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An online public consultation has been launched as the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland considers changes to ward boundaries in the Western Isles.

The Review of Electoral Arrangements for the na h-Eileanan an Iar council area will recommend to Scottish Ministers the number of councillors and ward boundaries for Western Isles council. At present they are proposing a council of 28 representatives, three less than we have currently.

A public consultation on the proposal, launched last week (10th September), is set to run until 2nd December at

Proposals being put forward for consultation take into account minor amendments proposed by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar during an earlier stage of the consultation.

The LGBCS said in its introduction to the survey: “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 contains 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 Na h-Eileanan an Iar, as soon as possible.

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