Community Councils

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  • Ideas

    In this section you will find useful guidance and showcases that highlight the great and varied work of community councils. No two community councils are the same so what works for one might not work for another. This space is for finding inspiration and for collecting ideas and advice.


    If you have something to contribute to this section, please email

  • Events

    Bernard Harkins, member of Musselburgh and Inveresk Community CouncilOrganising a Citizen of the Year Award

    Bernard Harkins, member of Musselburgh and Inveresk Community Council, shares the experience of running Citizen of the Year Award and the benefits of the event, which has been organised by the community council since 2001.

  • Community Engagement

    Pollokshields Community Council

    Learn how Pollokshields Community Council engaged local communities in planning and direction of their place and created Pollokshields Playhouse, a year-long experiment where the community built, curated, and ran an art and culture outdoor space in Pollokshields.



    louise macdonald obe, chief executive of young scotCommunity Councils: participation pioneers engaging young people in the democratic process

    Louise Macdonald, chief executive of Young Scot, shares her thoughts on why community councils are pioneers in engaging young people in the democratic process.



    Bill Fraser, Chair of Pollokshields Community CouncilNot the Usual Suspects

    Bill Fraser, member of Pollokshields Community Council, highlights the projects that are being undertaken in Pollokshields, from the charrette design process to a year-long stalled space, that are widening community engagement and creating a stronger sense of place.



    #Scottish CCs Twitter Hour: Community engagement

    The aim of the Scottish Community Councils Twitter Hour was to create an online shared space where community councils could share knowledge, discuss experiences, and network, and also to raise awareness of the great work community councils do and encourage others to get involved locally.



    printed materials imagePrinted Material

    It is important to use both traditional ways to engage as well as more digital ways. Find out more information about using printed material, such as posters or flyers, to engage with the community.





    Engaging with members of the community in person can show that community councils are approachable and it can also help raise their profile. Learn more about face-to-face engagement here.


    5 ways to engage the community in consultations

    Here are Scalloway Community Council’s tips on how to engage the community in consultation. While these examples were used to help develop a local place plan as part of their Recreate Scalloway project, we hope you also find the information useful for more general local consultations.

  • Elections and Promotion

    Leith Links Community Council

    In 2016, Leith Links Community Council was the only Edinburgh community council to have a contested election. Here they share how they designed a local engagement process to encourage people to join the community council.


    What is a Community Council videoResource: What is a Community Council? Animation

    The Scottish Community Councils Website has produced a short animated video to explain what community councils do.

  • Using Digital Media

    Online Meeting Tools and Remote Working

    At this difficult time community councils need to look at new ways of working and engaging with their communities but where do you begin?  Hopefully, this page can help with that and it won’t cost anything to get going.


    Building a website

    Creating your own website allows you to create the image you want for your community council and it can be very useful to have one place where people in your community know they can find information like news, events and contact details.


    Using video

    How to use video to engage with the community, including filming tips and advice from Bonnyrigg and Lasswade Community Council who regularly use video to engage local people to feedback on planning applications and issues in their local area.

  • Participatory Budgeting

    Participatory budgeting (PB) is a process of involving citizens in deciding how to spend public money. PB is about community members shaping local services to meet local priorities more effectively and helps allow public money to be democratically reallocated at a community level to ‘priority services’ and initiatives identified by residents. PB started in Brazil in 1989 and has now spread to over 1,500 localities across the globe with around 2,700 processes taking place.


    In this section of the website community councils can view short films explaining what PB is as well as examples of the impact PB is having in communities across Scotland.


    Participatory Budgeting in Scotland

    A film produced by COSLA and the Democratic Society profiles participatory budgeting and the COSLA/Scottish Government commitment that 1% of council budgets will be subject to PB by 2021.


    The video features a range of people involved in PB in Scotland.

    Participatory Budgeting in the Shetland Islands

    Shetland Islands Council has produced three short films about Participatory Budgeting (PB). The films explain what PB is, what’s involved and the difference PB has made to communities in Shetland.

    Community Councils and Community Choices

    Participatory budgeting is a way for local people to have a direct say in how, and where, public funds can be used to address local requirements. Read about three community-led participatory budgeting events that took place in March 2017.


    Money for Moray

    Money for Moray, formed of volunteers from the Joint Community Councils of Moray, area forums, and village halls and associations in Moray, invited community and voluntary groups to put forward projects that tackled social isolation. Watch the showcase to find out more about their participatory budgeting events and the importance of working with other local groups.

  • Community Empowerment Act

    Community asset transfer and ownership and the role of Community Councils

    Linda Gillespie, Programme Manager with Community Ownership Support Service (COSS), highlights ways that Community Councils can play a key role in the process of asset transfer and communities taking ownership of assets.

Idea concept - bulb inside human head