Seven of Fife’s active community councils have been unable to reform after the deadline for nominations passed, it has emerged.
Concerns had been raised in recent weeks about an apparent lack of prospective members for community councils across the region, although Fife Council officials hoped a traditional late flurry of nominations would materialise ahead of last month’s cut-off point.
However, out of a possible 105 community councils, a total of seven have indeed been unable to reform at this stage due to insufficient nominations – namely Blairhall, Boarhills and Dunino, Carnbee and Arncroach, Dalgety Bay and Hillend, Leven, Lochgelly and Strathkinness.
Despite the situation, Mike Melville, electoral services manager at Fife Council, pointed out the number of community councils able to reform at this stage is actually greater than at the last elections in 2014.
“For those community councils which have failed to reform, there will be an opportunity to submit a petition seeking a fresh round of nominations,” he said.
“We intend to run any elections arising from any petitions at the same time as the election in St Andrews. A date for these will be confirmed in the spring.”
Figures revealed there were 697 nominations received in total this year, compared to 669 at the same stage at the last elections in 2014.
A total of 77 community councils have therefore been able to reform, as opposed to 72 four years ago.
Mr Melville added the local authority is now working to publish notices for the nine community councils which will require an election at this stage.
These are Hill of Beath, Kingsbarns, Kettle, the Royal Burgh of Crail and District, the Royal Burgh of Kilrenny, Anstruther and Cellardyke, St Monans, Abercrombie and District, Auchtermuchty and Strathmiglo, Creich and Flisk, and Falkland and Newton of Falkland.
The deadline for the St Andrews nominations was postponed to allow students of St Andrews University to participate.
St Andrews Conservative councillor Dominic Nolan hopes action can be taken in future to streamline the process for those wanting to get involved.
“I am delighted that we have seen such a large increase in people volunteering to be community councillors, with more councils being able to form and more elections taking place,” he said.
“While we have seen an increase in volunteers this does not mean that we cannot improve these elections in future.
“Seven active community councils have not been able to reform and I was upset to see that Strathkinness, in my own ward, was one of them.
“I therefore hope the returning officer will agree to make it easier for people to sign up next time by removing the need for proposers/seconders and elector numbers which are difficult to access and also by giving more notice of the voter registration deadline.”