Passionate local community members are being encouraged to become a member of their community council as the nomination period remains open for applications.
Elections take place for all community councils every four years and the nomination process for Renfrewshire applications got underway on 14th August 2023.
For almost 35 years, Neil Barrington has been at the forefront of his local community as a member of Langbank Community Council, having always been driven to make a difference to where he lives.
Neil dedicates his time to his role of chairperson which sees him manage meetings, respond to enquiries and ensure the smooth running of community council business.
Neil said: “I’ve been a member of the community council for almost 35 years now and I’ve always wanted to make a difference for the village and make sure we were not ignored.
“Every community council needs active members who want to reside in a neighbourhood which they like and we are a focal point for the community – often being the main voice for their issues and concerns.
“We can raise them at our open monthly meetings with the local elected members and these are taken away and reported back on to ensure that we are listened to at a local level.
“It’s important that we stand up for our local area and I’m proud to say we do the best we can to make Langbank a better place to live.
“We’ve campaigned for better facilities and secured a new mutil-use games area (MUGA) which is really well used by young people in the village, and we organise events and gatherings too which everyone is welcome to attend.”
To ensure everyone has an equal chance to become a member of their local community council, elections are held every four years and all current members have to stand for re-election, should they wish.
Nominations are open now and anyone aged 16 or over who lives in the community-council area and is registered to vote, can put themselves forward – with two sponsors required from fellow residents.
All nomination forms must be submitted to Renfrewshire Council by 15 September 2023 and can be downloaded by searching for ‘community council’ on the council website or picked up directly from the community council itself.
Neil added: “I’ve found that being a member of the community council has opened up a number of other opportunities for me to make a difference in Renfrewshire, including becoming a member of the Local Partnership, serving on public panels, and even standing for the Chair of the Renfrewshire Community Council forum on occasion.
“It’s the difference you can make to your own neighbourhood though that is the real reason that I’ve continued to be a member all these years and it’s really rewarding being able to help my fellow villagers and the village itself.
“I would encourage anyone who is interested to fill out their nomination form as soon as possible and hand it in – you won’t regret it.”
Each community council has a set minimum and maximum number of members, so if a community council receives more nominations than their maximum number of members, a ballot election will be held. If the number of nominated candidates falls between the minimum and maximum, then those candidates are elected unopposed.
If there aren’t enough nominations for a particular community council, it will not re-establish and a further call out for nominations will take place in the local area.
Charleston, Glenburn, Gallowhill, and Hunterhill don’t currently have active community councils, so local people in those areas are encouraged email email@example.com to enquire about their reinstatement.
For more information, and to download an application form, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/communitycouncils.