Shetland Islands Council area - Review of Electoral Arrangements Public Consultation

Closed 2 Dec 2019

Opened 10 Sep 2019

Results updated 1 Jun 2021

Our Final Proposals for Shetland Islands Council area:
• retain three existing wards unchanged: North Isles; Shetland North; and Lerwick North and Bressay. Lerwick North and Bressay, previously named Lerwick North, was renamed to reflect the Shetland Islands Council Locality Lerwick and Bressay;
• address the imbalance in number of electors per councillor in two of the existing wards, Shetland West and Shetland South. This was achieved by adjusting ward boundaries and increasing the overall number of councillors in the whole council area from 22 to 23;
• take into account Shetland Islands Council’s Localities and the local ties and communities that they represent;
• use the flexibility introduced by the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 which allowed us to design a 2-member Shetland West ward to reflect local ties and recognised boundaries in the area; and
• make changes to the ward boundary south of Lerwick by placing Gulberwick within a Shetland South ward to better reflect local ties.



We conducted a Review of Electoral Arrangements for Shetland Islands Council area.

The Review will recommend to Scottish Ministers the number of councillors and ward boundaries for Shetland Islands Council.

The public consultation ran from September until December 2019.

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 Shetland Islands, as soon as possible.

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

We consult widely on our proposals with Councils and the public as we want our final recommendations to be informed by local input as far as possible.

What happens next

Thank you for your views. 

The Commission will consider all responses to the consultation as it develops its final recommendations for Scottish Ministers.

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