Islands Review - Argyll and Bute council area Public Consultation

Closed 26 Jan 2021

Opened 4 Nov 2020


We have conducted a Review of Electoral Arrangements for Argyll and Bute Council area.

The Review recommended to Scottish Ministers the number of councillors and ward boundaries for Argyll and Bute Council.

The public consultation ran from November 2020 until January 2021.


Our final proposals:

  • take account of the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 by using the flexibility offered by two-member wards to better reflect local ties for island communities. The proposals present: island-only wards for: Islay, Jura and Colonsay; Mull, Iona, Coll and Tiree; retain the existing Isle of Bute ward with two councillors rather than three as at present: and present a 2-member Lorn ward which includes the inhabited island of Lismore;
  • reflect special geographic circumstances in relation to variation from electoral parity in the proposed island wards of: Mull, Iona, Coll and Tiree; and Islay, Jura and Colonsay due to these islands’ remoteness and their limited transport links;
  • make no changes to the boundaries of four of the existing wards (Cowal; Dunoon; Isle of Bute; and Lomond North);
  • place Oban within a single ward to avoid breaking local community ties;
  • minimise change to the existing ward boundaries in Helensburgh, while reducing councillor numbers there by one; and
  • have regard to Argyll and Bute Council’s four administrative areas and the local ties and communities that they represent.

Why your views matter

One of the main reasons we undertake reviews is that the population, and therefore the electorate, of any local authority area is constantly changing, with migration into or out of areas as well as within the same area. As a result of these changes, some councillors may represent considerably more or fewer electors than other councillors in the same council area.

The Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 introduced the use of one or two member wards where a ward containing an inhabited island, in addition to the current multi-member ward system. The Act requires us to review the six Councils containing inhabited islands, including Argyll and Bute Council, as soon as possible.

We expect our recommendations, if accepted, to be in place for the next local government elections in May 2022


What happens next

Thank you for your views.

The Commission has considered all responses to the consultation as it developed its final proposals for Scottish Ministers.

The proposals, if accepted, will be in place for the next local government elections in May 2022.