2023 is the 50th anniversary of the legislation which brought Community Councils into existence, the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973. The Act defined the purpose of a Community Council as:
"to ascertain, co-ordinate and express to the Local Authorities for its area and to public authorities the views of the community which it represents, in relation to matters for which those authorities are responsible."
During the last 50 years, Community Councils across Scotland have made important contributions to their communities, by engaging with local people on the issues which matter to them and working to change their area for the better.
There are currently approximately 1,200 active Community Councils in Scotland which can get involved in a wide variety of issues such as youth projects, environmental initiatives, upgrading of amenities and community improvements.
While the role of the Community Councils has remained much the same since 1973, the introduction of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 provides new statutory rights for Community Councils, while the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 also strengthened Community Councils’ engagement with the planning system.
This 50th anniversary provides an ideal opportunity to recognise the contribution that Community Councils have made to Scotland, and to celebrate some of the individual community councillors who have given up their time to make a real difference to their communities.