Council Areas
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Council Areas

Councils of Scotland
Scotland Administrative Map 2009.png
CategoryAdministrative unit
LocationScotland
Number32 Councils
Populations21,400 (Orkney Islands) - 593,200 (Glasgow)
Areas21 square miles (54 km2) (Dundee) - 11,838 square miles (30,660 km2) (Highland)
GovernmentCouncil government
SubdivisionsLieutenancy Area, Shire
Royal Arms of the Kingdom of Scotland.svg

politics and government of
Scotland
Flag of Scotland.svg Scotland portal

For local government purposes, Scotland is divided into 32 areas designated as "council areas", which are all governed by single-tier authorities[1] designated as "councils". They have the option under the Local Government (Gaelic Names) (Scotland) Act 1997[2] of being known (but not re-designated) as a "comhairle" when opting for a Gaelic name; only Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Council of the Western Isles) has chosen this option, whereas the Highland Council (Comhairle na Gàidhealtachd) has adopted its Gaelic form alongside its English equivalent informally.

The council areas have been in existence since 1 April 1996, under the provisions of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994. Historically, Scotland has been divided into 34 counties or shires. Although these no longer have any administrative function, they are still used to some extent in Scotland for cultural and geographical purposes, and some of the current council areas are named with reference to them. There are also a number of other administrative divisions, some of which are handled by joint boards of the councils.

At the most local level Scotland is divided into civil parishes, which are now used only for statistical purposes such as the census. The lowest level of administrative subdivision are the communities, which may elect community councils.

History of the subdivisions of Scotland

Traditionally burghs have been the key unit of the local government of Scotland, being highly autonomous entities, with rights to representation in the old Parliament of Scotland. Even after the Acts of Union 1707, burghs continued to be the principal subdivision. Until 1889 administration was on a burgh and parish basis.

The years following 1889 saw the introduction of a hierarchy of local government administration comprising counties, counties of cities, large burghs and small burghs.

With effect from 16 May 1975 and until 31 March 1996 the local government divisions of Scotland consisted of an upper tier of regions each containing a lower tier of districts except for the single-tier island council areas. Since 1996 there has only been a single tier of government, and the former island council areas are of equal status to the other councils.

Council areas

Rank Council area Population[3] Electors[4] Area (km2)[5] Density
(per km2)
1 City of Glasgow 626,410 462,286 174.7 3,586
2 City of Edinburgh 518,500 367,762 263.4 1,969
3 Fife 371,910 280,622 1,325 281
4 North Lanarkshire 340,180 256,174 469.9 724
5 South Lanarkshire 319,020 248,875 1,772 180
6 Aberdeenshire 261,470 202,194 6,313 41
7 Highland 235,540 184,697 25,657 9
8 City of Aberdeen 227,560 163,196 185.7 1,225
9 West Lothian 182,140 137,614 427.7 426
10 Renfrewshire 177,790 133,295 261.5 680
11 Falkirk 160,340 122,471 297.4 539
12 Perth and Kinross 151,290 114,936 5,286 29
13 Dumfries and Galloway 148,790 116,593 6,427 23
14 City of Dundee 148,750 112,513 59.83 2,486
15 North Ayrshire 135,280 107,763 885.4 153
16 East Ayrshire 121,840 94,657 1,262 97
17 Angus 116,040 89,652 2,182 53
18 Scottish Borders 115,270 91,919 4,732 24
19 South Ayrshire 112,550 90,300 1,222 92
20 East Dunbartonshire 108,330 85,410 174.5 621
21 East Lothian 105,790 80,874 679.2 156
22 Moray 95,520 73,284 2,238 43
23 East Renfrewshire 95,170 71,618 174.2 546
24 Stirling 94,330 68,778 2,187 43
25 Midlothian 91,340 70,587 353.7 258
26 West Dunbartonshire 89,130 68,826 158.8 561
27 Argyll and Bute 86,260 68,271 6,909 12
28 Inverclyde 78,150 59,941 160.5 487
29 Clackmannanshire 51,400 39,186 159.0 323
30 Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles) 26,830 21,874 3,059 9
31 Shetland Islands 22,990 17,837 1,468 16
32 Orkney Islands 22,190 17,135 988.8 22

Other subdivisions

Scotland has several other administrative divisions, some of which are handled by joint boards of the councils.

Electoral and valuation

There are several joint boards for electoral registration and the purposes of property valuation for assessing council tax and rates.[6]

Health

See also NHS Scotland

Until 1 April 2014 the towns of Cambuslang and Rutherglen were in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area despite being located in South Lanarkshire. They are now part of NHS Lanarkshire.

Transport

The Scottish Government has created seven "Regional Transport Partnerships", for establishing transport policy in the regions. They broadly follow council area groupings.

RTP area Council areas
NESTRANS Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire
TACTRAN Angus, Dundee, Perth and Kinross, Stirling
HITRANS Argyll and Bute (except Helensburgh and Lomond), Highland, Moray, Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles), Orkney
ZetTrans Shetland
SEStran Edinburgh, Clackmannanshire, East Lothian, Falkirk, Midlothian, Fife, Scottish Borders, West Lothian
SWESTRANS Dumfries and Galloway
Strathclyde Partnership for Transport Argyll and Bute (Helensburgh and Lomond only), West Dunbartonshire, East Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, Glasgow, East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, South Ayrshire, East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire

Eurostat NUTS

In the Eurostat Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS), Scotland is a level-1 NUTS region, coded "UKM", which is subdivided as follows:

NUTS 1 Code NUTS 2 Code NUTS 3 Code
Scotland UKM Eastern Scotland UKM2 Angus and Dundee UKM21
NUTS 3 regions of central and southern Scotland map.svg

NUTS 3 regions of Scotland map.svg
Clackmannanshire and Fife UKM22
East Lothian and Midlothian UKM23
Scottish Borders UKM24
Edinburgh UKM25
Falkirk UKM26
Perth and Kinross, and Stirling UKM27
West Lothian UKM28
South Western Scotland UKM3 East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, and Helensburgh and Lomond UKM31
Dumfries and Galloway UKM32
East and North Ayrshire mainland UKM33
Glasgow UKM34
Inverclyde, East Renfrewshire, and Renfrewshire UKM35
North Lanarkshire UKM36
South Ayrshire UKM37
South Lanarkshire UKM38
North Eastern Scotland UKM5 Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire UKM50
Highlands and Islands UKM6 Caithness and Sutherland, and Ross and Cromarty UKM61
Inverness, Nairn, Moray, and Badenoch and Strathspey UKM62
Lochaber, Skye and Lochalsh, Arran and Cumbrae, and Argyll and Bute (except Helensburgh and Lomond) UKM63
Eilean Siar (Western Isles) UKM64
Orkney Islands UKM65
Shetland Islands UKM66

Land registration

The current land registration system in Scotland divides Scotland into 33 Registration Counties,[7] each coming into effect on various dates between 1981 and 2003. These areas in most cases resemble those of the pre-1975 administrative counties with Glasgow being the only current city to form a registration county.

Registration county Operational from
County of Renfrew 6 April 1981
County of Dumbarton 4 October 1982
County of Lanark 3 January 1984
County of the Barony and Regality of Glasgow 30 September 1985
County of Clackmannan 1 October 1992
County of Stirling 1 April 1993
County of West Lothian 1 October 1993
County of Fife 1 April 1995
County of Aberdeen 1 April 1996
County of Kincardine 1 April 1996
County of Ayr 1 April 1997
County of Dumfries 1 April 1997
County of Kirkcudbright 1 April 1997
County of Wigtown 1 April 1997
County of Angus 1 April 1999
County of Kinross 1 April 1999
County of Perth 1 April 1999
County of Berwick 1 October 1999
County of East Lothian 1 October 1999
County of Peebles 1 October 1999
County of Roxburgh 1 October 1999
County of Selkirk 1 October 1999
County of Argyll 1 April 2000
County of Bute 1 April 2000
County of Midlothian 1 April 2001
County of Inverness 1 April 2002
County of Nairn 1 April 2002
County of Banff 1 April 2003
County of Caithness 1 April 2003
County of Moray 1 April 2003
Counties of Orkney and Zetland 1 April 2003
County of Ross and Cromarty 1 April 2003
County of Sutherland 1 April 2003

Sheriffdoms

Sheriffdoms are judicial areas. Since 1 January 1975, these have been six in number:[8]

Lieutenancy areas

The Lieutenancy areas of Scotland are the areas used for the ceremonial lord-lieutenants, the monarch's representatives. The areas are similar to the Historic Counties and the Registration Counties, but are not identical to either. Most notably, the four cities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, and Glasgow form separate areas from the surrounding countryside, with the Lord Provost of each city acting ex officio as the lord-lieutenant.

Former police and fire services

The Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 resulted in the merger of local police and fire services on 1 April 2013 to form the Police Service of Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: Seirbheis Phoilis na h-Alba) and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS, Scottish Gaelic: Seirbheis Smàlaidh agus Teasairginn na h-Alba).

Prior to 1975 policing was the responsibility of the Cities and Burghs of Scotland (see List of burghs in Scotland). Between 1975 and 2013 Scotland was subdivided into Police and fire service areas based on the regions and districts and island council areas that were also formed in 1975. The police and fire service regions used between 1975 and 2013 are listed below.

Lower level subdivisions

Scotland is divided into 871 civil parishes which often resemble same-named but legally different ecclesiastical parishes. Although they have had no administrative function since 1930, they still exist and are still used for statistical purposes such as the census. Many former civil parish areas also continued to form registration districts until 1 January 2007. Many boundary changes have occurred over the years and an area currently derived from an old parish might no longer contain a place previously within that parish. Similarly, county boundaries (as still used for land registration) have also changed over the years such that a parish mentioned historically (generally before the 1860s) as being in one county (or sometimes two due to straddling a border) might now be in a neighbouring county and consequentially in a different succeeding council area.

For most administrative purposes, the base level of sub-division in Scotland is now that of communities, which may elect community councils. The main role of these bodies is to channel and reflect local opinion to other bodies; they otherwise have very limited powers. There are around 1,200 communities in Scotland. Not all communities have councils; some have joint councils.

Scottish communities are the nearest equivalent to civil parishes in England.

See also

References

  1. ^ With respect to Scotland the phrase "unitary authority" is merely descriptive; in the United Kingdom the phrase "unitary authority" as a designation is specific to local government areas in England.
  2. ^ Local Government (Gaelic Names) (Scotland) Act 1997
  3. ^ "Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Mid-2019". Office for National Statistics. 6 May 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ "Electoral Statistics - Scotland 1st December 2017". National Records of Scotland. 1 December 2017. Table 3. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ "Standard Area Measurements (2016) for Administrative Areas in the United Kingdom". Office for National Statistics. 1 February 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ Scottish Assessors Association
  7. ^ Registers of Scotland publication - Land Register Counties and Operational Dates
  8. ^ The Sheriffdoms Reorganisation Order 1974 S.I. 1974/2087 (S.191)

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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