Scotland

Voters to have a say on the number of Scottish councillors

Edinburgh city council building
Image caption Edinburgh City Council HQ which, along with Glasgow and North Lanarkshire, would get more elected politicians under the proposals

People across Scotland are being given a chance to have their say on plans to change the number of elected politicians on councils.

A 12-week consultation on how many councillors each local authority should have is now under way.

The Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland is proposing that 15 of the country's 32 councils have fewer elected representatives.

It says another 11 areas should have more and six should remain the same.

For the first time the number of councillors would take into account levels of deprivation in an area, as well as its population.

It is proposed that Scotland's largest local authority, Glasgow City Council, should have 85 councillors instead of its current tally of 79, while Edinburgh City Council should gain an extra five to take it to 63.

North Lanarkshire could get seven more councillors, with the commission suggesting it should have 77.

'Many changes'

It has also proposed that Highland Council should have 72 councillors, eight fewer than it has now.

The commission last reviewed the arrangements for local government in 2006 following the introduction of multi-member wards for councils across Scotland.

But the last time it examined the number of elected members on each council was in 1996.

Ronnie Hinds, chairman 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.

"We have been encouraged by the discussions we have held with councils on these proposals and look forward to hearing the views of the public over the next 12 weeks."

A review of the number of wards on each council and the boundaries for these is due to be carried out by the commission in 2015.

It then expects to make recommendations to Scottish ministers the following year, and the changes could be in place for the local government elections in May 2017.

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