>> The Community Council
The Community Council
Community Council is a formally elected tier of local government. It is a
‘corporate body’ with a legal existence of its own quite separate from that of
its members; its decisions are the responsibility of the whole body. The
Community Council has been granted powers by the National Assembly for Wales,
including the right to raise money through taxation (the precept) and a range
of powers to spend that public money.
Community Councils are governed by a national Code of Conduct and breaches can be referred to the County Ethics and Standards Committee which has powers to suspend Councillors. Any decisions taken by a Community Council needs to have a majority vote and should be preceded by ‘the proposition’ being accepted (seconded), made public for public input and debated before the decision is taken. A decision cannot be changed for 6 months though a Councillor can propose rescinding it and if supported such can occur.
The job of a Community Council is to represent the interests of the whole community – and to represent the interests of different parts of the community equally. In order to gain the trust of the Community they serve, Community Councils need to be objective and transparent, particularly over financial matters. This is sometimes difficult as inevitably Community Councils have to take difficult and contentious decisions on behalf of their Communities. To best understand local concerns etc. Councillors need to engage with their constituents but equally their constituents need to engage with Councillors; engagement in the democratic process by all is important to helping make the best decisions, fairly.