South Lanarkshire

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South Lanarkshire
Sooth Lanrikshire
Siorrachd Lannraig a Deas
South Lanarkshire in Scotland.svg
Coat of arms of South Lanarkshire Sooth Lanrikshire Siorrachd Lannraig a Deas
Official logo of South Lanarkshire Sooth Lanrikshire Siorrachd Lannraig a Deas
Coordinates: 55°36′N 3°47′W / 55.600°N 3.783°W / 55.600; -3.783Coordinates: 55°36′N 3°47′W / 55.600°N 3.783°W / 55.600; -3.783
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Lieutenancy areaLanarkshire
Admin HQHamilton
 • BodySouth Lanarkshire Council
Almada Street
South Lanarkshire
 • ControlSNP minority (council NOC)
 • MPs
 • MSPs
 • Total684 sq mi (1,772 km2)
Area rankRanked 11th
 (mid-2019 est.)
 • Total319,020
 • RankRanked 5th
 • Density470/sq mi (180/km2)
ONS codeS12000029
ISO 3166 codeGB-SLK
Largest townEast Kilbride
Largest urban areaHamilton, South Lanarkshire

South Lanarkshire (Scots: Sooth Lanrikshire; Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Lannraig a Deas) is one of 32 unitary authorities of Scotland. It borders the south-east of the City of Glasgow and contains some of Greater Glasgow's suburban towns, also containing many rural towns and villages. It also shares borders with Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire, East Renfrewshire, North Lanarkshire, the Scottish Borders and West Lothian. It includes most of the historic county of Lanarkshire.

South Lanarkshire Council[edit]

South Lanarkshire Council has its headquarters in Hamilton, has 16,000 employees, and a budget of almost £1bn. The large and varied geographical territory takes in rural and upland areas, market towns such as Lanark, Strathaven and Carluke, the urban burghs of Rutherglen, Cambuslang, and East Kilbride which was Scotland's first new town. The area was formed in 1996 from the areas of Clydesdale,[1] Hamilton and East Kilbride districts, and some outer areas of Glasgow district (Rutherglen/Fernhill, Cambuslang/Halfway and part of King's Park/Toryglen); all were previously within the Strathclyde region from 1975 but in historic Lanarkshire prior to that.[2][3][4][5]


South Lanarkshire operates a cabinet style system, with key decisions being taken by the Executive Committee, under the leadership of the Council Leader,[6] and approved by the council, led by the provost.

The first leader of South Lanarkshire Council, selected from among the sitting councillors, was Tom McCabe who previously held the same office at Hamilton District.[7] When McCabe was elected as an MSP in 1999, the role went to his deputy Eddie McAvoy - brother of one of the region's MPs Tommy McAvoy - who held the post for the next 18 years until his retirement ahead of the 2017 election.[8][9] The new leader from 2017 was John Ross.[10]

The ambassadorial role of provost is also filled by one of the serving councillors.[11] Office holders include:

Political composition[edit]

Party Councillors[20]
Scottish National Party 24
Labour 17
Conservative 13
Independent 6
Liberal Democrats 3



In the council's initial 12 years, individual wards (73 in 1995, adjusted down to 67 in 1999 and 2003) each electing one councillor using the First past the post method.[21][22]

Since the 2007 South Lanarkshire Council election, there are 20 council wards in South Lanarkshire,[23] each serving a population ranging from 13,000 to 20,000[24] and each ward represented on the council by 3 or 4 councillors elected using single transferable vote; in 2007 and 2012 this produced a total of 67 available seats, which was adjusted down to 64 in 2017 along with boundary adjustments, although the same number of wards overall.

Map of South Lanarkshire's 20 wards, using 2017 boundaries
Number Ward Name Seats
1 Clydesdale West 4 19,124
2 Clydesdale North 3 14,777
3 Clydesdale East 3 13,065
4 Clydesdale South 3 14,647
5 Avondale and Stonehouse 3 17,089
6 East Kilbride South 3 16,688
7 East Kilbride Central South 3 16,177
8 East Kilbride Central North 3 16,799
9 East Kilbride West 3 13,695
10 East Kilbride East 3 14,308
11 Rutherglen South 3 15,448
12 Rutherglen Central and North 3 14,489
13 Cambuslang West 3 14,177
14 Cambuslang East 3 16,915
15 Blantyre 3 16,127
16 Bothwell and Uddingston 3 13,187
17 Hamilton North and East 3 15,036
18 Hamilton West and Earnock 4 18,618
19 Hamilton South 4 21,793
20 Larkhall 4 18,444
Overall Total 64 320,530

Council Headquarters[edit]

The Council Headquarters building, on Almada Street, Hamilton, was built as the Lanark County Buildings in 1963, and designed by Lanark council architect D G Bannerman,[25][26][27][28] replacing Hamilton Townhouse in the function. The 17 storey, 200 feet (61 m) tower is the tallest building in the council area, is Category A-listed, and is a highly visible landmark across this part of the Clyde Valley. The modernist design was influenced by the United Nations building in New York City. At the front of the building is the circular council chamber, and a plaza with water features.

Towns and villages[edit]

Principal settlements (and populations)[edit]


Settlement Population
Blantyre 16,900
Cambuslang 29,100
Carluke 13,320
East Kilbride 75,120
Hamilton 54,080
Lanark 9,050
Larkhall 14,740
Rutherglen 31,190
Strathaven 7,350

Other settlements[edit]

Places of interest[edit]

Tertiary education[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Historical Timeline: 1975, The Lanark Website
  2. ^ "New Local Government areas". Hansard. 22 October 1973. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  3. ^ Irene Maver. "Modern Times: 1950s to The Present Day > Neighbourhoods". The Glasgow Story. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Scotland's Landscape: City of Glasgow". BBC. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  5. ^ Rutherglen residents not interested in Glasgow return, Daily Record, 9 April 2017
  6. ^ Council leader, South Lanarkshire Council
  7. ^ a b Tributes to former Hamilton MSP Tom McCabe, who passed away this week aged 60, Daily Record, 23 April 2015
  8. ^ South Lanarkshire Council leader Eddie McAvoy to stand down at next election, Daily Record, 30 June 2016
  9. ^ Former Rutherglen council leader praised for leaving a "legacy" for South Lanarkshire children, Daily Record, 20 January 2020
  10. ^ Row over Council Leader's 'F*** the Union' tweet rumbles on, Daily Record, 14 November 2019
  11. ^ Provost, South Lanarkshire Council
  12. ^ Chatelherault Country Park opened to the public 30 years ago today, Daily Record, 30 September 2017
  13. ^ 20 Years Ago, East Kilbride News, 22 May 2019, via PressReader
  14. ^ Ex-provost Mushtaq Ahmad appointed Lord Lieutenant of Lanarkshire, Daily Record, 24 November 2010
  15. ^ Russell Clearie, Cambuslang Bowling Club
  16. ^ A day in the life of Russell Clearie, Daily Record, 18 June 2008
  17. ^ Carluke councillor Eileen Logan becomes new Provost of South Lanarkshire, Carluke Gazette, 23 May 2012
  18. ^ New display unit highlights Bothwell's history, Daily Record, 26 November 2016
  19. ^ Things get Biggar and better for SNP as it appoints provost, Carluke Gazette, 24 May 2017
  20. ^ "Political composition of the council". South Lanarkshire Council. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  21. ^ Formation electoral arrangements in 1995: South Lanarkshire council area, Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland
  22. ^ Electoral Arrangements for Local Government Areas in Scotland: South Lanarkshire Council Area, 3rd Reviews of Electoral Arrangements Maps: Wards 1999 - 2007: Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland
  23. ^ "Local multi-member ward boundary maps". South Lanarkshire Council. 4 May 2017. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  24. ^ "South Lanarkshire". City Population. 30 June 2016. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  25. ^ South Lanarkshire Council Headquarters, Emporis
  26. ^ Hamilton, Almada Street, Lanark County Buildings, Canmore
  27. ^ South Lanarkshire Council HQ, Skyscraper News
  28. ^ Queen Mother opens Hamilton's county buildings in 1964, Daily Record, 21 April 2014
  29. ^ “Mid-2016 Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland”, National Records of Scotland

External links[edit]