Nominations for elections to East Lothian’s community councils open on Monday, 30 August.
Local people interested in becoming a member of their local community council will have up until Thursday, 16 September to lodge nomination papers.
Depending on the number of nominations received, elections will be held with the issuing of postal vote papers to residents living in the corresponding community council area – to be returned for counting by 7 October.
Councillor Jim Goodfellow, East Lothian Council’s Cabinet Spokesperson for Community Wellbeing, said:
“Serving as a community councillor is extremely rewarding and fulfilling and an excellent way for people to make a difference in their local area.
“Over many years East Lothian’s 20 community councils have contributed a huge amount to their area, with a whole host of projects benefiting local people including the organisation of events such as firework displays, festivals, gala days and Christmas lights. Community councils have also given local towns and villages a strong voice, while delivering and contributing to a whole range of other projects which have helped others, for example improving the environment.
“Through our website and social media channels East Lothian Council is highlighting some of the great work which has been carried out and it really underlines how local people can be empowered to make things happen.
“Representing the views of residents, particularly in response to local development and planning matters, and working with other local organisations including membership of Area Partnerships, plays an important role in ensuring local towns and villages throughout East Lothian are great places in which to live and work.
“These elections were postponed for a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic but, as we look ahead to the future, I’m pleased that there is now an opportunity for local people to come forward and stand for election to their local community council. I’d encourage as many people as possible to give this consideration and for residents on the electoral roll to return their ballot papers by ‘polling day’ on 7 October.
“Nominations can be made from 30 August until the middle September.”
Community councils are provided for in statute by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 and the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1994. They are local representative bodies which are recognised as statutory planning and licensing consultees. Under the 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".
Community Councils are run on a voluntary basis by local people. They act as a vital link between East Lothian Council and the local area and give residents an opportunity to speak out on local issues of concern. Meetings are usually held once a month.
There are 20 Community Councils in East Lothian:
Cockenzie & Port Seton, Dunbar, Dunpender, East Lammermuir, Garvald & Morham, Gifford, Gullane Area, Haddington & District, Humbie, East & West Saltoun & Bolton, Longniddry, Macmerry & Gladsmuir, Musselburgh & Inveresk, North Berwick, Ormiston, Pencaitland, Prestonpans, Tranent & Elphinstone, Wallyford, West Barns, Whitecraig.
People interested in becoming a member of a Community Council must be age 16 or over.
Each community council receives annual grant funding from East Lothian Council comprising a contribution towards their administration and insurance costs and a local priorities grant, which is calculated on a per capita formula.
Each Community Council in East Lothian is supported by their local Connected Communities Manager as a first point of contact on any local issues or requests for advice on Community Council operational matters.
More information about the election process, and how to submit a nomination, is available on the Council website: Community Council election | Community Council election | East Lothian Council
You can read more information about the work of East Lothian’s community councils, including examples of projects and initiatives in recent years, on this page of the Council website.