The community council elections will be taking place later this year (October) and I hope that people will consider becoming a member and help develop this vital aspect of local democracy.
For more information please go to http://leithcentralcc.co.uk/2013/04/17/lccc-annual-general-meeting-2013/
For those of you who might consider joining the community council, I have written down how being a member works for me.
I have been a member of the LCCC for some 4 years and find having the opportunity to influence what happens in Leith quite exciting and a very rewarding experience.
My reason for becoming a member is that I take a passionate interest in how Leith develops as a neighbourhood and would like to see more sustainable development in terms of transport, housing, parks etc. and I feel the Community Council is a good way of promoting this.
Attending the meetings takes up some of my precious free time, but there are always new people to meet, many of them like-minded individuals. I have made some good friends and have learnt a lot about how local government works.
Being on the CC makes it possible to have meaningful and constructive discussions on a vast number of topics with other residents, Council Officers, Representatives of the Police and Fire Brigade and local voluntary organisations.
Even more importantly, I have got to know my local Councillors, my MP and my MSP, who attend the meetings regularly. I now have a much better understanding of how they fit into the running of the Leith ward.
As a statutory elected body the Leith Central Community Council is able to raise questions and issues with the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership – who manage all Council business in Leith on a day to day basis – and work on solutions to local issues, often compromises.
However, it’s not always a walk in the park, so to speak. Take the reinstatement of Leith Walk. As a Community Council we have spent countless hours commenting on the designs and are now chivvying the Council along to speed up the works as we consider the current delays unacceptable.
This takes a lot of hard work: phoning, blogging, social media, letter writing, negotiating, gaining an understanding of how a road is designed and built; skills that I didn’t really have until I started honing them as the need arose. In addition to that you need to be able to express your views clearly, concisely and reasonably, be tolerant, patient and persevere.
So, for anyone out there thinking about joining the Community Council, it will take up some of your free time to help communicate the work that we do – about an hour a week as an ordinary member, more if you are wishing to become and Office Bearer – but please also consider what being a member of the Community Council can do for you:
1. You will be able to influence what happens in your local community and meet like-minded people.
2. You will gain a whole range of skills that will look good on your CV and
3., if you are looking for a greater challenge and an opportunity to improve your leadership skills, you might apply for the job of Chair or Treasurer.
If you want to find out more or have a chat about this, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get in touch with you.