Community councils are voluntary but statutory bodies with rights and powers granted under UK and European legislation. They play a vital role in local democracy by ascertaining and coordinating the views of local people and conveying these to a range of organisations.
Community councils were established under Section 51 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 to ‘ascertain, coordinate 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, and to take such action in the interests of that community as it appears to be expedient and practicable.’
Queensferry & District Community Council (QDCC), first formed in the summer of 1986, is today one of the longest running community councils in the region and is widely respected across Edinburgh as being one of the strongest and most active community councils in the city. Under the Edinburgh ouncil Scheme fifteen members are permitted.
QDCC covers the communities of South Queensferry and Dalmeny bounded by the River Almond to the east, the West Lothian Council boundary, and the M9 spur to the south.
Community councils are required to operate in accordance with the Scheme for Community Councils administered by the local authority. The Constitution, Standing Orders and Code of Conduct govern the order of business for meetings and the responsibilities of community council members. Responsibility for ensuring community councils comply with the Scheme rests with the collective membership of each community council.
The membership of the Community Council comprises of:
• Four membership types: elected, nominated, associate and ex-officio.
• Elected members returned through the community council elections or co-opted by the community council to fill a vacancy.
• Nominated members represent local interest groups and must apply to the local authority to be represented.
• Associate members can be appointed by community councils where the individual has a particular area of knowledge or expertise that would assist the work of the community council. Such areas of expertise may include for example planning legislation, transport policy or IT.
• Local authority councillors, MPs, MSPs and MEPs whose wards or constituencies fall wholly or partly within the community council’s area are ex-officio members of the community council.
Office-bearers for the Community Council consist of:
• Every year at the AGM the community council appoints a Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.
• The Chair is the chief spokesperson for the community council and chairs the monthly business meetings.
• The Secretary deals with all ingoing and outgoing correspondence and is the main point of contact for the community council.
• The Treasurer manages the community council’s finances and is required to arrange an annual audit of the accounts.
Monthly business meetings
Queensferry & District Community Council meets on the fourth Monday of every month from January to November, with meetings held at 7.30pm in the Burgh Chambers, under the museum on the High Street, South Queensferry. Members of the public are welcome to attend and make representations. If there is a specific issue you would like to be discussed at the meeting, please email us. All meetings are advertised on QDCC Facebook, Twitter and in the Journal & Gazette.
For further Information about Community Councils please check out The City of Edinburgh Council community councils page at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/communitycouncils or contact Eileen Hewitt, CEC CC Liaison Officer: 0131 469 3838