Subdivisions of Scotland
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. 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.

Council areas

Location Area
(sq miles)
Area
(km2)
Population
(2011)
Density
(per km2)
Mainland
Aberdeen City 70 182 222,800 1224
Aberdeenshire 2,439 6,317 253,000 40
Angus 843 2,184 116,000 53
Argyll and Bute 2,712 7,023 88,200 13
Clackmannanshire 61 158 51,400 325
Dumfries and Galloway 2,489 6,446 151,300 23
Dundee City 21 55 147,300 2678
East Ayrshire 492 1,275 122,700 96
East Dunbartonshire 68 176 105,000 597
East Lothian 257 666 99,700 150
East Renfrewshire 65 168 90,600 539
City of Edinburgh 100 260 476,600 1833
Falkirk 113 293 156,000 532
Fife 517 1,340 365,200 273
Glasgow City 68 175 593,200 3390
Highland 11,838 30,659 232,100 8
Inverclyde 64 167 81,500 488
Midlothian 135 350 83,200 238
Moray 864 2,237 93,300 42
North Ayrshire 343 888 138,200 156
North Lanarkshire 184 476 337,800 710
Perth and Kinross 2,083 5,395 146,700 27
Renfrewshire 102 263 174,900 665
Scottish Borders 1,825 4,727 113,900 24
South Ayrshire 475 1,230 112,800 92
South Lanarkshire 686 1,778 313,800 176
Stirling 866 2,243 90,200 40
West Dunbartonshire 68 176 90,700 515
West Lothian 165 427 175,100 410
Total Mainland 28,260 73,193 5,223,100 71
Islands
Na h-Eileanan Siar 1,185 3,070 27,700 9
Orkney Islands 396 1,025 21,400 21
Shetland Islands 568 1,471 23,200 16
Total Islands 2,149 5,566 72,300 13
Total Scotland 30,409 78,759 5,295,400 67

Source: 2011 Census for Scotland[3]

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.[4]

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,[5] 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:[6]

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 continue to form current registration districts. 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. ^ 2011 Census: First Results on Population and Household Estimates for Scotland - Release 1B Table 2: Census day usually resident population by council area, 2001 and 2011 , Accessed 22 March 2013
  4. ^ Scottish Assessors Association
  5. ^ Registers of Scotland publication - Land Register Counties and Operational Dates
  6. ^ 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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