Community Councils in Aberdeenshire, Scotland: Achievements and Challenges

Published by the James Hutton Institute and funded by the Scottish Government’s Strategic Research Programme (2011–2016).


Community Councils (CCs) were established as non-party-political, public representative bodies as part of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973. These councils are meant to act as the bridge between Local Authorities (LAs) and communities, helping to make LAs and other public bodies aware of the opinions and needs of the communities they represent.

This report presents the findings of an in-depth study of Community Councils in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The research set out to explore the achievements and challenges of CCs in Aberdeenshire as seen from their point of view, and investigate how CCs are linked to other community groups and the LA. The data were gathered from 21 interviews with 11 CCs, as well as through taking part in Community Council events such as CC forums and CC training events (see Appendix 1). In total, the authors had contact with 22 CCs in Aberdeenshire, in one form or another. The study was funded by Scottish Government to investigate governance and decision making for community empowerment in rural communities, with CCs seen to potentially play an important role in community empowerment. The summary of findings below are organised in sections which correspond to the body of the report.