Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

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Na h-Eileanan Siar
Flag of Na h-Eileanan Siar
Official logo of Na h-Eileanan Siar
Na h-Eileanan Siar in Scotland.svg
Admin HQ Stornoway
 • Body Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
 • Control Independent
 • MPs
 • MSPs
 • Total 1,186 sq mi (3,071 km2)
Area rank Ranked 7th
Population (2010 est.)
 • Total 28,000
 • Rank Ranked 30th
 • Density 20/sq mi (9/km2)
ONS code 00RJ
ISO 3166 code GB-ELS

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (IPA: [ˈkoːrʎə nən ˈelan ˈʃiəɾ]) is the local government council for Na h-Eileanan Siar council area of Scotland, comprising the Outer Hebrides.[citation needed]


Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is the only local council in Scotland to have a Gaelic-only name. The original name, Western Isles Council, was retracted in 1997 under the Local Government (Gaelic Names) (Scotland) Act 1997, meaning that the former Western Isles council area is now officially named Na h-Eileanan Siar, even in English language contexts.[citation needed]


In 1975, the council was created as Western Isles Council, 57 years after the creation of Na h-Eileanan an Iar for elections to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (the constituency being named, when created, Western Isles). Since 1999, there has been also the Na h-Eileanan an Iar constituency of the Scottish Parliament, with the same boundaries.[citation needed]

When the Bank of Credit and Commerce International collapsed in 1991, the then Western Isles Council lost £35m invested there, compelling a large increase in its council tax rate.[1]

In 1997, the Western Isles Council was renamed as Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.[citation needed]


General elections to the council are held on a five-year cycle. The next is due in 2017.[citation needed]

During the period since 1975, elections to the council have been by the first past the post system of election with the final elections of this type returning 31 councillors, elected by 31 single-member wards.[citation needed]

In 2007, under the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004, the single transferable vote system, together with multi-member wards, was used for the first time, each ward electing three or four councillors. This system is designed to produce a form of proportional representation.[citation needed]



  1. ^ Cusick, James (18 April 1993). "Stirring of the angry Isles". Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 2015-05-15. 

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