Community Councils are the most local tier of statutory representation in Scotland. They bridge the gap between local authorities and communities, and help to make public bodies aware of the opinions and needs of the communities they represent. There are around 1,200 active Community Councils in Scotland.
Local authorities have statutory oversight of Community Councils and are required by statute to consult Community Councils about planning applications and licencing matters.
The existing Model Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils and associated documents (model constitution, model standing orders, code of conduct and good practice guidance) were last updated by Scottish Government in 2009. The documents were created to support local authorities to develop their own local variations of the Model Scheme document.
During the pandemic, as more Community Councils embraced virtual meetings and used other technologies to reach out to their wider communities, it became increasingly clear that these documents were no longer fit for purpose and needed to be reviewed and updated.
The Improvement Service (IS) engaged with Community Council Liaison Officers (CCLOs) from local authorities across Scotland and held a series of online workshops throughout 2021-22 with a working group consisting of CCLOs and community councillors from some of the federations and forums of Community Councils currently in existence. Input was also provided by staff from the Scottish Government, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and the Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC).
This section of the Scottish Community Councils website hosts the updated Model Scheme document and associated documents in easy read, large print, Gaelic, BSL and audio versions.
This guidance is endorsed by the Scottish Government jointly with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and the Improvement Service. It is available for adoption by local authorities across Scotland should they choose to do so. We recognise each local authority has its own variation of the model scheme and guidance, and these documents can be adopted in part or in full as dictated by local requirements. If you have any questions about your local Model Scheme or how Community Councils are managed in your area, please contact your local authority's CCLO.