Information for community councillors

This information page has been developed to support community councillors in their day to day role and answer some frequently asked questions.

Community Council Survey 2020/2021

As a Council we are always looking for ways to improve the service that we deliver, so we carry out an Annual Survey to ask about the different aspects of our support to you. The results of this survey focus on the work of the Community Planning and Engagement Service and show an increased response rate of 21% to that of the previous survey. This is an excellent performance given the additional demands on Community Councils and on Council staff over the past 18 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Public Liability Insurance for Community Councils

Dumfries and Galloway Council provides a 'blanket' public liability insurance scheme for all established community councils in Dumfries and Galloway. The current public liability insurance scheme started on 1 May 2023 and the premium has been paid for 2023/2024.

Insurance papers have been issued by our insurance brokers (Keegan & Pennykid) and a copy can be found below.

Your cover includes public liability, libel and slander, professional indemnity, personal accident, employer's liability and trustee indemnity. In July 2013, the cover was extended to include community resilience activities.

Volunteering and Resilience activities - under the terms of our current policy Community Councillors and Volunteers acting under the direction and supervision of the Community Council are covered for any activities being undertaken by a Community Council to assist those in need of a helping hand and would be viewed as coming under the umbrella of resilience activities;

Use of Private Vehicles - if individuals are using their own vehicles to undertake such activities, the current policy does NOT cover this activity.   

It is for individual community councils to assure themselves over the level of cover that they have, and they must ensure they take out extra insurance cover for other activities not covered by the "blanket" policy such as gala days, switching on Christmas lights and grass-cutting.

The advice to community councils is that if they have any doubt as to the appropriateness of their insurance cover, they may decide to withdraw from the 'blanket' scheme and make arrangements for their own insurance. In this case the community council must contact us at

Community councils may approach the current public liability insurance provider, or any other insurance provider, with regard to their other insurance requirements. Contact details for the current insurance provider are:

Hazel Strachan, Commercial Insurance, Keegan & Pennykid (Insurance Brokers) Ltd
Tel: 0131 225 6005

Useful Documents

Office Bearers

Once a community council is inaugurated it must elect office bearers. Each community council must have a Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary. The office bearers are responsible for the efficient and effective operation of the community council.

This doesn't mean that they must do all the work and can decide to appoint other office bearer roles including a Minute Secretary, Planning and Publicity Officers.

All members of the community council are equally responsible for the community council's decisions and actions and are required at all times to comply with the Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils in Dumfries and Galloway.

Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils

Community councils are governed by the Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils in Dumfries and Galloway (the 'Scheme').  The Scheme sets out how Community Councils should operate including elections, membership rules and meeting arrangements. The Scheme was originally adopted in 1997 and various amendments have been agreed by Dumfries and Galloway Council since then.

Amended Scheme 2020

The amended Scheme and its schedules were passed by resolution of the Dumfries and Galloway Council in terms of section 53 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 on 24 September 2020.  The terms of the Scheme came into effect on 1 October 2020.

Community Council elections

Community Council Ordinary elections are held during the month of October at the same frequency as the Local Government Elections.  Community Council Elections for the return of all Community Councils across Dumfries and Galloway last took place on 3 October 2019. The next CC elections will take place in 2024.

Vacancies on Community Councils may arise between Ordinary elections and where the vacancy does not result in the number of Elected Community Councillors falling below the minimum number of permitted Elected Members, then this vacancy can be filled by holding a Casual Vacancy Election or Co-option subject to conditions.

Further information can be obtained via email at

Membership of Community Councillors

Section 5 Procedure for Co-option of Membership

Any co-option of membership requires the matter to be discussed at a prior Community Council meeting and recorded in the minutes.  

Section 5.3.1 Qualification of Community Council Member

  • The proposed co-opted member completes a nomination form as they are required to be 16 years or over, reside within the Community Council boundary, be registered to vote and their proposer must be included in the electoral role.  This is the same process that must be applied when individuals are applying to become elected members of a community council during the Ordinary Elections or indeed as part of the Casual Vacancy Election process.  The nomination form is the basis upon which the qualification criteria is verified.  
  • On receipt of the nomination form, DGC will confirm all candidates meet the necessary requirements for membership and the process can proceed.

Section 5.5 Process of Appointment

  • Publicising the agenda and minutes with the appropriate, required information (scheme 5.5.2), members of the community can also be aware of any vacancies on the Community Council and can apply for co-option membership if they wish to do so. 
  • At the next scheduled Community Council meeting, the co-option process can be finalised as an agenda item. 
  • Co-opted members can undertake office bearer duties as a secretary or treasurer but not the chairperson, as stated at section 6.2 of the scheme. They also have full voting rights but do not form part of the quorum.  

How to make a Community Council business enquiry

The CCES provides a direct route for dealing with the vast and wide-ranging number of enquiries made by community councils.

The benefits of the CCES include:

  • enquiries are directed through a fair and transparent route to the most appropriate person for response
  • agreed timescales for a response are in place
  • measures are in place to monitor and continuously improve the quality of responses
  • the process ensures tighter control of the Council expenditure associated with enquiry handling

Community councils should email their enquiry to

Good Practice Guidance for Local Authorities and Community Councils

The Scottish Government's Good Practice Guidance for Community Councils, for use by both local authorities and community councils can be found here.

Should you have any difficulties in downloading this document, please contact Kathleen Glazik at the Scottish Government on 0131 244 0831 to request a paper copy.

Community Council Discretionary Grants

Each community council is eligible to receive from Dumfries and Galloway Council an annual discretionary grant which will take account of the population included in the community council's boundary.

To ensure eligibility, each community council must adhere to the terms of Section 11.6 of the Scheme.

The discretionary grant can be used at the discretion of the community council to further their statutory purposes, role and responsibilities only and for no other purpose.

The level of grant funding remains the same as for the previous financial year and payment of the allowance will be made in accordance with a procedure determined by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Claims will be considered on receipt of the following:

  • Evidence of a minimum of 6 meetings having been held throughout the previous financial year, including an AGM, for the avoidance of doubt an EGM would be in addition to this.
  • Satisfactory accounts for the previous financial year which have been certified by an Independent Examiner of Accounts and countersigned by the Chair and Treasurer.
  • Annual Monitoring Form (this can be found below).
  • BACS Form, if applicable (this can be found below).

Subject to eligibility and criteria having been met, the discretionary grant payment will be made by BACS transfer directly into the Community Council's bank account as soon as possible upon receipt of all the necessary paperwork.


The email address for submitting minutes is

Please submit your claim to by no later than 31 December 2023. 

Data Protection Registration

A community council handles personal data therefore each community council is required to adhere to all relevant legislation and to register with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

There is a cost of £40 a year for data protection registration and each community council is responsible for registering with the ICO for data protection. The annual fee should be paid using the community council's discretionary grant.

How do we find out the views of our local communities?

The Scottish Government is committed to people in Scotland having a greater say in how local services are planned and delivered. It's only by listening to the experiences and ideas of the people who live in these communities that we can find solutions which will make a lasting difference.

Local community councils are encouraged to use the National Standards for Community Engagement as a good practice tool which provides a common set of ground rules that should be applied to both sides of the engagement process. One of the standards relates to overcoming any barriers to involvement and, for example, a community council may use its discretionary grant to pay for community councillors to attend appropriate meetings on its behalf.

Strengthening Community Councils

A recently published, detailed report carried out by the Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) and What Works Scotland (WWS) on strengthening Community Councils to have a key role taking forward ideas around community empowerment and democratic renewal in Scotland.  Some of the recommendations include:-

  • Local Authorities, in collaboration with Scottish Government, to put in place resources to improve Community Councils' capacity to meet local needs
  • Strengthening/enhancing Community Council powers
  • Support is needed with empowerment, training, capacity building, resources, networking and promotion
  • Regular point of contact for local authority and other agencies
  • Compensation schemes implemented to support community councillors with accessibility, travel, caring responsibilities and loss of earnings
  • New measures for Community Council membership to increase diversity
  • Scottish Government conduct a publicity campaign to raise awareness of Community Councils

What Happens Next?

The current Local Governance Review conducted by COSLA and the Scottish Government is looking at the role and arrangements for Community Councils. Read more about the research and recommendations.

Scottish Community Councils Website

This national website was created to support and promote Scottish community councils through advice and resources, and real success stories of the impact that community councils can have on their community.

It provides information for anyone interested in community councils as well as both new and experienced community councillors. It provides up to date information on news, events, guidance, and grants that are related to community councils as well as advice on how to be a community councillor.


This page is currently under review, and while Dumfries and Galloway Council makes every effort to maintain the accuracy of the information on this web page, it accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage, which may occur, from use of or reliance on the information.

Page last updated: 27/09/2023
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