John asks about strengthening Community Councils

23 Mar 2016


  • 9. John Mason (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP):

    To ask the Scottish Government what consideration it has given to strengthening community councils. (S4O-05704)

  • The Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment (Marco Biagi):

    Although local authorities have statutory oversight of community councils, the Government has been working with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, the Improvement Service and Edinburgh Napier University to further enhance their role.

  • John Mason:

    Does the minister share my concern that, although we want to push power down to local communities below the city council level, it is difficult when many community councils are not active, or are kept going only by a very small band of people?

  • Marco Biagi:

    I share that concern. Community councils that do not feel listened to will not attract people and will struggle to recruit. Our work includes a website to support community councils; digital engagement workshops to support them in recruiting new people; and a fairer Scotland community council event that we are hosting, to which all community councils are invited.

    Last year, I met the national body for English parish and town councils to learn more about their system. I would describe myself as actively interested, but any further work would be for the next Administration, of which I will clearly not be a part, to take forward.

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