The Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland commences its Fifth Reviews of Electoral Arrangements

The Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland has begun reviews of Scotland’s local government electoral arrangements. The Commission today starts a series of meetings with each individual council to discuss the reviews. The reviews
will result in recommendations 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 multimember 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.

This stage of the reviews comprises consultation with councils on the number of councillors. The next stage will be consultation with the public on councillor numbers, expected to commence in May 2014. Later stages will comprise
consultation on proposed ward boundaries.

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.”

Contact for Further Information:
Dr Hugh Buchanan
Secretary to the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland
Tel: 0131 538 7510
Mobile: 07770 735056

Information on the review can also be found on the Commission’s website:


25 Feb 2014
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