Aberdeenshire

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Aberdeenshire
Aiberdeenshire
Siorrachd Obar Dheathain
Aberdeenshire within Scotland
Aberdeenshire within Scotland
Coordinates: 57°9′3.6″N 2°7′22.8″W / 57.151000°N 2.123000°W / 57.151000; -2.123000Coordinates: 57°9′3.6″N 2°7′22.8″W / 57.151000°N 2.123000°W / 57.151000; -2.123000
Admin HQ Aberdeen
Government
 • Body Aberdeenshire Council
 • Control TBA (council NOC)
 • MPs
 • MSPs
Area
 • Total 2,437 sq mi (6,313 km2)
Area rank Ranked 4th
Population (2010 est.)
 • Total 253,000
 • Rank Ranked 6th
 • Density 100/sq mi (39/km2)
ONS code 00QB
ISO 3166 code GB-ABD
Website www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk
Blaeu – Atlas of Scotland 1654 –
ABERDONIA & BANFIA
Topographic map of Aberdeenshire and Moray

Aberdeenshire (Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain) is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, and a lieutenancy area.

The Aberdeenshire council area does not include the City of Aberdeen, a separate council area, from which its name derives. Together, the modern council area and the city form historic Aberdeenshire, one of the counties of Scotland formerly used for local government and still used as a registration county.[1]

Aberdeenshire Council is headquartered at Woodhill House, in Aberdeen, making it the only Scottish council whose headquarters are based outwith its jurisdiction. Aberdeenshire borders Angus and Perth and Kinross to the south, and Highland and Moray to the west.

Traditionally, it has been economically dependent upon the primary sector (agriculture, fishing, and forestry) and related processing industries. Over the last 40 years, the development of the oil and gas industry and associated service sector has broadened Aberdeenshire's economic base, and contributed to a rapid population growth of some 50%.[2] since 1975, while the land covered represents 8% of Scotland's overall territory. It covers an area of 6,313 square kilometres (2,437 sq mi).[3][4]

History[edit]

Aberdeenshire has a rich prehistoric and historic heritage. It is the locus of a large number of Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeological sites, including Longman Hill, Kempstone Hill, Catto Long Barrow and Cairn Lee. The area was settled in the Bronze Age by the Beaker culture, who arrived from the south around 2000-1800 BC.[5] Stone circles and cairns are predominantly from this era. In the Iron Age, hill forts were built.[5] Around the 1st century AD, the Taexali people, which have left little history were believed to have resided along the coast.[5] The Picts were the next documented inhabitants of the area, and were no later than 800-900 AD. The Romans also were in the area during this period, as they left signs at Kintore.[5] Christianity influenced the inhabitants early on, and there were Celtic monasteries at Old Deer and Monymusk.[5] Since medieval times there have been a number of crossings of the Mounth (a spur of mountainous land that extends from the higher inland range to the North Sea slightly north of Stonehaven) through present day Aberdeenshire from the Scottish Lowlands to the Highlands. Some of the most well known and historically important trackways are the Causey Mounth and Elsick Mounth.[6][7]

Aberdeenshire played an important role in the fighting between the Scottish clans. Clan MacBeth and the Clan Canmore were 2 of the larger clans. Lumphanan saw Macbeth fall in 1057.[5] During the Anglo-Norman penetration, other families arrives such as House of Balliol, Clan Bruce, and Clan Cumming (Comyn).[5] When the fighting amongst these newcomers resulted in the Scottish Wars of Independence, the English king Edward I traveled across the area twice, in 1296 and 1303. In 1307, Robert the Bruce was victorious near Inverurie. Along with his victory came new families, namely the Forbeses and the Gordons. These new families set the stage for the upcoming rivalries during the 14th and 15th centuries.[5] This rivalry grew worse when religion became a focal point, as the Gordon family adhered to Catholicism and the Forbes to Protestantism. Three universities were founded in the area prior to the 17th century, King's College in Old Aberdeen (1494), Marischal College in Aberdeen (1593), and the University of Fraserburgh (1597).[5]

After the end of the Revolution of 1688, there was a generally peaceful period, which was interrupted only by such fleeting events such as the Rising of 1715 and the Rising of 1745, which in turn led to the end of the ascendancy of Episcopalianism, and the feudal power of landowners and in turn lead to the era of increased agricultural and industrial progress.[5] During the 17th century, Aberdeenshire was the location of more fighting, centered around the Marquess of Montrose and the English Civil Wars.[5] This period also saw increased wealth due to the increase in trade with Germany, Poland, and the Low Countries.[5]

The present council area is named after the historic county of Aberdeen, which had different boundaries and was abolished in 1975 under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973. It was replaced by Grampian Regional Council and five district councils: Banff and Buchan, Gordon, Kincardine and Deeside, Moray and the City of Aberdeen. The current Aberdeenshire consists of all of former Aberdeenshire, former Kincardineshire and the northeast portions of Banffshire.[5] Local government functions were shared between the two levels. In 1996, under the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994, the Banff and Buchan district, Gordon district and Kincardine and Deeside district were merged to form the present Aberdeenshire council area, with the other two districts becoming autonomous council areas.

Demographics[edit]

The population of the council area has risen over 50% since 1971 to approximately 247,600,[2] representing 4.7% of Scotland's total. Aberdeenshire's population has increased by 9.1% since 2001, while Scotland's total population grew by only 3.8%. The census lists a relatively high proportion of under 16s and slightly less people of working-age compared with the Scottish average.[2] The twelve biggest settlements in Aberdeenshire (with 2011 population estimates) are:

Economy[edit]

Aberdeenshire's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated at £3,496m (2011), representing 5.2% of the Scottish total. Aberdeenshire's economy is closely linked to Aberdeen City's (GDP £7,906m) and in 2011 the region as a whole was calculated to contribute 16.8% of Scotland's GDP. Between 2012 and 2014 the combined Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City economic forecast GDP growth rate is 6.8%, the highest growth rate of any local council area and above the Scottish rate of 4.8%.[2]

A significant proportion of Aberdeenshire's working residents commute to Aberdeen City for work, varying from 11.5% from Fraserburgh to 65% from Westhill.

Average Gross Weekly Earnings (for full-time employees employed in work places in Aberdeenshire in 2011) are £570.60. This is lower than the Scottish average by £4.10 and a fall of 2.6% on the 2010 figure. The average gross weekly pay of people resident in Aberdeenshire is much higher, at £641.90, as many people commute out of Aberdeenshire, principally into Aberdeen City.[2]

Total employment (excluding farm data) in Aberdeenshire is estimated at 93,700 employees (Business Register and Employment Survey 2009). The majority of employees work within the service sector, predominantly in public administration, education and health. Almost 19% of employment is within the public sector. Aberdeenshire's economy remains closely linked to Aberdeen City's and the North Sea oil industry, with many employees in oil related jobs.

The average monthly unemployment (claimant count) rate for Aberdeenshire in 2011 was 1.5%. This is lower than the average rates for Aberdeen City (2.3%), Scotland (4.2%) and the UK (3.8%).[2]

Major Industries[edit]

  • Energy – There is significant energy related infrastructure, presence and expertise in Aberdeenshire. Peterhead is an important centre for the energy industry. Peterhead Port, which includes an extensive new quay with adjacent lay down area at Smith Quay, is a major support location for North Sea oil and gas exploration and production and the fast growing global sub-sea sector. The Gas Terminal at St Fergus handles around 15% of the UK's natural gas requirements and the Peterhead power station is looking to host the UK's first carbon capture and storage power generation project.[2]
  • Fishing – Aberdeenshire is Scotland's foremost fishing area. In 2010, catches landed at Aberdeenshire's ports accounted for over half the total fish landings of Scotland, and almost 45% in the UK. Peterhead and Fraserburgh ports, alongside Aberdeen City, provide much of the employment in these sectors.[5]
  • Agriculture – Aberdeenshire is rich in arable land, with an estimated 9,000 people employed in the sector, and is best known for rearing livestock. Sheep are important in the higher ground.[5]
  • Tourism – this sector continues to grow, with a range of sights to be seen in the area. From the lively Cairngorm Mountain range, to the bustling fishing ports on the North-east coast, Aberdeenshire samples a bit of everything. Aberdeenshire also has rugged coastline to complete many sandy beaches, and is a hot spot for tourist activity throughout the year. Almost 1.3 million tourists visited the region in 2011 – up 3% on the previous year.[15]
  • Whiskey-distilling is still a practiced art in the area.[5]

Governance and politics[edit]

The council has 68 councillors, elected in 19 multi-member wards by Single Transferable Vote. The 2012 elections resulted in the following representation:[16]

Ward Members Representation
1. Banff and District 3 2 SNP, 1 Con
2. Troup 3 1 SNP, 1 Con, 1 Ind
3. Fraserburgh and District 4 2 SNP, 2 Ind
4. Central Buchan 4 2 SNP, 1 Ind, 1 Con
5. Peterhead North and Rattray 4 2 SNP, 2 Ind
6. Peterhead South and Cruden 3 2 SNP, 1 Ind
7. Turriff and District 3 1 Lib Dem, 1 SNP, 1 Ind
8. Mid Formartine 4 2 SNP, 1 Ind, 1 Con
9. Ellon and District 4 2 SNP, 1 Lib Dem, 1 Con
10. West Garioch 3 1 SNP, 1 Lib Dem, 1 Con
11. Inverurie and District 4 2 SNP, 1 Lib Dem, 1 Con
12. East Garioch 3 1 SNP, 1 Lib Dem, 1 Green
13. Westhill and District 4 2 SNP, 1 Con, 1 Lib Dem
14. Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford 4 1 Con, 1 Ind, 1 Lib Dem, 1 SNP
15. Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside 3 1 Con, 1 Lib Dem, 1 SNP
16. Banchory and Mid Deeside 3 1 Lib Dem, 1 SNP, 1 Con
17. North Kincardine 4 1 Con, 1 Lab, 1 Lib Dem, 1 SNP
18. Stonehaven and Lower Deeside 4 1 Con, 1 Lab, 1 Lib Dem, 1 SNP
19. Mearns 4 1 Con, 1 Lib Dem, 1 Ind, 1 SNP
Ythan Estuary nature reserve, with tern colonies and dunes in background.

The overall political composition of the council, following subsequent defections[17] and by-elections, is as follows:[18]

Party Councillors
Scottish National Party 27
Conservative 14
Liberal Democrat 13
Independent 11
Labour Party 2
Green Party 1

The Council's Revenue Budget for 2012/13 totals approx £548 million. The Education, Learning and Leisure Service takes the largest share of budget (52.3%), followed by Housing and Social Work (24.3%), Infrastructure Services (15.9%), Joint Boards (such as Fire and Police) and Misc services (7.9%) and Trading Activities (0.4%).

21.5% of the revenue is raised locally through the Council Tax. Average Band D Council Tax is £1,141 (2012/13), no change on the previous year. The current chief executive of the Council is Colin D Mackenzie and the elected Council Leader is Jim Gifford. Aberdeenshire also has a Provost, who is Councillor Jill Webster.

The council has devolved power to six area committees: Banff and Buchan; Buchan; Formartine; Garioch; Marr; and Kincardine and Mearns. Each area committee takes decisions on local issues such as planning applications, and the split is meant to reflect the diverse circumstances of each area. (Boundary map)

Notable features[edit]

The B976 road near Gairnshiel
An old lime kiln at Badenyon

The following significant structures or places are within Aberdeenshire:

Hydrology and climate[edit]

There are numerous rivers and burns in Aberdeenshire, including Cowie Water, Carron Water, Burn of Muchalls, River Dee, River Don, River Ury, River Ythan, Water of Feugh, Burn of Myrehouse, Laeca Burn and Luther Water. Numerous bays and estuaries are found along the seacoast of Aberdeenshire, including Banff Bay, Ythan Estuary, Stonehaven Bay and Thornyhive Bay. Aberdeenshire is in the rain shadow of the Grampians, therefore it is a generally dry climate, with portions of the coast, receiving 25 inches (64 cm) of moisture annually.[5] Summers are mild and winters are typically cold in Aberdeenshire; Coastal temperatures are moderated by the North Sea such that coastal areas are typically cooler in the summer and warmer in winter than inland locations. Coastal areas are also subject to haar, or coastal fog.

Notable residents[edit]

  • John Skinner, (1721–1807) author, poet and ecclesiastic. Penned the famous verse, Tullochgorum.
  • Hugh Mercer, (1726–1777), born in the manse of Pitsligo Kirk, near Rosehearty, brigadier general of the Continental Army during the American Revolution.[19]
  • Alexander Garden, (1730–1791), born in Birse, noted naturalist and physician. He moved to North America in 1754, and discovered two species of lizards. He was a Loyalist during the American Revolutionary War, which led to the confiscation of his property and his banishment in 1782. The gardenia flower is named in his honour.[19]
  • John Kemp, (1763–1812), born in Auchlossan, was a noted educator at Columbia University who is said to have influenced DeWitt Clinton's opinions and policies.[19]
  • Dame Evelyn Glennie, DBE, born and raised in Ellon on 19 July 1965, is a virtuoso percussionist, and the first full-time solo percussionist in 20th-century western society. She is very highly regarded in the Scottish musical community, and has proven that her profound deafness does not inhibit her musical talent or day-to-day life.
  • Peter Nicol, MBE, born in Inverurie on 5 April 1973, is a former professional squash player who represented first Scotland and then England in international squash.
  • Gordon Duthie (born 1987), alternative music artist whose upbringing in Aberdeenshire was a key inspiration for his debut album Shire and City.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Land Register Counties & Operational Dates
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Aberdeenshire Council – Profile 2012" (PDF). Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Aberdeenshire profile". Aberdeenshire Council. Archived from the original on 9 October 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Turner, Barry, ed. (2013). "Scotland". The Statesman's Yearbook 2014. Macmillan Publishers Ltd. p. 1301. ISBN 978-0-230-37769-1. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Hoiberg, Dale H., ed. (2010). "Aberdeenshire". Encyclopædia Britannica. I: A-ak Bayes (15th ed.). Chicago, IL: Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. pp. 28–29. ISBN 978-1-59339-837-8. 
  6. ^ W. Douglas Simpson, "The Early Castles of Mar", Proceedings of the Society, 102, 10 December 1928
  7. ^ The Megalithic Portal and Megalith Map. "C.Michael Hogan, ''Elsick Mounth'', Megalithic Portal, ed. Andy Burnham". Megalithic.co.uk. Archived from the original on 10 June 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Aberdeenshire Council" (PDF). Retrieved 1 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "Aberdeenshire Council" (PDF). Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  10. ^ "Aberdeenshire Council" (PDF). Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  11. ^ "Aberdeenshire Council" (PDF). Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  12. ^ "Aberdeenshire Council" (PDF). Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  13. ^ "Aberdeenshire Council" (PDF). Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  14. ^ "Aberdeenshire Council" (PDF). Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  15. ^ "Aberdeenshire Council – Profile 2012" (PDF). Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  16. ^ "2012 Local Election Results". Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  17. ^ Scottish Lib Dems: Aberdeenshire Councillor joins Scottish Liberal Democrats
  18. ^ "Aberdeenshire Council Results". Archived from the original on 12 May 2007. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  19. ^ a b c Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963. 

External links[edit]