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Your community needs you - Community Council Elections 2015

9th September 2015

Photograph of Your community needs you - Community Council Elections 2015

Nominations are invited from people seeking election to all Community Councils across Highland this autumn. This is your chance to help represent the views of your community to the Highland Council and other public agencies.

Community Councils are voluntary organisations that act as a voice for their local area. They express the views and concerns of local people within their area across a wide range of issues from new buildings and roads to local services and facilities. They also have statutory duties: by law, the Highland Council must consult with Community Councils on planning and licensing applications in their area.

Community Councils also work to make positive changes in their local communities. Some Community Councils have worked to improve patient transport, dental services and care services as well as looking at ways to improve their environment for the good of the community and visitors to the area.

In some areas, Community Councils receive Community Benefit money from windfarm projects which they can reinvest in the community. Others are involved in setting up Community Development Companies which can lead on larger scale projects to improve the area.

Anyone can be a Community Councillor, provided they are aged 16 or over, are on the Electoral Register and live within the Community Council boundary. Becoming a Community Councillor is a great way to help represent and improve the community in which you live.

Candidates wishing to serve their local Community Councils can nominate themselves from Monday 21 September 2015.If the number of nominations exceeds the number of places on the Community Council then there will be an election ballot in that local area.

Those aged 16 and 17 at the time of the nomination deadline are also eligible to seek election and to register to vote in the election. However 16 and 17 year olds must be registered on the supplementary register. Registration forms are available on the Highland Council website and are being distributed through secondary schools.

The Returning Officer for the elections is Steve Barron, Chief Executive of The Highland Council. He said: "Community Councils play a significant part in local democracy and in strengthening communities across a range of issues. These elections will include 16 and 17 year olds both as candidates and voters for the first time and I encourage all to consider standing and to vote on the day."

Further information on nominations and the election is available on the Council website www.highland.gov.uk

 

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