Ferry wards stay the same, Arbroath wards to change

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Residents in Broughty Ferry are celebrating after Ministers agreed to keep the city’s ward boundaries the same, however one Arbroath ward will lose a councillor.

At the local government elections next year, Arbroath East and Lunan is to lose a councillor, reducing the number from four councillors to three for the ward, and Friockheim is to move from under the jurisdiction of East and Lunan to Arbroath West and Letham.

Sheena Welsh

Sheena Welsh

There was public outcry in Broughty Ferry and a campaign started after it was announced that recommendations were made to see the boundaries changed at Coldside, Maryfield, the East End and The Ferry with part of West Ferry moving into the East End ward.

In its report the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland report stated the outcome of a public consultation last summer was that people wanted West Ferry to remain a ward with the rest of Broughty Ferry, and their voices have been heard.

The Fifth General Reviews of local government electoral arrangements in Scotland started on February 21, 2014.

After public consultation, the Local Government Boundary Commission submitted their reports and final recommendations to Scottish Ministers for the number of councillors and electoral ward boundaries in Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

Council ward boundaries across Scotland have now been agreed, following Ministers’ decisions on the recommendations.

The Commission published recommendations for changes to councillor numbers and ward boundaries in May.

Changes were recommended for 30 of Scotland’s local authority areas, and the Scottish Government has accepted all but five.

This means changes will be made in 25 council areas.

Ferry Ward Councillor Kevin Cordell has welcomed the decision to leave ward boundaries in the city unchanged.

He said: “This has been a long and winding road for the West Ferry residents but their organisation and persistence has helped bring about the decision they were hoping for.

“As their campaign gathered momentum, local elected members got behind them and supported where they could but first and foremost this has been a great example of community involvement.

“I am sure they will be delighted.”

Arbroath East and Lunan Councillor Sheena Welsh said: “I’m very sad to be losing Friockheim, it’s been part of the Arbroath East and Lunan ward since the wards were created.

“I feel like the ward has been singled out to lose a councillor. If we’d been able to keep Friockheim we probably would have been able to keep another councillor.

“The Boundary Commission just plays a numbers game, it doesn’t think about the communities affected.”

Parliamentary Business Minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “Local government plays an important role in delivering key services across Scotland and it’s important for the sake of democracy and for local service delivery that councils are as representative as possible of the communities they serve.

“That’s why the Boundary Commission is legally obliged to hold regular reviews of council wards and councillor numbers, to ensure these reflect changes in population – this is the fifth such review since the Commission was created in 1973 and we are pleased to accept the vast majority of their recommendations.

“Our decisions will ensure updated electoral arrangements will apply for the local government elections in May next year, and I am confident these new structures will serve Scottish local government well in the years to come.”