Community councils are the most local tier of elected representation in Scotland. They are voluntary organisations set up by statute by local authorities and run by local residents to act on behalf of their areas.
The Scottish Community Councils project, managed by the IS on behalf of the Scottish Government, provides information, support and resources for Scotland’s 1,200 community councils and the 10,000+ volunteers who serve as community councillors.
In 2020 the project recognised the need to support community councils adapting to new ways of working and set out to help them improve their digital skills. In partnership with the Scottish Tech Army the project is currently delivering a digital skills pilot with community councils in Aberdeenshire which so far has included training on social media and will also cover maintaining and updating websites as well as sessions on the use of virtual meeting software such as Microsoft Teams.
In addition, the project also reached out to the Open University in Scotland and consulted with community councils on their training requirements, including digital. In Feb 2021 the project was delighted to launch a refreshed website with a dedicated portal providing a suite of free training modules tailored to the needs of community councils in Scotland.
The project is also keen to support rural community councils in terms of their digital requirements and will soon be working on a pilot project with Scottish Government to offer support.
The community councils project also provides a national network for Community Council Liaison Officers based within local authorities and facilitates a blend of face-to-face and online events with information on relevant topics such as planning and local governance.
Scottish Community Councillors Development Network
A friendly group aimed at enabling community councillors to share questions, ideas and good practice about running a community council. The group is open to anyone with an interest in community councils.
Scottish CCLO Development Network
A professional community of practice for Community Council Liaison Officers (CCLOs) and their colleagues.