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 'Sense of community' is crucial

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Number of posts : 84
Registration date : 2011-02-23

PostSubject: 'Sense of community' is crucial   Tue 15 Nov 2011 - 22:05

By Jamie McIvor BBC Scotland local government correspondent
Wind farm Some community councils have been "vocal critics" of local plans, including wind farms
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Community councils were created at the same time as the major reorganisation of local government in the mid-70s which abolished the old town and county councils and created regions such as Strathclyde and Tayside.

They were designed to try to ensure the minutiae of local representation was not lost as power shifted towards the centre and survived the overhaul which created the current system of local government in 1996.

News that a significant number of community councils are in limbo - and that the bulk are unelected - may not be a surprise. But the situation will concern many who, to use the American phrase, believe that ultimately all politics is local.

Community councils take part in consultations during the planning process although, of course, they do not decide whether to reject or accept plans. Some have been vocal critics on controversial local plans, such as some wind farm developments.

If an individual council is unelected, it is easy for others to question how representative it is of the community it claims to serve, whatever the reality of the situation may be.

More positively, community councils can help play a part in instilling civic pride by organising local events and festivals - even little things such as signposts highlighting interesting local buildings.

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