South Ayrshire

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South Ayrshire
Sooth Ayrshire
Siorrachd Inbhir Àir a Deas
South Ayrshire in Scotland.svg
Coat of arms of South AyrshireSooth AyrshireSiorrachd Inbhir Àir a Deas
Coat of arms
Official logo of South AyrshireSooth AyrshireSiorrachd Inbhir Àir a Deas
Coordinates: 55°17′N 4°42′W / 55.283°N 4.700°W / 55.283; -4.700Coordinates: 55°17′N 4°42′W / 55.283°N 4.700°W / 55.283; -4.700
Admin HQ Ayr
 • Body South Ayrshire Council
 • Control Con + Lab + Ind (council NOC)
 • MPs
 • MSPs
 • Total 471 sq mi (1,221 km2)
Area rank Ranked 15th
Population (mid-2015 est.)
 • Total 112,400
 • Rank Ranked 19th
 • Density 240/sq mi (91/km2)
ONS code S12000028
ISO 3166 code GB-SAY
South Ayrshire
Seats 30 councillors
10 / 30
9 / 30
9 / 30
2 / 30
0 / 30
Single transferable vote
Last election
3 May 2012

South Ayrshire (Scots: Sooth Ayrshire; Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir a Deas, pronounced [ʃirˠəxk iɲiˈɾʲaːɾʲ ə tʲes̪]) is one of 32 council areas of Scotland, covering the southern part of Ayrshire. It borders onto Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire and North Ayrshire. South Ayrshire Council is a Conservative controlled council. The administrative boundaries were formed in 1996 as a direct successor to the Kyle and Carrick district council area, with the district of Dalmellington - located along the south-east of Kyle and Carrick - being transferred over to the newly formed East Ayrshire Council area. South Ayrshire also forms part of the east coast of the Firth of Clyde.[1]

The Conservative Party currently lead a minority administration in South Ayrshire, with Bill McIntosh as Leader of the Council and Labour's Helen Moonie as Provost. They are working within a partnership agreement with the Labour Party, supported by both Independents.

County Buildings[edit]

South Ayrshire's Headquarters, "County Buildings", are located in Wellington Square, Ayr. The buildings were built in 1931 on the site of Ayr Jail and opened by King George VI. At the front of the buildings is Ayr Sheriff Court which was built as the original county buildings in 1822.

Towns and villages[edit]

South Ayrshire's population is mostly concentrated around the adjoining coastal towns of Ayr, Prestwick and Troon located to the north-west of the council, which represents 68% of the council's total population according to data derived from the 2011 census, with a combined population of 76,846. Other areas of significance include the towns of Maybole and Girvan which are located to the south of the council area in the district of Carrick.

A list of settlements in South Ayrshire may be found below:


Villages and Hamlets[edit]

Places of interest[edit]


Secondary schools[edit]

School School roll Opened Area served notes
Ayr Academy 715 1880 Annbank, Coylton, Dalmilling (Ayr), Mossblown, Newton-on-Ayr (Ayr), Wallacetown (Ayr) Scotland's oldest secondary school
Belmont Academy 1455 New School Opened August 2008 Alloway (Ayr), Braehead (Ayr), Craigie (Ayr), Doonfoot (Ayr), Seafield (Ayr), Holmston (Ayr), Kincaidston (Ayr), south Belmont (Ayr), south Castlehill (Ayr), Tarbolton, Whitletts (Ayr) 6th largest school in Scotland
Carrick Academy 554 1926 Maybole and North Carrick Present buildings built in 1974
Girvan Academy 660 Girvan and South Carrick
Kyle Academy 902 1979 Ayr Fort (Ayr), Forehill (Ayr), Old Belmont (Ayr), Masonhill (Ayr)
Marr College 1233 1935 Dundonald, Loans, Troon Funded by money left by CK Marr
Queen Margaret Academy 662 1977 Roman Catholic pupils in South Ayrshire Only Roman Catholic school in South Ayrshire
Prestwick Academy 1200 1902 Heathfield (Ayr), Monkton, Prestwick, Woodfield (Ayr)

Closed schools[edit]


Local Government[edit]

Party Members
1995 1999 2003 2007 2012 2017
Conservative 4 13 15 12 10 TBD
SNP 0 0 0 8 9 TBD
Labour 21 17 15 9 9 TBD
Independent 0 0 0 1 2 TBD

† denotes an election held under the first-past-the-post electoral system. Elections held after this point were conducted under the single transferable vote, a form of proportional representation allowing for fairer representation of minority parties.

Councillor composition[edit]

The council has 30 councillors, elected in 8 multi-member wards by single transferable vote. A list of South Ayrshire councillors may be found below, sorted by political party:

  • Conservative (10): Bill McIntosh (Leader of the Council), Mary Kilpatrick (Depute Provost), Margaret Toner, Peter Convery, Hugh Hunter, John Hampton, Bill Grant, Robin Reid, Ann Galbraith and Hywel Davies.
  • Scottish National Party (9): Allan Dorans JP (Group Leader), Nan McFarlane, Douglas Campbell, William Grant, Ian Douglas, John Allan, Ian Cochrane, Alec Oattes and John Wallace.
  • Labour (9): John McDowall (Group Leader), Helen Moonie (Provost), Phil Saxton, Ian Cavana, Andy Campbell, Sandra Goldie, Rita Miller, Kirsty Darwent and Brian McGinley.
  • Independent (2): Brian Connolly and Alec Clark.

The 2012 elections resulted in the following representation:

Ward Members Representation
1. Troon 4 2 Con, 1 SNP, 1 Lab
2. Prestwick 4 2 Con, 1 SNP, 1 Lab
3. Ayr North 4 2 Lab, 1 SNP, 1 Con
4. Ayr East 4 2 SNP, 1 Con, 1 Lab
5. Ayr West 4 2 Con, 1 SNP, 1 Lab
6. Kyle 3 1 Lab, 1 SNP, 1 Con
7. Maybole, North Carrick and Coylton 4 1 SNP, 1 Ind, 1 Lab, 1 Con
8. Girvan and South Carrick 3 1 Ind 1 SNP 1 Lab


South Ayrshire forms part of 2 Westminster constituencies, listed below:

Constituency Member Party
Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock Corri Wilson Scottish National Party
Central Ayrshire Philippa Whitford Scottish National Party

Scottish Parliament[edit]

Constituency MSPs[edit]

South Ayrshire forms part of 2 Scottish Parliamentary constituency seats, listed below:

Constituency Member Party
Ayr John Scott Scottish Conservative Party
Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley Jeane Freeman Scottish National Party

Regional List MSPs[edit]

As part of the South Scotland electoral region, South Ayrshire is represented by 7 regional MSPs who are elected to represent the entire South Scotland region – all regional list MSPs elected for the South Scotland region are listed below:

Constituency Member Party
South Scotland Joan McAlpine Scottish National
Emma Harper Scottish National
Paul Wheelhouse Scottish National
Rachel Hamilton Conservative
Brian Whittle Conservative
Claudia Beamish Labour
Colin Smyth Labour

Scottish independence referendum[edit]

At the 2014 Scottish independence referendum South Ayrshire rejected independence by an above-average margin of 57.9% "No" to 42.1% "Yes". With a turnout of 86.1%, there were 34,402 "Yes" votes and 47,247 "No" votes. Nationally 55.3% of voters voted "No" in the referendum compared to 44.7%, who voted "Yes" – resulting in Scotland remaining a devolved part of the United Kingdom.[2]

European Union membership referendum[edit]

At the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum a majority of voters in South Ayrshire voted for the United Kingdom to remain a member of the European Union (EU), with 59% of voters in South Ayrshire voting for the United Kingdom to remain a member of the EU and 41% voting for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. With a turnout of 69.8%, 36,265 votes were cast for remain and 25,241 were cast for leave. Nationally, 62% of Scottish voters voted remain whilst 38% voted leave, with 51.8% of voters in the United Kingdom as a whole voting to leave and 48.2% voting to remain.

Previous elections[edit]

The council elections in May 2003 resulted in a "hung" council where both the Labour Party and the Conservative Party had 15 seats. Control of the council was nominally given to the Labour party after a "cutting of the cards", though such an unstable arrangement had a detrimental effect on the decision-making process.[3] In November 2005 the leader of the Labour group Andy Hill resigned on the grounds of ill-health,[4] allowing the Conservatives to govern with a 15–14 majority until the 2007 election. Gibson MacDonald became Leader of the Council with Robin Reid as Deputy Leader.


  1. ^ "Part of east coast, Firth of Clyde." (PDF). Retrieved 16 December 2016. 
  2. ^ "Referendum 2014". Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  3. ^ 'Scottish Council Elections 2003'
  4. ^ Innes, John (29 November 2005). "Ayrshire council leader quits over health". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. 

External links[edit]