The Full Wiki

Local government in Scotland: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Scotland

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
Scotland



Other countries · Atlas
Politics portal

Local government in Scotland is organised through 32 unitary authorities[1] consisting of councillors elected every four years by registered voters in each of the council areas.

Councils receive the majority of their funding from central government, through Aggregate External Finance (AEF). AEF consists of three parts: Revenue Support Grants, Non-Domestic Rates, and Income and Specific Grants[2]. The level of central government support for each authority is determined by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, currently John Swinney MSP, and is distributed by the Finance and Central Services Department of the Scottish Government. Councils obtain additional income through the Council Tax, that the council itself sets

Scottish councils co-operate through, and are represented collectively by, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA).

Contents

History

Between 1890 and 1975 local government in Scotland was organised with county councils (including four counties of cities) and various lower-level units. 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. This system was further refined by the passing of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1947.

In 1975, legislation passed by the Conservative government of Edward Heath (1970-1974) introduced a system of two-tier local government in Scotland (see Regions of Scotland), divided between large Regional Councils and smaller District Councils. The only exceptions to this were the three Island Councils, Western Isles, Shetland and Orkney which had the combined powers of Regions and Districts. The Conservative government of John Major (1990-1997) decided to abolish this system and merge their powers into new unitary authorities. The new councils vary widely in size — some are the same as counties, such as Clackmannanshire, some are the same as former districts, such as Inverclyde and some are the same as the former regions, such as Highland. The changes took effect in 1996 with shadow councillors elected in 1995 to oversee the smooth transition of control.

Map

ScotlandLabelled.png
  1. Inverclyde
  2. Renfrewshire
  3. West Dunbartonshire
  4. East Dunbartonshire
  5. Glasgow
  6. East Renfrewshire
  7. North Lanarkshire
  8. Falkirk
  9. West Lothian
  10. Edinburgh
  11. Midlothian
  12. East Lothian
  13. Clackmannanshire
  14. Fife
  15. Dundee
  16. Angus
  17. Aberdeenshire
  1. Aberdeen
  2. Moray
  3. Highland
  4. Na h-Eileanan Siar
  5. Argyll and Bute
  6. Perth and Kinross
  7. Stirling
  8. North Ayrshire
  9. East Ayrshire
  10. South Ayrshire
  11. Dumfries and Galloway
  12. South Lanarkshire
  13. Scottish Borders
  14. Orkney
  15. Shetland


Governance and administration

The power invested in local authorities is administered by elected councillors. There are currently 1,222, each paid a part-time salary for the undertaking of their duties.

Each council elects a Provost or Convenor to chair meetings of the council and to act as a figurehead for the area. The office of Provost or Convenor is roughly equivalent to that of a Mayor, though they are elected for the four-year duration of a council.

The four city councils; Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee, have a Lord Provost rather than a Provost, who has the additional duty of being Lord Lieutenant for their respective city.

Each political group within the council typically appoints a leader, with the largest grouping's leader becoming 'Leader of the Council', and being the central figure of de facto political authority.

Each authority has a chief executive who is similar in function to a city manager, though certain councillors have executive authority and there is no clear division of powers. The council is executive, deliberative and legislative in nature.

In total, there are 32 unitary authorities, the largest being the City of Glasgow with more than 600,000 inhabitants, the smallest, Orkney, with fewer than 20,000 people living there.

Councillors are subject to a Code of Conduct instituted by the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000 and enforced by the Standards Commission for Scotland.[3] If a person believes that a councillor has broken the code of conduct they make a complaint to the Office of the Chief Investigating Officer (CIO). The CIO makes a determination on whether there is a need for an investigation, and then whether or not to refer the matter to the Standards Commission.[4]

Election results, 2007

Follow the introduction of the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004 local elections are held using the single transferable vote, with this taking place for the first time in 2007. This change in voting system saw all but five councils end up with no one party in control. Labour retained control of the City of Glasgow and North Lanarkshire, while Orkney, Shetland and Na h-Eileanan Siar continue to be controlled by Independent councillors.

The results are summarised below. Further analysis can be found on the page Scottish council elections, 2007

e • d  Summary of the 3 May 2007 Scottish council election results[5]
Parties
First-Preference
Votes[6]
Votes %
+/-
Councillors
Net
Gain/Loss
Labour 590,085 28.1 -4.5% 348 -161
SNP 585,885 27.9 +3.8% 363 +182
Conservative 327,591 15.6 +0.5% 143 +21
Liberal Democrats 266,693 12.7 -1.8% 166 -9
Independent 228,894 10.9 +0.8% 192 -38
Other 102,897 4.9 +1.3% 10[7] +6
Total 2,099,945 1,222
Advertisements

Council control

The 32 unitary authorities are controlled as follows. The figures incorporate the results from the 2007 local government election, plus gains and losses from subsequent local by-elections, and party defections.

Council area Political control [8] Lab SNP LD Con Grn Oth Total
City of Aberdeen LD-SNP 10 13 15 4 0 1 43
Aberdeenshire LD-Con 0 22 24 14 0 8 68
Angus Con-LD-Lab-Oth 2 13 3 5 0 6 29
Argyll and Bute Oth-SNP 0 10 8 3 0 15 36
Clackmannanshire Lab (minority) 8 7 1 1 0 1 18
Dumfries and Galloway Con-LD (minority) 14 10 3 18 0 2 47
City of Dundee SNP (minority) 10 13 2 3 0 1 29
East Ayrshire SNP (minority) 14 14 0 3 0 1 32
East Dunbartonshire Con-Lab (minority) 6 8 3 5 0 2 24
East Lothian SNP-LD 7 7 6 2 0 1 23
East Renfrewshire Lab-SNP-Oth-LD 7 3 1 7 0 2 20
City of Edinburgh LD-SNP 15 12 17 11 3 0 58
Na h-Eileanan Siar Oth 2 4 0 0 0 25 31
Falkirk Lab-Oth-Con 14 13 0 2 0 3 32
Fife SNP-LD 24 23 21 5 0 5 78
City of Glasgow Lab 46 22 5 1 5 0 79
Highland Oth-SNP 7 18 21 0 0 34 80
Inverclyde Lab (minority) 9 5 4 1 0 1 20
Midlothian Lab (minority) 9 6 3 0 0 0 18
Moray Oth-Con 2 9 0 3 0 12 26
North Ayrshire Lab (minority) 12 8 2 3 0 5 30
North Lanarkshire Lab 40 23 1 1 0 5 70
Orkney Oth 0 0 0 0 0 21 21
Perth and Kinross SNP-LD 3 18 8 12 0 0 41
Renfrewshire SNP-LD 17 17 4 2 0 0 40
Scottish Borders Oth-Con-LD 0 6 10 11 0 7 34
Shetland Oth 0 0 0 0 0 22 22
South Ayrshire Con (minority) 9 8 0 12 0 1 30
South Lanarkshire Lab (minority) 30 24 2 8 0 3 67
Stirling SNP (minority) 7 7 3 4 0 1 22
West Dunbartonshire SNP-Oth 10 9 0 0 0 3 22
West Lothian SNP-Oth 14 13 0 1 0 4 32
TOTAL - 348 363 166 143 8 194 1222

Election results, 2003

e • d  Summary of the 1 May 2003 Scottish council election results
Parties Votes Votes % +/- Wards Net
Gain/Loss
Labour 611,843 32.6 -3.7% 509 -42
SNP 451,660 24.1 -4.6% 181 -23
Conservative 282,895 15.1 +1.6% 122 +14
Liberal Democrats 272,057 14.5 +1.9% 175 +18
Independent 189,749 10.1 +3.0% 230 +39
Other 67,533 3.6 +2.0% 4 -6
Total 1,875,737 1,222

Council control

The 32 unitary authorities were controlled as follows, before the 2007 elections. The figures incorporate the results from the 2003 local government election, plus gains and losses from subsequent local by-elections, and party defections.

Council area Political control Labour Party (Lab) Scottish National Party (SNP) Liberal Democrats (LD) Conservative Party (Con) Others (Oth)
City of Aberdeen LD-Con 14 6 20 3 0
Aberdeenshire LD-Oth 0 18 28 11 11
Angus SNP 1 17 3 2 6
Argyll and Bute Oth 0 3 8 3 22
Clackmannanshire Lab 10 7 0 1 0
Dumfries and Galloway Lab (minority) 15 5 5 11 11
City of Dundee Lab-LD (minority) 10 11 2 5 1
East Ayrshire Lab 23 8 0 1 0
East Dunbartonshire LD 9 0 12 3 0
East Lothian Lab 17 1 1 4 0
East Renfrewshire Lab-LD 8 0 3 7 2
City of Edinburgh Lab 30 1 14 13 0
Na h-Eileanan Siar Oth 4 3 0 0 24
Falkirk SNP-Oth 12 11 0 2 7
Fife Lab (minority) 35 13 23 2 5
City of Glasgow Lab 69 4 3 1 2
Highland Oth 8 6 13 0 53
Inverclyde LD 6 0 13 0 1
Midlothian Lab 14 1 3 0 0
Moray Oth 5 3 1 1 16
North Ayrshire Lab 20 3 0 5 2
North Lanarkshire Lab 54 13 0 0 3
Orkney Oth 0 0 0 0 21
Perth and Kinross SNP-LD-oth 5 15 9 10 2
Renfrewshire Lab 21 14 3 1 0
Scottish Borders Oth-Con 0 2 8 11 13
Shetland Oth 0 0 5 0 17
South Ayrshire Con (control dependent on casting vote of the Provost) 14 0 0 15 1
South Lanarkshire Lab 49 9 2 4 3
Stirling Lab 11 1 0 10 0
West Dunbartonshire Lab 16 3 0 0 3
West Lothian Lab 18 11 0 1 2
TOTAL - 495 (15 councils, plus 2 shared control) 190 (1 council, plus 2 shared control) 179 (2 councils, plus 5 shared control) 126 (1 council, plus 2 shared control) 232(6 councils, plus 4 shared control)

Community councils

Community councils represent the interests of local people. Local authorities have a statutory duty to consult community councils on planning, development and other issues directly affecting that local community. However, the community council has no direct say in the delivery of services. In many areas they do not function at all, but some work very effectively at improving their local area. Elections for community councils are determined by the local authority but the law does state that candidates cannot stand on a party-political ticket.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ In this context the phrase is descriptive, not prescriptive; "unitary authority" does not have the specific legal meaning that it has in England.
  2. ^ Core Revenue Funding, Scottish Executive website, accessed 28 April 2007
  3. ^ Ethical Standards in Public Life framework: "Ethical Standards in Public Life". The Scottish Government. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Government/local-government/ethical-standards. Retrieved 2007-11-18.  
  4. ^ Office of the Chief Investigating Office: "Who is the Chief Investigating Officer". The Scottish Government. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Government/local-government/ethical-standards/cio. Retrieved 2007-11-18.  
  5. ^ Figures from the Electoral Commission's Scottish Parliamentary and local elections 2007 statutory report
  6. ^ Votes for parties are back-calculated from percentages and the total vote, so are subject to rounding error
  7. ^ 8 Scottish Green Party, 1 Scottish Socialist and 1 Solidarity councillor. Separate vote figures not found
  8. ^ COSLA

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message