Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has welcomed today’s announcement from the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland that it has begun a review into the electoral arrangements for six councils areas, including Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.
This has arisen because of the Islands (Scotland) Act, unanimously passed by the Scottish Parliament last year, which allows for electoral wards of one or two councillors to cover populated islands.
The review will lead to recommendations on the number of councillors for each council area and the number and boundaries of wards for the election of those councillors. Consultation with the island councils and the public is planned for spring and summer 2019.
Alasdair Allan MSP commented:
“Since 2007, council wards in Scotland have been represented by either 3 or 4 councillors. In some areas, this has led to wards that cover huge areas and take in a variety of communities. One of the most obvious examples of a need for reviewed boundaries is in Barra, Vatersay, Eriskay and South Uist, which is the only ward in the Western Isles separated by a ferry journey.
“There will be a range of views on how we can ensure that council wards in the Western Isles are more representative of the communities they encompass and I hope as many islanders as possible engage with the consultation.”