Consider and recognise Community Councils as elected statutory bodies, although not a tier of governance
Not to regard Community Councils as on a par with voluntary groups, or as such.
Not to regard Community Councils as 'one among many' local groups.
Appoint Liaison Officer from either the Chief Executive, Legal & Regulatory Services, or Corporate & Customer Community Planning Dept. He/She should be a senior officer with West Dunbartonshire Council, with a set percentage of their portfolio dedicated to working with and strengthening Community Councils. He/She should meet with Community Councillors [collectively or individually] on a regular basis.
Encourage Community Councils to canvas and represent the views and needs of their community rather than the personal opinions of individual Community Councillors.
Democratically agree with Community Councils that they will be engaged, and not merely consulted, on issues within the Community Planning or local authority remits that affect their community.
Make direct elections to Community Councils as likely as possible.
Provide communication avenues and opportunities for Community Councils, including: public notice boards, resources for a community newsletter, space in WDC publications, media coverage support, press releases, paid advertising.
Create a dedicated website, and/or an area on the WDC website, for each active Community Council.
Supply free accommodation for Community Council meetings – preferably in a local authority building as a first preference, or in another community building if this enhances community access to meetings.
Supply free accommodation for Community Councillors, should they wish to hold surgeries for constituents.
Supply ready access to IT for all Community Councillors.
Provide home IT equipment and web access for Community Council Secretaries or other designated officer.
Supply a grant that fully covers all running costs.
Encourage Community Councillors to claim proper expenses for all activities associated with their duties. This should include travel expenses for all journeys on Council business, subsistence, office/printing, telephone.
Conduct Community Council elections by postal ballot for all electors.
Grant membership of the Community Planning Partnership structure to a Community Council Forum representative.
Provide insurance cover for all Community Councils and the CC Forum.
Review the WDC Scheme for Community Councils every five years and agree any changes democratically with Community Councils.
Encourage West Dunbartonshire elected members to attend Community Council meetings.
Agree a protocol for information sharing with Community Councils which should include mutually agreed methods for determining whether an issue may affect their community, and have a system for the Community Council to engage in any decision making from the beginning of the process.
Fully abide by the National Standards on Community Engagement in working with Community Councils.
Arrange regular meetings between key WDC Councillors and Community Council officers where both parties can agree actions that will benefit their community and/or the work of Community Council.
Provide or procure adequate, objective training for all new Community Councillors, and for all Community Councillors at least annually.
Assist in the copying and distribution [by email or post] of all papers of the Community Council. Where necessary, provide typing facilities.
Provide or procure expert, objective, advice on technical and legal issues.