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Constitution

 
 
1.       NAME
 
The name of the Community Council shall be The Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council.
 
2.       OBJECTS OF THE COMMUNITY COUNCIL
 
To ascertain, co-ordinate and express to the local authorities for its area, and to public authorities, the views of the community which it represents, in relation to matters for which those authorities are responsible, and to take such action in the interests of that community as appears to it to be expedient and practicable.
 
To exercise statutory rights of consultation in respect of applications for planning permission, and of objection to liquor licences, and to exercise those rights where they consider it appropriate to do so, in accordance with the statutory requirements.
 
Through a Code of Practice to be agreed, to identify areas of activity in which Community Councils may appropriately become involved or be encouraged to become involved including e.g. the running of special projects and local activities, fund raising, preparation of news letters etc.
 
3.             SIZE AND COMPOSITION OF THE COMMUNITY COUNCIL
 
The Community Council will consist of Members elected by and from all persons aged 18 (and over) living in the area, whose names appear on the relevant Electoral Registers.
 
The Highland Councillors whose electoral wards include any part of the area described in 4. below will be invited to attend Community Council meetings to act as non-voting advisors.
 
All members of the Community Council will retire at the time of an election but shall be eligible for re-election. Any co-opted member will only serve until the next election following his or her co-option, but may then offer for election as a member of the Community Council.
 
4.      AREA OF THE COMMUNITY COUNCIL
 
The area of the Community Council is shown on the map annexed to the Highland Council Scheme for Community Councils, signed on behalf of The Highland Council as relative to that Scheme.
5.            ELECTION
 
Qualification of Candidates and Electors
 
The names of Persons seeking election to the Community Council will be in the Community Council area on the relevant electoral register(s). Nominees will be proposed and seconded by three Electors on the same register(s). Persons entitled to vote at an election of members of the Community Council shall be on the electoral register(s) for the Community Council area.
 
Frequency and Method of Election
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Elections shall be held every four years in the month of November commencing in 2006 and shall be conducted by secret ballot held in the Community Council area. The Highland Council will appoint the Returning Officer, who will not be associated with the election. Nomination papers signed by the nominee and the (proposer and seconder) with the relevant addresses will be deposited with the Returning Officer no less than twenty-eight days before the date of the Election.
 
 
6.             CASUAL VACANCIES
 
Casual vacancies in the membership of the Community Council may be filled by co-option and the terms of office of any person co-opted shall be as defined in Section 3 above, and this term shall apply also in respect of members co-opted to fill vacancies following the initial election of members of the Community Council
 
7.            GENERAL
 
Meetings
 
An Annual General Meeting, which shall be open to all persons resident within the area of the Community Council, will be held in each year in November or December for the purpose of:
 
(a)        receiving the annual report of the work of the Community Council and an audited statement of accounts; and
 
(b)            discussing any other matters of interest to the community.
 
Special general meetings may be called by the Community Council or on a written request to the Secretary of not less than 20 electors at any time for consideration of any matter of general community interest or concern.
 
8.            MANAGEMENT
 
Meetings of the Community Council
 
Unless the Community Council shall by minuted decision otherwise decide, the Community Council shall meet at least six times in every year. A quorum of any one Community Council Meeting shall be four members of the Community Council. The Convener shall have both a deliberate vote and in the case of an equality of votes, a casting vote.
 
Other meetings of the Community Council may be convened if two of the office bearers as designated below are of the opinion that some matter of urgency requires consideration, or a written request is made to the Secretary by not less than one-third of the members. Notices calling the meetings of the Community Council, specifying the businesses to be considered, shall be sent to each Member of the Community Council prior to a meeting. For information, copies of notices of meeting shall be sent to the members of the Highland Council who have a direct, relevant interest in the area of the Community Council.
 
Committees
 
The Community Council shall have power to appoint such committees or sub-committees as it may from time to time decide, and shall determine their terms of reference, powers, duration, and composition.
 
Failure to Attend Meetings
 
If any member fails throughout a period of six consecutive months to attend any Meetings of the Community Council, unless such member has been granted leave of absence by the Community Council by virtue of illness or other reasons approved by them, the member shall be deemed to have become disqualified from acting as a member of the Community Council, provided that the Secretary of the Community Council shall give the member due notice in advance of the matter being referred to the Community Council.
 
  
Public Participation
 
All meetings of the Community Council shall be open to members of the public and the press, but such members of the public as attend meetings of the Community Council shall only be permitted to speak to the Community Council with the agreement of the Convener. However, during the course of business, a Community Council may resolve that an item be considered in private because of its confidential nature, such a resolution requiring to be carried by a majority of the Community Council. Where a discussion is held in private, any Minute of the discussion will disclose any decision or recommendation arrived at without disclosing the confidential information which justified the discussion in private in the first place.
 
Office Bearers
 
At the first meeting of the Community Council following an election, the Community Council will appoint from among its membership a Convener who will be eligible for re-election. The Community Council will also appoint a Secretary and Treasurer (which offices may be combined) from their own members who will hold office until the first meeting of the Community Council following an election, from the co-opted members, or by appointment of a paid officer or officers who will hold office during the period of office of the Community Council without election. The Community Council will use the Secretarial allowance paid by the Highland Council for the purposes defined by the Highland Council.
 
Finance
 
All monies raised by or on behalf of the Community Council will be applied to further the objects of the Community Council and to maintain its administrative structures. Property and other assets belonging to the Community Council will be vested in the Convener and one other member acting as Trustees on behalf of the Community Council. A qualified auditor, not being a member of the Community Council, who will be appointed for the first year of functioning of the Community Council by the Highland Council, will audit the accounts of the Community Council for the first year and, thereafter, the appointment of an auditor will be made at the Annual General Meeting.
 
Employment of Officials
 
The Community Council will have the power to appoint and dismiss employees of the Community Council as it may from time to time determine, and to make or cancel any arrangements with other Community Councils for the sharing of services of employees.
 
Standing Orders
 
The Community Council will have powers to adopt Standing Orders for the proper conduct of its meetings and of all General Meetings which it calls.
 
Conduct of Meetings
 
The Convener will conduct and control the meeting. Any member who is considered to be disruptive or inimical to the working of the Council will, on a majority vote, be requested to leave the meeting immediately, and this will be recorded in the minutes. At any subsequent meeting, should the same member be disruptive the Council has the power, following a majority vote, to expel the member from the Community Council on a permanent basis.
 
Supply of Information
 
Copies of notices of meetings, minutes of meetings, the annual report, the annual financial statement and other suitable information as the Community Council may decide, will be transmitted to the Highland Council and to the members of these authorities with a direct relevant interest in the area of the Community Council.
 
 
Amendments to the Constitution
 
Subject to the provisions of Section 53 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1973 relating to the amendment of Community Council Schemes, any proposal to alter this Constitution must be delivered in writing to the Secretary of the Community Council not less than 14 days before the date of the meeting at which it is first considered and such an alteration will require the approval of (a) a majority of members of the Community Council present and voting at a Community Council meeting of which prior notice of at least 5 days has been given, such notice to specify the wording of the proposed alteration; and the Highland Council, such approval having been given in writing.
 
9.             DISSOLUTION
 
In the event that a Community Council, having been duly elected, either has not met for a period of 6 months or has allowed the number of its Members to fall below one half of the total membership of the Community Council (as provided for in this Scheme), in either of these circumstances the Community Council may dissolve the Community Council by notice served on all of the members of the Community Council still then serving. Such dissolution will not prevent a request from 20 electors to reform the Community Council in terms of Section 52 (7) of the Act.
 
If the Community Council by a majority at any time itself decides that it is advisable to dissolve the Community Council, it will call a Special General Meeting to consider a Resolution for Dissolution, the terms of which will have been specifically publicised in the notice calling the meeting for at least 14 days in advance of the meeting. The Highland Council will also be advised of the resolution and be invited to be represented at the Special General Meeting.
 
In the event of the Resolution for Dissolution being approved by a majority of those attending the Special General Meeting, any assets remaining after the satisfaction of any proper debts or liabilities shall be transferred to the Highland Council to be held in trust by that Authority against the establishment of any new Community Council for the area at some later date or, if the Highland Council so decide, such assets may be applied towards charitable purposed for the benefit of residents in the area.
 
10.         PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE
 
The Highland Council will ensure that at all times adequate insurance cover is maintained in respect of public liability responsibility devolving upon the Community Council in the execution of their several functions in pursuance of their objects.
 
11.         ADOPTION OF CONSTITUTION
 
This Constitution was agreed and adopted by the Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council at the
 
General Meeting held on: -………………………………at………………………………….
(Signed) - Convener ..
 
               Member....
               Member ...
 
Ratified on behalf of the Highland Council on……………………..
 
(Signed) - Proper Officer .
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