Role of Community Councils

There are 20 Community Councils in East Lothian. Community Councils are provided for in statute by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 and the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1994. Community Councils are entirely independent from the local authority.

In terms of Section 51(2) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, the purpose of a Community Council, in addition to any other purpose which it may pursue, shall be "to ascertain, co-ordinate 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 appears to it to be expedient and practicable".

You can find general information about Community Councils on the Scottish Government website or Scottish Community Councils website.

Community Councils are voluntary organisations that act as a voice for their local area.

They express the views and concerns of local people on a wide range of issues.  Community Councils are represented on the local Area Partnership and so help shape the local priorities and approve funding to address these agreed priorities.  

Every local community can request their local authority to establish a community council in their area.

They meet regularly to discuss issues affecting their area, including planning and licensing applications. All meetings are held in public and residents are encouraged to attend their local meeting.

See some great examples of local community councils' work in East Lothian

Find out more

Community Councils area map

Community councillors: code of conduct

List of Community Councils

Training for Community Councils

Community Council elections

East Lothian Community Council Induction Sessions

Scheme of establishment of Community Councils June 2021

General enquiries about Community Councils can be made to communitycouncils@eastlothian.gov.uk.

How are Community Councils funded?

Financial support to community councils in East Lothian has always been amongst the best in the country, with the provision of an administration grant and the Local Priority Scheme.

Under the Local Priority Scheme, each community council is granted annual funding to enhance their local environment for the benefit of their community.

How to get involved

There are different ways to get involved in your local Community Council:

  • attend your Community Council's regular public meetings
  • email your local Community Council
  • visit their social media/website
  • become a Community Council member.

For more information contact your Community Council's secretary.

The Association of East Lothian Community Councils (AELCC) is a representative forum which provides the office bearers of Community Councils an opportunity to network, discuss common issues, learn and share their experience and knowledge with other Community Councillors. Usually the Chairs and/or Depute Chairs of Community Councils attend these meetings. The Association usually meets at least twice a year to discuss issues of common interest and representatives from relevant organisations can be invited to attend to brief the Association’s members. Senior officers from East Lothian Council usually attend AELCC meetings to update on pertinent matters such as consultations.

The current Chair of the Association is Ralph Averbuch, Chair of Pencaitland Community Council chair@pencaitland.org

Elections are held every four years, the most recent election was held in October 2021.

Casual vacancies are created when elected members resign or leave and the filling of these is administered by the Community Councils.