Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

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Na h-Eileanan Siar
Flag of Na h-Eileanan Siar
Flag
Official logo of Na h-Eileanan Siar
Logo
Na h-Eileanan Siar in Scotland.svg
Admin HQ Stornoway
(Steòrnabhagh)
Government
 • Body Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
 • Control Independent
 • MPs
 • MSPs
Area
 • 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
Website www.cne-siar.gov.uk

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.[1][2]

Name[edit]

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 The original name, Western Isles Council, was retracted in 1997 under the Local Government (Gaelic Names) (Scotland) Act 1997, meaning that the former Western Isles council area is now officially named Na h-Eileanan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.[1][2][3]

History[edit]

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.[4]

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.[5]

In 1997, the Western Isles Council was renamed as Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.[1][3][4]

Elections[edit]

General elections to the council are held on a five-year cycle. The next is due in 2017.[6][7]

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.[6]

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.[6]

Governance[edit]

Recently, Scotland’s three Islands Councils laid out their vision for a stronger future, entitled “Our Islands, Our Future” Among additional powers sought is control of the sea bed around the islands, allowing current Crown Estate revenues to be distributed locally.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Areas of Scotland" ourscotland.co.uk. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Place-names of Scotland" scotlandsplaces.gov.uk. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  3. ^ a b Department of Education (January 2008) "Review of Educational Provision and the Comhairle's Future Strategy for the Schools Estate: Daliburgh School, Isle of South Uist" (pdf) Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  4. ^ a b See The 5th Periodical Report of the Boundary Commission for Scotland
  5. ^ Cusick, James (18 April 1993). "Stirring of the angry Isles". Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 2015-05-15. 
  6. ^ a b c MacMahon, Peter and Walker, Helen (18 May 2007) "Winds of change sweep Scots town halls". Edinburgh. The Scotsman.
  7. ^ "Political Groups" Shetland Islands Council. Retrieved 23 April 2010.

External links[edit]