In common with all other Scottish Local Authorities, Orkney Islands Council was required by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 to prepare a Scheme of Administration for Community Councils. One of the main themes of the Government’s approach was one of promoting closer links between communities and service providers.
The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 states that “the general purpose of a community council shall be to ascertain, co-ordinate and express to the local authorities for its area, and to public authorities, the views of the community which it represents, in relation to matters for which those authorities are responsible, and to take such action in the interests of that community as appears to it to be expedient and practicable.”
The operation of the community council system in Orkney is carried out in terms of the Scheme for Orkney Community Councils – 2007.
Community Councils play an important role in local democracy by representing local views which can influence decisions in planning and the provision of local services. The Community Councils provide an effective, strong voice within each community area offering sound, local advice on a range of community issues.
Orkney Islands Council consults and depends on information and views from Community Councils and these are used in shaping local authority policies. Community Councils are regularly consulted by other public agencies on a wide range of community related issues. Democratic Services is situated within the Chief Executive’s Department to provide an administrative link between Orkney Community Councils and Orkney Islands Council.