Community councils across Dumfries and Galloway dissolved
Thirty-eight community councils in Dumfries and Galloway have been dissolved after failing to produce a constitution by the January deadline
Thirty-eight community councils in Dumfries and Galloway have been dissolved after failing to meet the deadline for producing a constitution.
Under Dumfries and Galloway Council rules, community councils were required to agree a constitution within three months of the community council election in October 2015 or be automatically dissolved.
Only 44 of the 91 community councils across the region submitted a constitution by the deadline, while 12 others submitted one after the deadline.
Councils that have been dissolved will need to need to re-elected in a by-election.
This could affect activities planned for the summer, as the dissolved community councils may be unable to access bank accounts and insurance cover for events until they are re-established.
The council’s Community and Customer Services Committee recommended in March that the council amend the scheme governing community councils so they would not be required to dissolve in the event of failing to agree a constitution, but only ‘may be dissolved’.
However, officers ruled that under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 the council cannot change this clause of the scheme without a full review of the scheme and public consultation on the change.
It is thought that Dumfries and Galloway Council is the only local authority in Scotland that has this compulsory dissolution clause.
A spokesperson for Dumfries and Galloway Council said: “The council has been liaising with 38 community councils across the region to inform them that legally they are now considered to be dissolved.
“Although this is ultimately a matter for the individual community councils, we recognise the important role they play within their towns and villages – the events they arrange, the activities they support and the good work that they do.
“The council is therefore keen that the affected community councils are supported if they wish to re-establish themselves and we have put in place all necessary resources to support them to get back up and running.
“A letter has been sent to each community council asking them to return details of nominations within seven days.
“By returning this information, it means that the community council can get re-established as soon as possible.
“This will ensure that the variety of enjoyable summer events organised by community councils can go ahead as normal.”
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