What is the purpose of a Community Council?

Their role is to gather in an active way the views of their communities in terms of local issues, needs and wishes and to convey those views to us. Community Councils should always act in a non-political and non-sectarian manner.

How do they convey the communities' views to the Council?

Community Councils are consulted on planning and licensing applications affecting their area. They are also sent a wide range of consultative documents from us and other bodies. They hold their meetings in public to hear and discuss the views of the community and call special meetings in order to gather the views of their community on major issues. They may also take an active role in community events and heritage preservation.

How many Community Councils are there?

Out of a possible 23, there are 18 currently in operation.

How are the Community Councils made up?

They are elected (either opposed or unopposed) with the balance (approximately one third) coming from nominees from local organisations. This is to try and ensure as wide a cross-section of community representatives as possible.

When are Community Council elections held?

Elections are held every four years.

How do you stand for Community Council election?

Nomination forms are available from all Council One-Stop Shops, Libraries, Registration Offices and the Election Office, Municipal Buildings. Candidates require to be registered voters in the community concerned and to have their nomination endorsed by a proposer, seconder and two assentors, all of whom must also be voters registered in the community.

How do the Community Council elections work?

If there are more candidates than places in any Community Council, an election by postal vote will be held. Candidates’ statements (and photographs, if chosen) will be distributed with the ballot papers. Voters will be able to choose a number of candidates up to the number of elected members required.

If the number of candidates equals the number of places, we will declare the candidates duly elected and a Community Council will be formed.

If there are fewer candidates than places, we will exercise our discretion as to whether or not a Community Council is formed or the election is suspended to a later date.

What support will I receive as a new Community Councillor?

If you are appointed to a Community Council that was active at the time of the last election, you can count on the support of those Councillors who may have served for some time.

Following the elections, a welcome event for all our Community Councillors will be arranged. It is also the intention to provide a series of training evenings which will be open to all Community Councils. Each Community Council can apply for a grant from us which is used to cover administration costs. Further information will be provided on this and other possible avenues for funding at one of the training sessions.