There has been a poor response for applications to be a community councillor in some parts of Orkney with the minimum number required not being reached. The nomination period has, therefore, been extended to 5pm Monday 18th September. Any individual aged 16 or over may stand for the Community Council that represents their home address, providing that they are on the electoral register.
A community councillor is a voluntary role unlike our Orkney Islands councillors who are paid. Community Councils are part of the council structure, right at the front line and dealing with the issues that affect you in your parish. Some are more active than others and that really depends on who is elected onto them and how much time they are able to devote to their role.
Across Scotland community councils have been active in a number of areas:
- Carrying out projects to enhance their community for all types of citizens – elderly, single mothers, minority groups, youths etc.
- Issuing community newsletters
- Conducting local surveys
- Campaigning on local issues
- Organising community events (such as local galas)
Although the community councillors are not paid the councils themselves can and do apply for funding to carry out vital work in their local areas.
Orkney has 20 Community Councils. Leader of Orkney Islands Council, James Stockan said:
“Community Councils feed back to the Council on how a range of proposals might affect specific communities and how the Council’s plans could be improved. They’re also a great way for communities to take the lead in assisting with local service delivery and helping us meet the financial challenges ahead.”
If you would like to put yourself forward as a community councillor contact:
- the Democratic Services team at Orkney Islands Council by phoning 01856 886622 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Forms are also available on the Elections section of the Orkney Islands Council website www.orkney.gov.uk.
If you want to find out what goes on at your community council there is a list of their meeting dates and past minutes on the OIC website.
Reporter: Fiona Grahame