The Edinburgh Reporter computer screenVOTING MADE EASY FOR 2013 COMMUNITY COUNCIL ELECTIONS

For the first time, local people taking part in this year’s Community Council elections in Edinburgh will be able to vote online.
There has been such a good response to join the capital’s 41 community councils that elections are required for Craigmillar, Liberton & District and Portobello Community Councils. For the first time, an online option has been introduced making it easier for more people to take part.  Votes can be registered securely over a special website from now until the voting period closes at 8:00pm on 24 October.

New members of the Gilmerton/Inch Community Council are also needed so nominate yourself now!

All voters on the electoral roll in the three areas are being given the opportunity to vote over the internet, or they can attend a polling place on 24 October 2013 to vote in person if they would prefer.   Postal votes are also available for residents who prefer this option.  Councillor Maureen Child, Convener of the Communities and Neighbourhood Committee, said:-“Our aim is to deliver democratic processes that people can take part in and trust. To offer a range of options for voting, including online voting, we hope to make it easier for people to have a say and that can only be a good thing for local communities.  We hope that by offering flexible ways to vote that it will attract even more interest in these elections.

“Community Councils are an ideal way to support communities to thrive, to allow people from all backgrounds to meet and share ideas and to make change happen. They are a fantastic way of making public sector agencies aware of the needs of local areas, and can really help to make changes for the better.”

The first councils were established in Edinburgh in 1980 in Merchiston and Longstone, and more than 500 people are now members across the city.

They each receive a grant to cover running costs and training is available for the members. They are represented on each of the city’s 12 Neighbourhood Partnerships and work alongside elected members, representatives from NHS Lothian, Police Scotland, the voluntary sector and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.