The role of community councils is to express the views of the community to local authorities and other public bodies, and to take action in the interests of its community.
West Lothian Council has received a petition signed by registered electors from Carmondean requesting that a separate Carmondean Community Council be re-established in its own right.
The areas of Carmondean and Deans were amalgamated to form one community council in the new Scheme for Establishment of Community Council adopted in August 2021. The reason for this was that, other than for a short period of around 6 months in 2017/18, Deans had not had community council representation for more than 20 years. The amalgamation was supported by the then operational Carmondean Community Council.
The reason given for requesting a separate Carmondean Community Council is that the combined community council has led to Carmondean having no representation and that Carmondean has its own distinct heritage, community and needs and that it should be represented by people from within its community.
In terms of Section 53 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, a new community council boundary cannot be adopted until (a) elected members agree to review that element of the Scheme and (b) full consultation has taken place with the community council it would affect and members of the public.
Given the limited nature of the requested amendment, there is no requirement to comply with the lengthy statutory timescales which must be followed when adopting a comprehensive new Scheme. The timescales for this review have therefore been kept to a minimum to ensure that, if elected members, the community council and the public are supportive of the review request, any change can be implemented as swiftly as possible.
Undernoted are the planned timescales for the 3 stages of the review process:-
- Stage 1 - Advert in the West Lothian Courier - 13th October - 2 weeks for comments - closing date 27th October 2022.
- Stage 2 - Advert in the West Lothian Courier - 10th November - 2 weeks for comments - closing date 24th November 2022.
- Stage 3 - Advert in the West Lothian Courier - 15th December - 2 weeks for comments - closing date 29th December 2022.
A final report on the outcome of the public consultation will be presented to a special meeting of West Lothian Council in early 2023 for elected members consideration. If the Council decides to separate and create two distinct community councils for the areas of Carmondean and Deans, this will be followed up by a public call for nominations for election to both community councils.
Stage 1 - ended 27/10/22.
Stage 2 - ended on 24/11/22.
Stage 3 will commence 15th December 2022. Further information on how to comment will be provided at that time.
West Lothian Council is required by law to have a Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils in its area. However, community councils are not part of the council's structure - they are independent bodies who run their own affairs.
The council arranges the community council elections which take place every 4 years in September or October. The next elections will take place in September/October 2025. There are currently 34 community councils in operation. A list of their office bearers can be found in the download section at the foot of the page.
There are 5 areas with no community councils in operation. These are Bridgend, Longridge, Philpstoun, Uphall Station and Westfield & Bridgehouse. Further information about the process to set a community council up in these areas can be found here
The council provides basic annual grant funding and advice to community councils but what a community council does once it has been established, is a matter for each community council to determine.
The Community Council Liaison Officer is able to provide advice and assistance. The council's Liaison Officer is Lorraine McGrorty who is based at West Lothian Civic Centre in Livingston. Telephone 01506 281609 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new Scheme for Establishment of Community Councils in West Lothian and amended boundaries was adopted by the council on 31st August 2021. The Scheme sets out the basic rules which all community councils in West Lothian are expected to comply with.
It is supplemented by a Code of Conduct which all community councillors must abide by and a model constitution/ & standing orders which all community councils automatically adopt.
All of the documents can be found below.