Local Government Boundary Commission consultation on councillor numbers

The Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland commences its public consultation on councillor numbers as part of its Fifth Reviews of Electoral Arrangements. 

Issued on behalf of The Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland

The Local Government  Boundary Commission  for  Scotland  commences  a 12 week period  of public  consultation today, on its  proposals  for  the number  of councillors on each council.

The  Commission   began  its  Fifth  Reviews  of  Electoral  Arrangements   in  February 2014,  when it met with  each individual council  to discuss its  recommendations  for the number  of councillors  on each council.

The reviews will result  in recommendations to Scottish Ministers  for the number  of councillors  on  each  council   and  the  number   and  boundaries   of  wards  for  the election  of  those  councillors.   They  will  not  look  at  the  external  boundaries   of council areas.

The last set of reviews was completed  in 2006  following the introduction of multi-member  wards  for  Scottish  council  elections.  The  number  of  councillors on  each council was last reviewed shortly after the councils' establishment in 1996.

The reviews will look at each of Scotland's 32 local authorities.

The Commission  has drawn up recommendations for  the number  of councillors on each council  based on  a methodology that,  for  the  first  time,  takes  into  account levels of deprivation as well as population distribution. Using these factors,  similar councils are grouped together  for the purpose of determining councillor numbers.

In 2015  the Commission  will  consult  with  councils  and the public  on its  proposals for the number  and boundaries  of wards.

When reviewing  electoral arrangements  the Commission  is required  to take account of the following factors:

  • the interests  of effective and convenient  local government;
  • within  each council,  each councillor should  represent  the  same number  of electors as nearly as may be
  • local ties which would be broken by making  a particular  boundary;
  • the desirability of fixing boundaries  that are easily identifiable; and
  • special geographical  considerations



The  Commission   expects  to  make  its  recommendations  to  Scottish  Ministers  in 2016,   and  that  the  resulting   wards  will  be  available  for  the  local  government elections in May 2017.

Ronnie Hinds, Chair of the Commission, said: "There have been many changes in Scotland since our last reviews, and it is important that  electoral arrangements  for Scottish councils take account of those changes as part of ensuring effective local democracy. We have been encouraged by the discussions we have held with councils on these proposals  and look forward to hearing the views of the public  over the next 12 weeks"

Contact for Further Information: Dr Hugh Buchanan

Secretary to the Local Government Boundary Commission  for Scotland

Tel:  0131  538 7510, Mobile:  07770  735056

29 May 2014