Council policies
- Keep the Council informed
- Be prepared to expand their activities.
They are run by people in your neighbourhood and ensure that local concerns and issues are reported back to your local authority and other relevant public authorities. Community Councils work to rules set out in the 'Scheme of establishment'.
West Dunbartonshire Council has a Community Council Forum; an umbrella organisation which co-ordinates the views of local Community Councils and offers them the opportunity to meet and discuss matters of common interest.
Local Authorities must consult with Community Councils on planning applications. However, West Dunbartonshire Council also consults with them on a whole range of other issues as a matter of policy. Furthermore, the West Dunbartonshire Community Council Forum has representation on the Community Planning West Dunbartonshire Community Alliance.
These are some examples of what local Community Councils have achieved in West Dunbartonshire:
- Asked the local authority to lower pavement edges for prams and wheelchairs to improve access for local people
- Won grant aid to install smoke alarms, door chains and spy holes for local elderly people living alone
- Generated funding for new children's play areas
- Helped establish a community newspaper
- Anti-litter campaigns
- Carried out local surveys on a range of issues
- Advised, petitioned, recommended, influenced, prompted and advocated numerous causes and cases of concern on behalf of householders, parents, individuals and local communities in West Dunbartonshire.