New umbrella group for West Lothian community councils

West Lothian Council logo
West Lothian Council logo

Community councils in West Lothian hope to have a stronger voice  thanks to  a new umbrella organisation.

West Lothian Council’s Executive agreed to recognise the Joint Forum of Community Councils and support it .

The Joint Forum  hopes it will have a greater say on committees such as the council’s Policy and Development Scrutiny Panels ( PDSPs) and the Community Planning Board. It fills a void left by the disbandment of a former Association of Community Councils  in 2015.

Of the 34 active community councils in the county 25 back the new forum. The dissenting element comes from questions about how representative the new umbrella group will be given the diversity of issues facing rural and urban community councils.

In a report to the Executive James Millar, Governance Manager said: “The reinstatement and success of a representative body for West Lothian community councils should help improve engagement with communities and help their representation and participation in council and community planning partnership decision-making.”