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Helensburgh Community Council Frequently Asked Questions

If you’ve got questions about Helensburgh Community Council, we’ve got answers. Below are the most asked questions that we get about the work and the purpose of the community council. We’ve done our best to compile them into this list but if we’ve missed some, feel free to email us and we’ll answer them on this page in the future.

What is a Community Council?

Community Council is a voluntary and non-political organisation set up by statute by the Local Authority and run by local residents to act on behalf of its area. As the most local tier of elected representation, Community Councils play an important role in local democracy.

 

Do community councils have their own constitution?

Yes. Ours comes from Argyll and Bute Council – to see it just follow this link.

 

Can I attend Community Council meetings?

 Yes. Members of the public are always welcome.

When and where does Helensburgh Community Council meet?

You can see when we are meeting as a group in our calendar section of the website.

What geographical area does Helensburgh Community Council cover?

Basically, the town of Helensburgh and the surrounding countryside.

Rhu and Shandon, Luss and Arden, and Cardross all have their own community councils. A very small portion of the Helensburgh Community Council area in Glen Fruin actually lies within the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

 

Are community councils the same as parish councils?

Parish Councils are the English equivalent of Scottish Community Councils.

What activities does the Helensburgh Community Council carry out?

By law, the Community Council has to be consulted on all planning and licensing matters. All community councils bridge the gap between local authorities and their communities and help ensure that public authorities (such as the Police, the National Health Service and Scottish Water) are aware of the opinions and needs of the community.

Helensburgh Community Council is currently responsible for some of the flower beds in Colquhoun Square.

We also carry out regular beach cleans during the summer.

The network of footpaths around Helensburgh and the CCTV system in the town centre were both originally Community Council initiatives.

How do Helensburgh Community Council and Argyll and Bute Council work together?

At least one Argyll and Bute Councillor usually attends Community Council meetings and we are frequently in touch with them and council officials. Some community councillors have become Argyll & Bute councillors and vice versa.

 

If I have a concern about a matter that affects the community, can I contact Helensburgh Community Council about it?

Just contact the convener through this email link.

How is the Community Council different from the Chamber of Commerce?

The Chamber of Commerce only represents businesses, whereas the Community Council represents the whole community. In addition, the Chamber of Commerce is not set up by statute, whereas the Community Council is. However, the two organisations frequently work together.

 

Why does Helensburgh need a Community Council?

So that the views of the community of Helensburgh can be represented to Argyll & Bute Council and to other public sector organisations.

 

What powers does Helensburgh Community Council have, can they veto an Argyll and Bute Council decision or only voice their concern?

Our only powers are those of persuasion.

What matters does Helensburgh Community Council look after?

We carry out no statutory functions, although currently, we organise beach cleans in the summer and we also look after some of the flower beds in Colquhoun Square.

Our principal function is to represent Helensburgh to Argyll & Bute Council and other public sector organisations.

 

If I would like to volunteer and assist Helensburgh Community Council with their efforts to benefit the community, how do I make contact?

Get in touch with the convener through this email link.

Which role does Helensburgh Community Council play in connection to the local Police?

A police officer usually attends one of our monthly meetings and gives a report on policing within the town.

What role does Helensburgh Community Council play in planning applications?

By law, the Community Council has to be consulted on any planning application that is made within our area.

If I wish to object to a particular planning application, can Helensburgh Community Council help me?

Contact the convener and they will put you in touch with those members of the Community Council who specialise in planning.

 

How is Helensburgh Community Council financed?

By an annual grant from Argyll & Bute Council – per head of population. The grant which Helensburgh receives is the lowest in Argyll & Bute. Community councils can also raise their own funds, and some receive substantial sums of money from such sources as wind farms.

 

Do community councils have tax-raising powers?

No (unlike parish councils in England).

Can community councils make grants or donations to charities and other organisations?

We are not allowed to use any of our annual grant from Argyll & Bute Council for these purposes. However this does not apply to any money which we have raised ourselves.

Can community councils make grants or donations to charities and other organisations?

We are not allowed to use any of our annual grant from Argyll & Bute Council for these purposes. However, this does not apply to any money which we have raised ourselves.

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