Letter about Community Council Elections

As you may know, the current term of office for East Lothian Community Councils is coming to an end in the next few weeks. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank every Community Councillor for the service they have given over the last four years. These volunteers have worked hard for their communities in many different ways, from organising or helping to run community events, to representing local interests to East Lothian Council and other public and private bodies, as well as continuing to work closely with their partners in the Area Partnerships.

Elections for this our most local level of democracy, are scheduled for this October and East Lothian Council will shortly be issuing details of how to get involved. In the past, most of our Community Councillors have been appointed unopposed as there have been insufficient nominations. I wish to be clear that this is no reflection on those who have put themselves forward, we should all be grateful that they did, however, more candidates than positions will trigger local elections. This benefits us all as it raises awareness of what Community Councils do, increases community involvement and ownership, and strengthens the mandate for each Community Council with increased confidence that they reflect local opinion.

Nominations for this coming term will open on August 29th. Whether you are an existing Community Councillor, or just someone who has an interest in their local area and it’s future (and who doesnt), I would encourage you to stand for election. You need no special qualifications, apart from an open mind and a genuine wish to make a positive difference in your community. It does require making a commitment but it can be an incredibly rewarding experience, one that I heartily recommend.

Again, my thanks to those who have decided against standing for re-election, my best wishes to you. To those returning and new colleagues who are successfully elected to their Community Councils in October, the Association of East Lothian Community Councils extends a very warm welcome.

Yours etc,
Hilary Smith
Chair of the Association of East Lothian Community Councils