Highland (council area)
infobox Scotland council area
Council= The Highland Council
Sgire Comhairle na Gàidhealtachd
Size= 30,659 km²
PopulationDensity=8 / km²
Ethnicity= 99.7% White
CouncilDetails= The Highland Council
(Comhairle na Gaidhealtachd
- Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross: John Thurso
- Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey:
- Ross, Skye and Lochaber:
The Highland Council area ("Sgìre Comhairle na Gàidhealtachd" ['
Gàidhealtachd' in 'Sgìre Comhairle na Gàidhealtachd' is used to translate 'Highland'
In other contexts it is used to translate '
Scottish Highlands' and ' Gaeldom'] in Gaelic, pronounced|s̪g̊ʲiːɾʲə kɔ.əɾlə nə g̊ɛː.əɫ̪d̪̊əxg̊) is a local government area in the Scottish Highlandsand the largest local government area in both Scotlandand the United Kingdomas a whole. It shares borders with the council areas of Moray, Aberdeenshire, Perth and Kinross, and Argyll and Bute. Their councils, and those of Angusand Stirling, also have areas of the Scottish Highlands within their administrative boundaries. The Highland area covers most of the mainland and inner-Hebridean parts of the former counties of Inverness-shireand Ross and Cromarty, all of Sutherland, Caithnessand Nairnshire, and small parts of Argylland Moray.
The area was created as a two-tier region in 1975, under the
Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, with an elected council for the whole region and, in addition, elected councils for each of eight districts, Badenoch and Strathspey, Caithness, Inverness, Lochaber, Nairn, Ross and Cromarty, Skye and Lochalsh and Sutherland. The act also abolished county and burghcouncils. In 1996, under the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994, the Highland Regional Council and the district councils were wound up and their functions were transferred to a new Highland Council. The Highland Council adopted the districts as management areas and created area committees to represent them. However, the boundaries of committee areas ceased to be aligned exactly with those of management areas as a result of changes to ward boundaries in 1999. Also, ward boundaries have changed again this year, 2007, and the management areas and related committees have been abolished in favour of three new corporate management areas, Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, Inverness, Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey and Ross, Skye and Lochaber. The names of these areas are also names of constituencies, but boundaries are different.
To many people within the area using the name "Highland" as a noun sounds wrong. "
Dingwallin Highland", for example, sounds very strange and is not idiomatic usage. To refer specifically to the area covered by the council, people tend to say "the Highland Council area" or "the Highland area" or "the Highland region". Otherwise they tend to use the traditional county names, such as "Ross-shire". "Highlands" sometimes refers to the Highland council area (as in " Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service"). More usually, however, it refers to a somewhat larger or overlapping area. "Northern" (as in " Northern Constabulary") is also used to refer to the area covered by the Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service (which includes the island council areas of Orkney, Shetlandand Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles).
The Highland Council headquarters is located in
Invernesswith most previous district council offices retained as outstations.
Highland Councilrepresents 22 wards, of which each elects three or four councillors by the single transferable votesystem of election, to produce a form of proportional representationin a council of 80 members.
The most recent
general electionof the council was on 3 May 2007, and resulted in a so-called "Independent Group" and Scottish National Party(SNP) coalition administration. The SNP withdrew from the coalition in June 2008, and an Independent Group, Liberal Democrat and Labour coalition was formed.
Although consisting largely of former independent councillors, the Independent Group functions as a party, with Councillor Sandy Park as its leader and members accepting what is effectively a party whip [ [http://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/4836/ "New council must deliver for the electors - Flear", John O’Groat Journal, 2 July 2008, accessed 8 July 2008] ] . The process of collapse of the Sandy Park group and SNP coalition also produced an "Independent Members Group" consisting of councillors who are outside the Sandy Park group and outside the ruling coalition.
As of 4 July 2008, political representation is as follows: [ [http://www.highland.gov.uk/yourcouncil/yourcouncillors/politicalrepresentation/ "Political Representation", Highland Council website, accessed 4 July 2008] ]
Members of the Scottish Parliament
For elections to the
Scottish Parliamentthe Highland area is within the Highlands and Islands electoral area, which elects eight first past the postconstituency Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) and seven additional member MSPs. Three of the region's constituencies, each electing one MSP, are within the Highland area: Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber and Ross, Skye and Inverness West.
Members of Parliament
In the House of Commons of the
Parliament of the United Kingdomthe Highland area is represented by Members of Parliament (MPs) elected from three constituencies: Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross; Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey; and Ross, Skye and Lochaber. Each constituency elects one MP by the first past the postsystem of election.
Towns and villages in the Highland Council Area
Alness, Altnaharra, Applecross, Aviemore, Avoch
Back of Keppoch, Ballachulish, Bettyhill, Broadford, Brora
Dalwhinnie, Dingwall, Dornie, Dornoch, Drumnadrochit, Durness
Fearn, Fort Augustus, Fortrose, Fort William
Gairloch, Glencoe, Golspie
Invergarry, Invergordon, Inverie, Invermoriston, Inverness
John o' Groats
Kingussie, Kinlochbervie, Kinlochleven, Kyle of Lochalsh
Nairn, Newfield, Newtonmore, North Ballachulish
Plockton, Portmahomack, Portree
South Ballachulish, Strathpeffer
Thurso, Tobermory, Tongue, Torridon
Places of interest in the Highland Council Area
Cairngorms National Park
Highland Folk Museum
Highland Wildlife Park
West Highland Way
Old Wick Castle
* [http://www.highland.gov.uk The Highland Council ("Comhairle na Gaidhealtachd")]
* [http://www.geo.ed.ac.uk/scotgaz/councils/councildetails17.html The Highland council area in the Gazetteer for Scotland website]
* [http://www.scotfilm.org Scottish Highlands and Islands Film Commission]
List of places in Highland
List of places in Argyll and Bute
List of places in Perth and Kinross
List of places in Moray
List of places in the Western Isles
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