Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve put together some commonly asked questions about the Community Council. If you can’t find the answer to your question please get in touch on our Contact page and we’ll respond as quickly as possible.
There are three types of Community Council meeting: Ordinary, Annual General (AGM) and Special. Berriedale & Dunbeath Community Council hold an ordinary meeting every month and the AGM is usually in June.
The Council is required to hold a minimum of six ordinary meetings per year and an Annual General Meeting (AGM) is to be held before the end of June. Special Meetings can be called by the Chair, by the written request of at least half of all Community Councillors or on receiving a written request from 20 members of the Community.
All decisions of the Community Council are decided by a simple majority vote. The only exception to this are decisions relating to co-option, alterations to the constitution and dissolution.
All Community Councillors, whether elected at a full or interim election, can vote on all matters. The quorum for all Community Council meetings is four voting members. If the voting is tied, the Chairperson has a second and casting vote.
Council elections take place every four years. The Highland Council administers all elections, by postal ballot. Community Councillors are elected on a simple majority basis.
The number of nominations to the Council must equal or exceed half their total permitted membership, which is 8 in the case of Berriedale & Dunbeath, in order to continue operating.
If the number of nominated candidates is equal to or more than half the total permitted membership but less than the total membership, the candidates will be declared elected and there will be no ballot.
Individuals who are resident in the Community Council area and named in the Electoral Register for that area can stand for election to a Community Council or vote in a Community Council election. Individuals must be 16 years of age or over.
Council members usually serve a 4 year term. Members can put themselves forward for re-election and there is no maximum number of years a council member can serve.
If it is an election year, office bearers should be elected at the first Community Council meeting following the election.
In other years, office bearers – Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer – are elected for one year at the Annual General Meeting but are eligible for re-election annually at the following AGM.
No one member can hold more than one of the roles of Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer, at any one time, unless specific approval has been granted by the Highland Council. Approval for one member to hold two offices will only be given only as a last resort where no other member is willing to take on the office.
If a Council member fails to attend for a period of six consecutive months then they will no longer be on the Community Council, unless their absence has been approved by the Council e.g. for long term illness.
An individual who no longer resides within the Community Council area and/or whose name has been removed from the electoral role, is also no longer considered to be on the Community Council.
Council members are volunteers and are not remunerated.
In the first instance any complaint regarding a Community Council should be raised directly with the Community Council and they should be given the opportunity to respond.
Should this not achieve a satisfactory response then a complaint can be lodged via the Highland Council’s complaints procedure.