Community Councils

What are Community Councils?

There are 18 Community Councils in Shetland. Community Councils are involved a wide range of activities including:

  • Commenting on planning applications
  • Providing financial assistance to local groups / unadopted roads
  • Undertaking environmental improvements
  • Developing local facilities and amenities
  • Carrying out surveys
  • Responding to local, regional and national consultations
  • Organising community events such as Participatory Budgeting

You can use the search function on the Improvement Service's Community Council Finder. Use the map to zoom into the search area, and see the name of the community council by clicking on the community council area

Community Councils usually meet every 4-6 weeks. Community Councils can arrange other public or special meetings out with their normal meeting cycle as necessary. Members of the public are entitled to attend and observe proceedings at Community Council meetings.

Community Councils were created by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973. The Act required local authorities to introduce Community Council schemes for their area outlining various arrangements including elections, meetings, boundaries, and finance. Local authorities have statutory oversight of Community Councils and, in consultation with their Community Councils, the freedom to tailor schemes to the particular circumstances of their area.

Shetland Islands Council and other bodies consult with Community Councils on issues affecting the community they represent. These issues depend to a large extent on what is important to each community, however, local authorities are required to consult Community Councils on planning applications and many choose to involve them in the Community Planning process.

Community Councils are independent, constituted voluntary organisations. As the most local tier of elected representation in Scotland, Community Councils play an important role in local democracy by representing local views which can influence decisions on planning and the provision of local services.

Community Councils bridge the gap between the Council and communities, and help to make public bodies aware of the opinions and needs of the communities they represent. The main purpose of Community Councils is to find out and express the views of the community to the local authority and other public bodies.