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Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Association of Scottish Community Councils - Survey 2007

I got this

Dear Colleagues

I am pleased to attach the ASCC’s survey 2007, intended for all the Community Councils of Scotland. We are looking at a range of issues, particularly the imminent changes to CCs stemming from Govt. initiatives, and seeking a sense of how the ASCC can improve and what CCs want from it.

If you have, for example, access to the email addresses of some of your CCs, a section for CCs on your website where you could post this, or access to CC websites, we would be very grateful if you would disseminate this, so the largest possible number of colleagues receives it.

If possible, would you please emphasise that we are pleased to receive responses corporately from CCs, and also from any individual Comm. Cllr. who wishes?

We will also be posting hard copies with the newsletter to be issued shortly.

Thanks to those of you who have returned the CCLO survey, and I hope more of you will do so soon.

Thank you for your continue support and engagement.

Warm regards

Yours ,

Vincent Waters
National Secretary,
Association of Scottish Community Councils
0845 644 5153

Comann Chomhairlean Coimhearsnachd na h-Alba

We welcome responses to this survey from CCs and from individual Community Councillors


Dear Colleague

Your opinion is important.

You have a right to be heard by your national Association and we have a duty to present robust, detailed information to the Government, Local Authorities and the wider public sector.

This is an exciting time to be a Community Councillor. Our Councils look forward to the most significant changes seen since our creation.

The Plans of the Scottish Executive since 2006 were to create:

  • A national Model Scheme for Community Councils, (which is the document each Local Authority must have to detail how they organise and support the Community Councils in their area),

  • A national Code of Conduct for Comm. Councillors

  • National Best Practice Guidance for CCs and authorities.

Your Association is very involved in these efforts, representing you and looking after your interests.

Now, the new Scottish Government has been elected. It’s election manifesto included major promises to increase the powers and budgets of Community Councils.

You must decide what this means for your Council and your Community.

We will carry your response to the heart of Government.

Please take the time to compete and return this survey.

Yours in Partnership

Vincent Waters

National Secretary


  • If you are completing this survey on behalf of your Council, please make sure you have either:

    • Agreed the responses with them first


    • Sent them the draft with your responses, for them to agree or amend.

If you are responding on behalf of your CC, their views must form the response. It is essential you only indicate you are responding on behalf of your cc if you have fully consulted them on the answers you have given.

Even if your CC has given you permission to respond on their behalf without further reference to them, please tick the box for an individual response.

To be a genuine CC response, the whole CC must take part in crafting the answers.

If you are responding to this survey as an individual Comm. Cllr., please indicate that in the box provided.

We are happy to receive your response in the way that suits you:

By email:

By post:

PO Box 5099, Glasgow, G78 9AL.

Please make every effort to have responses returned by 1 October 2007.


CC Name

Are you responding on behalf of your CC or as an individual?

CC Contact Person Address inc Postcode

CC Website

CC Email Address

Your email address

Local Authority Name

Does your CC represent a

Predominantly URBAN or RURAL or SUBURBAN or ISLAND community?

Approx Population served by your CC

No. of Councillors allowed by your Constitution

Actual No. of Councillors

What % are female?

What % are under 30 years of age?

What is the approximate % average attendance of members over the last year

Does your CC communicate internally by email?

Does your CC communicate externally by email?

Is your CC a member of the ASCC?

Is your CC a member of a CC Federation / Network / Convention / Association, based in your area?

How many local authority wards are now within your CC boundary?

How many local authority councillors are now entitled to attend your meetings?

Describe the attitude of your local authority to: (circle appropriately)

Community Councils in general

antagonistic / neglectful / uninterested / generally supportive / very supportive / beacon of excellence

Your CC

antagonistic / neglectful / uninterested / generally supportive / very supportive / beacon of excellence

How often in a year does an MP attend your meetings?

How often in a year does an MSP attend your meetings?

How many local authority Cllrs regularly attend your meetings? (attend at least 75%)

How many local authority Cllrs regularly fail to attend your meetings?

Does the local press media attend your meetings?

Is the work of your CC reported in the local media?

Do you give local media notice of meetings and / or reports of meetings?

Do some constituents attend your meetings? (circle):

always / most meetings / a few times a year / rarely / never

Does your CC receive training from the local authority?

Does the authority pay for another provider to train you?

What % of your CC members have undertaken CC related training in the last 12 months?

Would you be interested in hearing about training provided by the ASCC and designed specifically for CCs

Do you put your minutes on a (circle all that apply):

Website / notice board / local shop / library / community building / other

Do you email your minutes and other papers to people in the community and stakeholders?

Your Local Authority

Please rate your local authority for each question in this section using this scale:

1 = Very Satisfied 6 = Very Dissatisfied

Ways they consult with you

Supply of USEFUL information

Supply of information in a useful FORMAT

Quality of their responses to you

Their listening to your representation on behalf of your constituents

Their recognition of the unique and superior status of Community Councils

Their corporate structure

Their grant to you

Their administrative support to you

Does your CC pay proper expenses to ALL CCllrs?

Do you have sufficient funds to operate effectively?

Do you have public liability insurance protection for your CC?

Would you be interested in hearing about low-cost insurance cover provided by the ASCC?

Do you keep in regular contact with other CCs in your area?

Do you share information with other CCs in your area?

Have you teamed-up with any other CC in your area to pursue common goals?

The Scottish Parliament

Do you follow the work of the Parliament?

How satisfied are you that they are addressing the needs of your Community? (1 – 6 Scale)

Do you believe there are too many MSPs?

How satisfied are you with the amount of information you receive on the Parliament? (1 – 6 Scale)

The Government’s Proposals For Community Councils

We will review the role of Community Councils to make them more responsive, dynamic and

representative. Devolving greater responsibilities to community councils will be a central

consideration of this review” [SNP Manifesto]

Tell us whether you think each proposal is a good idea for your CC, and then how close you think your CC is to being capable of taking on each responsibility

1 = Ready for this right now 2 = Ready if we make some minor changes

3= Ready after significant changes 4 = Will need some help from outside

5 = will need a lot of help 6 = Won’t be ready for this for foreseeable future.


Good Idea – Yes or No

Rate Your CC’s Readiness 1 -6

Budgets for CCs to spend on local priorities – indicated to be at about £30,000 for every 1000 constituents in your Community (i.e. a Community of 10,000 people means their CC would get a budget of £300,000

A say in Community punishments for anti-social behaviour and the like

Corporate Status for CCs

Local Ownership of facilities

In deprived communities, power to co-opt and direct spending of a set portion of local govt spending on services and priorities determined by the CC

(as yet undefined) elements of the powers and responsibilities of local authorities devolved to CCs

Make new local govt ward boundaries the structural basis for new CC boundaries.

What top ten things would your CC need to be ready for this reform of our structure and work, and be able to take on these responsibilities?

(indicate by marking your most important aspect with a 1, and so on).

Legal Protection for the CC

Training for CCllrs

Corporate Status for the CC

Defined procedures for exercising these powers

Paid staff or seconded officer support

Mechanism to prevent the politicisation of CCs

Permanent office space

Formal procedures for working in partnership with the local authority

Universally contested CC elections

Personal liability protection for CCllrs

More members

A set of rules to follow

More details on what’s involved

A permanent source of independent advice

Facility for constituents to easily contact you to make representations

A guarantee that a future Govt would not change everything

Members with needed skills

Public speaking / presentation

A simple, easy to understand, guide to how these new powers will operate

An independent arbiter to resolve potential disagreements with your local authority on how you choose to spend your budgets an exercise your powers

Other (Specify):

Other (Specify):



What training would some or all of your CC need if these proposals were to go ahead for your CC?

Legal issues affecting the new powers

Employment law


Local govt. structures and procedures

Service delivery

Seeking community views

Budgets and finances

Reporting to constituents

Decision making

Others (please specify):

Please go to next page…


The ASCC was founded fifteen years ago to represent Community Councils at the national level and to support them in their work. The majority of Scotland’s CCs are members, but not all.

The Association has a duty to act in the interests of all CCs an is often asked to speak for them. In 2006 the ASCC made a commitment to do this only when it could bring to bear the views of CCs from all over Scotland. (Which is why this survey is the first of many).

The ASCC is committed to securing membership for the overwhelming majority of CCs, and more importantly, seeks to continue the reforms that will make ours an Association driven by you as members. It MUST be the CCs and CCllrs across Scotland that set the direction an action of the ASCC.

You can only do this as members!

The ASCC has been criticised in the past, and has often deserved it. The reform that has begun can only be completed with your active and passionate involvement. We seek you views on the Association’s past, present and future. We welcome your opinions, complimentary or critical, for we can only improve if we know what you want from your ASCC.

Your CC IS an ASCC Member:

Your CC is NOT an ASCC Member:

Do you usually attend the AGM? If not, why, and what can we do to encourage you?

Did you make a conscious decision NOT to take up ASCC membership, and if so, why?

What 3 things should the ASCC do to improve its benefit to you?

What could we do that would encourage your CC to become a member?

Your CC IS an ASCC member:

Your CC is NOT an ASCC member:

What would be the best way for the ASCC to keep in contact with you?

Has your CC ever been a member? If yes, why did it not keep it going?

Which is the most important role of the ASCC?: (tick)

  • Representing CCs

  • Supporting CCs

  • Providing Services to CCs

If your CC is a member of a local collective of CCs, can you explain how that is felt to be useful for you, but membership of the national body is not?

Do you feel the recently introduced regional structure for representation on the ASCC’s governing body is an improvement?

If membership of the ASCC was free, would your CC be interested?

Do the CCs in your local authority area have an elected ASCC Area Representative? If not, what could the ASCC do to encourage a CCllr in your area to take on this role?

In what ways could the ASCC improve?

What else would you like to say to your Association?

What else would you like to say about the ASCC?

THANK YOU for completing this survey.

If you have any other specific comments to make, please attach them.

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