Scotland politics

Commission to examine number of Scottish councillors

Council services
Image caption All of Scotland's 32 councils have faced cuts to their budgets in recent years

A review which will examine how many councillors each of Scotland's 32 local authorities should have has begun.

The Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland will also decide the number of wards and boundaries of each authority.

For the first time the number of councillors the commission recommends will take into account levels of deprivation, as well as population.

The commission will hold a series of meetings with councils over the work.

The public will also be consulted about how many councillors authorities should have, with this phase of the review expected to begin in May 2014.

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

The last review that examined the number of elected members on each council was carried out in 1996.

'Effective local democracy'

Commission chair Ronnie Hinds 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."

The latest reviews will not look at the external boundaries of Scotland's 32 local authorities.

The commission has stated it will not increase or decrease the number of councillors in a local authority area by more than 10% as a consequence of any review.

It expected to make recommendations to Scottish ministers in 2016 and the resulting council wards could be used in the next local government elections in 2017.

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