People urged to stand for community council elections in the Highlands

People in the Highlands are being encouraged to stand for election to their local community councils.

Nominations are being invited from people seeking election to all community councils across Highland this autumn. The election offers a chance to represent the views of your community to the Highland Council and other public agencies.

Nomination papers are available at the Highland Council website, and the deadline for submitting nomination papers is 12 noon on Tuesday 8th October 2019.

Community Councils are voluntary organisations that act as a voice for their local area.

They express views and concerns of local people within their area across a wide range of issues such as new buildings and roads to local services and facilities. They also have legal duties: by law, the Highland Council must consult with community councils on planning and licensing applications in their area.

In some areas, community councils receive community benefit money from windfarm projects which they can reinvest in the community. Others are involved in setting up community development companies which can lead on larger scale projects to improve the area.

The Highland council are responsible for running the community council elections, which must be held every four years. The maximum membership of each of the Highland community councils is determined by the population it serves and varies from seven to 13 members.

Those wishing to stand as a candidate must reside within the community council boundary and must be a registered voter.

They can submit nomination forms to their local council ward manager

Those aged 16 and 17 at the time of the nomination deadline are also eligible to seek election and to register to vote in the election.

However, 16 and 17 year olds must be registered on the supplementary register. Registration forms are available on the Highland Council website and are being distributed through secondary schools.

The statements of persons nominated for each community council will be published after 12noon on Wednesday 9th October 2019. Anyone wishing to withdraw their candidacy must do so no later than 12noon on Friday, 11 October 2019.

A ballot will be held in instances where the number of nominations exceeds the maximum membership and ballot papers will be issued by post on Tuesday, 20th October 2019 and must be returned no later than Wednesday, 20th November 2019.

Please contact the electoral registration office on 01463 703341 to check if you are a registered voter.