Candidates wishing to stand for election to a community council must reside in the local area and be named on the Electoral Register for that area. The same criteria shall apply to voters in a community council election.
Sixteen and 17 year-olds residing in the community council area and named on the Electoral Register for that area are also entitled to both stand for the community council and vote in any election. A supplementary electoral register may be compiled in circumstances relative to 16 and 17 year-olds and for new residents.
Any community council member who no longer resides within that community council area is deemed to have resigned from that community council.
Any individual who is elected to serve on this local authority, or the Scottish, UK or European parliament shall be ineligible to remain a community councillor, or to stand for election to a community council. Such persons, upon taking office, become ex-officio members of the community councils contained in whole or in part of their electoral constituency.
Nominations and Elections
The first elections to be held under the Scheme shall be held on a date to be determined by the local authority.
Subsequent elections will be held on a four-yearly-cycle, outwith local government election years, on dates to be determined by the local authority. Where the number of established community councils exceeds a level to be determined by the local authority, elections for a proportion of the total number of established community councils within the 4-yearly cycle may be arranged. Should the community councils’ election cycle fall in the year of Scottish local government or parliamentary elections, the electoral proceedings will be held in the following year.
The local authority will administer all elections.
The local authority will appoint an Independent Returning Officer. The Independent Returning Officer must not be a current elected member of that community council nor intending to stand for election to that community council.
Individuals seeking election to a community council require to be nominated by a proposer and seconder, both of whom must be on the Electoral Register for that community council area. Nominations require to be submitted with the candidate’s consent. Self-nomination is not permitted.
A nomination form should be completed, the style of which will be described within the Guidance Notes. Nomination forms require to be submitted on the date set down in the election timetable. No forms submitted after that date will be accepted.
On the expiry of the period for lodging nominations:
Should the number of candidates validly nominated equal or exceed HALF, but be less than or equal to the total maximum permitted membership as specified for the community council area in Appendix IV of the Scheme, the said candidates will be declared to be elected and no ballot shall be held.
Should the number of candidates validly nominated exceed the total maximum permitted membership as specified for the community council area, arrangements for a Poll shall be implemented. At the Poll, each voter shall be entitled to vote for candidates up to the number of vacancies on the community council.
Should the number of candidates elected, be below HALF of the total maximum permitted membership, as specified for the community council area, no community council will be established at that time. However, that does not preclude the local authority from issuing a second call for nominations for a community council area failing to meet the minimum membership requirement within 6 months of the closing date for the registration of the first call for nominations.
Method of Election
Elections will be based on whole local authority areas or devolved administrative areas, as deemed appropriate. Ideally, elections will take place across whole local authority areas at one time. However, large local authorities may need to take an incremental approach to elections across their area, over a specified period of time or cycle. Community councils shall be elected on a simple majority basis.
Filling of casual places/vacancies between elections
Casual vacancies on a community council may arise in the following circumstances:
When an elected community council member submits her/his resignation;
When an elected community council member ceases to be resident within that community council area;
When an elected community council member has her/his membership disqualified.
Should a vacancy or vacancies arise on a community council between elections, it shall be a requirement that the community council undertake appropriate election arrangements, in consultation with the local authority. Filling a vacancy can be undertaken either through the process of an interim election or by co-option. However, should circumstances arise that leads to the number of elected community councillors falling below HALF of the maximum permitted membership, the local authority shall be informed and shall undertake arrangements for an interim election to be held, as described within the Guidance Notes.
Co-option to Community Councils
Co-opted members must be eligible for membership of the community council as detailed in Section 5 of the Community Council Scheme. They must be elected onto the community council by a two-thirds majority of the elected (general and interim) community councillors present and voting. Such co-opted members shall have full voting rights, with the exception of voting on co-option of members, and will serve until the next round of elections (general and interim). Notice of any proposed co-option procedure is required to be intimated to all of that community council’s members at least 14 days prior to the meeting when the matter will be decided.
The number of co-opted members may not exceed a THIRD of the current elected (general and interim) community council membership. Should the ratio of co-opted to elected community councillors become greater than one third, due to any circumstances, an interim election process shall be triggered.
Associate members may be appointed by a community council where there may be a need for individuals with particular skills or knowledge. These individuals do not have voting rights. Associate members may serve for a fixed period as determined by the community council or for the term of office of the community council that has appointed them. Associate members may also include representation from other constituted local voluntary organisations.
Local Authority Councillors, MPs, MSPs and MEPs whose wards or constituencies fall wholly or partly within the geographical area of the community council area shall be deemed ex-officio members of the community council. Ex-officio members have no voting rights on the community council.