ANYONE interested in standing for a community council in West Lothian has just a week left to put themselves forward.
The closing date for nominations in the forthcoming elections is 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 29.
Helen Taylor, the chair of West Lothian Association of Community Councils, said: “I’d encourage anyone interested in serving on their community to come forward. You can download nomination forms from our website – http://www.yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk – or get them from West Lothian Council offices.
“The voluntary posts are for four years, and there’s no pay. But you do get the reward to being able to represent your community and, on occasions, affect real change for the better.”
Community councils work to safeguard and promote their area’s best interests – representing public opinion to the local authority and other government bodies. Each community council is regularly asked to comment on a range of issues such as:
* the local environment;
* local planning applications;
* drinks (liquor) licensing;
* local plans;
* decentralisation of public services; and
* community planning.
Anyone interested in finding out more can call the community councils’ liaison officer, Lorraine McGrorty, on 01506 777239 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are currently 34 community councils in West Lothian, but the opportunity to have 42. Staff at West Lothian Council have been working with existing community councillors to encourage new groups to be set up in areas around Livingston – and the villages of Seafield, Breich and Greenrigg.
Last week, a display was set up in Almondvale Shopping Centre in Livingston to support the election drive. A mobile stand has also been made available to community councils to use.
Helen added: “Each community council has different numbers of community councillors, based on the size of their local population. The groups need at least half of their allocated places to be filled at an election to remain viable. If more people than places stand, then a formal ballot will be called for that area.”
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NOTE TO EDITORS:
West Lothian Association of Community Councils is the umbrella group which represents the 34 existing community councils across West Lothian. These are located in the following areas:
Addiewell/Loganlea, Armadale, Bathgate, Bellsquarry, Blackburn, Blackridge, Bridgend, Broxburn, Dechmont, Dedridge, East Calder & Wilkieston, Ecclesmachan/Threemiletown, Fauldhouse, Howden, Kirknewton, Knightsridge, Ladywell, Linlithgow, Linlithgow Bridge, Longridge, Mid Calder, Murieston, Newton, Philpstoun, Polbeth, Pumpherson, Stoneyburn, Torphichen, Uphall, Uphall Station, West Calder and Harburn, Westfield, Whitburn and Winchburgh.
The elections could mean that new community councils could be set up in:
Carmondean, Craigshill, Deans, Eliburn and Livingston Village – plus Seafield, Breich and Greenrigg.
To find out more about community councils in West Lothian – visit their award-nominated website at http://www.yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk
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