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History of local government in Scotland is an account of the history of local government in Scotland.

Modern era

The era of modern local government in Scotland began in 1890 with the coming into force of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889. This Act established a uniform system of county councils in Scotland. The county councils assumed may of the powers of existing organisations such as the Commissioners of Supply and County Road Trustees and many of the administrative powers and duties of the Justices of the Peace and parochial boards.

Between 1890 and 1929, there were parish councils and town councils, but with the passing of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1929, the functions of parish councils were passed to larger district councils and a distinction was made between large burghs (i.e. those with a population of 20,000 or more) and small burghs. The Act also created two joint county councils covering Perthshire and Kinross-shire, and Morayshire and Nairnshire, but retained residual Nairnshire and Kinross-shire county councils.

This system was further refined by the passing of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1947 which created a whole new set of administrative areas known as 'counties', 'counties of cities', 'large burghs' and 'small burghs'. These were to last until 1975.

A Royal Commission on Local Government in Scotland in 1969 (the Wheatley Report) recommended that the interests of local government would best be served by large Regional councils instead of councils based on small counties. The report was largely implemented by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 — creating a system of regions and districts in 1975.

The system was only to last for 21 years as with the passing of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 the regions and districts were re-organised into all-purpose unitary council areas.

Local Government Acts

See also



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