Local government boundary review

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Island communities of Canna, Eigg, Muck and Rum will be included within the existing Caol and Mallaig ward boundary at Knoydart if the latest review from Boundaries Scotland is accepted.

The advisory public body submitted its final proposal for councillor numbers and wards in the Highland Council area to Scottish ministers earlier this week, with only the above mentioned change included for the Lochaber area.

If approved, Ward 11 will be known as Caol, Mallaig and the Small Isles and will be represented by three councillors, forecast to represent 6.4 percent fewer electors than absolute parity would require.

The Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 required the Commission to review six councils containing inhabited islands  – Argyll and Bute, Highland, North Ayrshire, Orkney, Shetland and Na h-Eileanan an Iar.

The final proposal for The Highland Council area, which can be found on the Boundaries Scotland website, proposes to reduce the current 74 members allocated within 21 wards to 73 members to 20 wards.

The member to ward allocation is as follows: one ward returning two members, eight wards returning three members, eight wards returning four members and three wards returning five members.

Proposals retain the existing Fort William and Ardnamurchan ward (20), with the name, boundary and four councillors to remain unchanged. Councillors in this ward are forecast to represent 15.9 per cent fewer electors than absolute parity would require.

The final proposal will be presented to a Highland Council meeting on Thursday June 24 to allow members to consider the full implications in terms of council business and service delivery within the proposed new arrangements, and the running of future elections with a local government election scheduled for May 5, 2022.