Point could take parts of Stornoway - plans for council ward changes

There could be five fewer councillors in the Comhairle from May 2017.

There could be five fewer councillors in the Comhairle from May 2017.

  • Sgire an Rubha extended to include Sandwick and Plasterfield
  • New ward comprising Harris, Lochs, Uig and Bernera
  • Reduction of one councillor for Stornoway wards
  • An Taobh Siar agus Nis to be extended to include Carloway, Breasclete, Callanish and Garynahine
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Point could take Sandwick and Plasterfield from Stornoway if new Comhairle ward boundaries are agreed.

As part of plans to reconsider council boundaries, it is suggested that Sgire an Rubha would be extended to include those communities - which are currently part of Stornoway South - from May 2017.

There are also plans to reduce the overall number of councillors in the Western Isles from 31 to 26 and to combine Harris, Lochs, Uig and Bernera all in one super ward.

Councillors will discuss proposals by the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland (LGBCS) for Electoral Ward boundaries at this week’s Policy and Resources Committee.

Councillors have already expressed their desire for a reduction in the overall numbers of councillors and for some changes to ward boundaries. The commission has taken on board the views put to them last year and is now proposing 26 councillors in total for the Western Isles.

The Commission proposes that from May 2017, there is one less ward and five less councillors.

Harris, Lochs, Uig and Bernera would join as one ward with four members replacing the current Harris and South Lochs Ward and Uig and North Lochs Ward which currently each have three members.

Commenting on the proposals by LGBCS, a report before councillors notes: “The proposed Ward 3 (Harris, Lochs, Uig and Bernera) is very large in area, but given the small populations, it is difficult to see any other options, given the preference that Harris and Lochs be linked, that Lochs be represented in one Electoral Ward, and the statutory guidelines on numerical parity.”

The proposed An Taobh Siar agus Nis ward would be extended to include Carloway, Breasclete, Callanish and Garynahine and the report suggests that the name be changed to reflect that.

The report concludes with a recommendation that councillors support the proposals, subject to public consultation which will be held between July and October this year.