What's a community council?

Information about community councils, what they are and the role of a community council member.

Community councils are made up of local people who give of their time and have a genuine interest in, the well-being of their community and the people who live there.

How do they work?

East Renfrewshire is divided into 11 community council areas.

The 4 biggest areas (Barrhead, Giffnock and the 2 community councils covering Newton Mearns) are further divided into neighbourhoods. 

Each neighbourhood has a fixed number of places on its community council reserved for it.

Community councils have a legal right to be consulted on important local issues, such as planning and licensing. They're also a way for local people to get things done in their area and make sure that the voices of local people are heard. They're a direct link between local people and public bodies such as the NHS and police and provide an opportunity to campaign on specific issues, run local events and support good causes.

Community council activities

The range of their statutory purpose is reflected in a wide range of activities, which contribute to a variety of roles.

Active community councils will regularly:

  • write to relevant agencies, following a meeting of the community council, in order to highlight an issue.
  • attend meetings with public officials.
  • hold public meetings, either at regular intervals or in response to a specific issue, to find out what areas of concern there are within their community.
  • carry out surveys in their area, typically by using questionnaires.
  • produce a newsletter and distribute it in their area.
  • establish a website / Facebook page / Twitter / web-based newsletter.
  • respond on behalf of their community to Development Plans / planning applications / licensing issues.
  • write in response to a proposal or consultation document issued by the Council.
  • meet with other community councils and local community groups.
  • receive and respond to enquiries and issues raised by members of the public.
  • arrange for public officials and others, to attend and address meetings of the community council on matters of interest.
  • organise community events in order to enhance their local areas and to promote the profile and activities of the community council.

What is the role of a community council member?

As a community council member you can help ensure that the community council is acting in the best interests of the community by speaking to local people and finding out if there are any issues that they think need to be addressed locally. 

Community council members can play a helpful role in supporting the office bearers nominated to run the community council.

Last modified on 10 February 2021