This video showcases the work of five community councils and the diverse projects community councils undertake including planning matters, health and wellbeing partnerships, and setting up group purchase schemes for buying oil.
Eckford, Nisbet and Crailing Community Council
Eckford, Nisbet and Crailing are three villages in the Scottish Borders, with a total population of 1,000. They share a very active Community Council who has been successful in a number of community projects over recent years. They adopted a red phone box in each village, refurbished them and turned them into community Information points and magazine swaps.
One of their biggest successes has been the formation of Group Purchase Schemes for buying Oil, Oil Servicing and LPG gas. The villages do not have mains gas supply and so the Community Council facilitates group purchases across the households. This originally started between 7 households and has grown so that 150 are benefitting; this has made an average saving of 9% to each household's energy bill. Crailing, Eckford and Nisbet Community Council are now helping neighbouring Community Councils set up this scheme in their areas, and they are hoping to develop their website to automate the vast majority of the administrative work involved with the Group Purchase Schemes.
Paisley West and Central Community Council
Paisley West & Central Community Council serves a diverse population of 10,500 in two conservation areas and an area designated among the lowest 5% in the deprivation index.
With funding from the Renfrewshire Alcohol and Drugs Partnership, they led a WISH project - West End is Safer and Healthier. This project has created a greater public awareness of the dangers and consequences of alcohol abuse. They have also campaigned to reduce the over-provision of licensed premises in local hot spots.
The West End Growing Grounds Association is a Community Council sub-committee that leases former Renfrewshire Council demolition sites for 17 plot allotments. Building on its success, it is now supporting the community to form constituted 'Friends of' local parks. These projects will take full advantage of Government Community Empowerment legislation to encourage community acquisition of these local assets.
Greengairs Community Council
Greengairs is an ex-mining village in North Lanarkshire Council area with a population of just over 1,000.
Over the last six years the Community Council has managed to gain £2.6 million from North Lanarkshire Council, a nearby landfill company, and Sport Scotland. This has allowed them to develop much needed sports facilities in their local community centre. They have a ball hall - where any ball game can be played - and another hall which they can rent out for functions.
Dunbarton East and Central Community Council, and Silverton and Overtoun Community Council
When West Dunbartonshire Council planned to build a secondary school on a peace of green space known locally as Posties Park, two neighbouring community councils formed a partnership to oppose the plans. Dunbarton East and Central Community Council and Silverton and Overtoun Community Council worked together to mobilise the wider community and campaign against this plan. The Community Councils started and facilitated the campaign then the local people took it over and made their voices heard.
The plan was rejected and the communities are happy to keep their park. This has caused the Community Councils to become very well known in their areas and they are an established means for people to voice their concerns.