14-year-olds to get a vote

ANGUS Council’s Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils is under review, and proposed changes after the first phase of public consultation have just been published.

The document which was put out for consultation included proposals about youth members of community councils.

After consultation, the suggestion is that a community council may nominate up to five additional youth members, aged 14 and over, to represent the views of younger people. These would be in addition to the existing maximum membership, and would have full voting rights, apart from voting to co-opt members. The minimum age to stand as a full member would be 16.

Hillside, Dun and Logie Pert Community Council wrote to say that it would support 14-year-olds only if members did not have to go through a criminal records check. If the checks were to be imposed, they would prefer 16 to be the minimum age.

Hillside is the only local community council mentioned in the list of representations made.

Co-option of members to community councils has been a fraught affair recently. At Hillside an eligible candidate was willing to be co-opted and was approved by everyone present, but could not be elected because of rules relating to the number of votes required.

These have been modified: “They must be elected on to the community council by a two-thirds majority of the (general and interim) members present.” Hillside’s representation was for a simple majority.

The revised document can be found on http://www.angus.gov.uk/commcouncil/ccschemereview2012.cfm

A second period of public consultation will now take place, from now until October 19.

Once the comments which arise from the revised document have been assessed, the final proposed amendments will be put to the full Angus Council.