East Dunbartonshire
Aest Dunbartanshire
Siorrachd Dhùn Bhreatainn an Ear
East Dunbartonshire Logo.svg
Location of East Dunbartonshire within Scotland
Location of East Dunbartonshire within Scotland
Coordinates: 55°56′N 4°13′W / 55.933°N 4.217°W / 55.933; -4.217Coordinates: 55°56′N 4°13′W / 55.933°N 4.217°W / 55.933; -4.217
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Lieutenancy areaDunbartonshire
Admin HQKirkintilloch
 • BodyEast Dunbartonshire Council
 • ControlScottish National Party minority (council NOC)
 • MPs
 • MSPs
 • Total67.4 sq mi (174.5 km2)
 • RankRanked 27th
 • Total108,330
 • RankRanked 20th
 • Density1,600/sq mi (620/km2)
ONS codeS12000045
ISO 3166 codeGB-EDU

East Dunbartonshire (Scots: Aest Dunbartanshire; Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Dhùn Bhreatainn an Ear) is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland. It borders the north of Glasgow and contains many of the affluent areas to the north of the city, including Bearsden, Milngavie, Milton Of Campsie, Balmore and Torrance, as well as many of the city's commuter towns and villages. East Dunbartonshire also shares borders with North Lanarkshire, Stirling and West Dunbartonshire. The council area covers parts of the historic counties of Dunbartonshire, Lanarkshire and Stirlingshire.

The council area was formed in 1996, as a result of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994, from the former Bearsden and Milngavie district and most of the former Strathkelvin district (all areas except Chryston and Auchinloch, which became part of North Lanarkshire council area), within the wider Strathclyde region.


East Dunbartonshire council area has low levels of deprivation, with relatively low unemployment and low levels of crime. The population is both declining and ageing.[1]

In a 2007 Reader's Digest poll, East Dunbartonshire was voted the best place in Britain to raise a family.[2] The area continually tops the Halifax Bank Quality of Life list. In 2010 East Dunbartonshire ranked 3rd in Scotland[3] and was the only Scottish area in the British Top 20 in 2008[4] A Legatum Prosperity Index published by the Legatum Institute in October 2016 showed East Dunbartonshire as the most prosperous council area in Scotland and the ninth most prosperous in the United Kingdom.

Political composition

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At the first election to East Dunbartonshire Council in April 1995, 26 councillors were elected for a four-year term. Labour gained an outright majority and formed a single-party administration, headed by Charles Kennedy and Michael McCarron as leader and depute leader, with John Dempsey and Ann Cameron taking the civic posts of Provost and Depute Provost. Cllr Kennedy was the then leader of Strathkelvin District Council, and continued to hold that post during the shadow year of East Dunbartonshire until the final abolition of the district council in April 1996.

The Liberal Democrats and Conservatives were the only other parties represented on East Dunbartonshire Council and sat in opposition for the next four years.


The number of councillors was reduced to 24 at the May 1999 election, when the Labour Party was again returned as the largest group, but without an overall majority. At the statutory meeting, Charles Kennedy and Rhondda Geekie were appointed as leader and depute leader of a minority Labour administration, but the Provost and Depute Provost roles were taken by Lib Dem councillor Robin McSkimming and Conservative councillor Anne Jarvis. Within a few months, the Labour administration fell, and with support from the Conservatives, the Lib Dem councillors Keith Moody and John Morrison took over as leader and depute leader of a new administration in which members of both the Lib Dem and Conservative groups held the various convenerships.


At the May 2003 election, the Liberal Democrats further increased their representation on the council, securing 12 out of the 24 seats. With the reduced Labour group declining to put forward nominations, Lib Dem councillors Pat Steel and Cathy McInnes became Provost and Depute Provost, and John Morrison and Fiona Risk leader and depute leader. For the next four years the Lib Dems ran a single party administration that relied, when necessary, on the casting vote of the chair. June 2004 saw the emergence of the East Dunbartonshire Independent Alliance, when Jack Young and former council leader Charles Kennedy, who had been elected as Labour councillors the previous year, formed a fourth group on East Dunbartonshire Council.


As a result of the 2007 election, the Scottish Liberal Democrats were reduced to three councillors and lost control of East Dunbartonshire Council, with one of the primary grievances amongst the electorate being fortnightly waste collection, after the introduction of kerbside collections for recycling plastics, glass, metals and paper. Although the SNP were elected as the largest group (winning their first ever councillors on East Dunbartonshire Council), the administration became a Labour/Conservative coalition due to no single party having overall control.

The leader of the council was Labour councillor Rhondda Geekie[5] and the provost was Labour councillor Alex Hannah. The depute leader and depute provost were the Conservative councillors Billy Hendry and Anne Jarvis. When Provost Hannah died in April 2009,[6] his seat was held by Labour's Alan Moir, although he was succeeded as provost by Lib Dem councillor Eric Gotts.

In December 2009, Lib Dem representation increased briefly to 4, following Ashay Ghai's win in the Bearsden South by-election caused by the resignation of the Conservatives' Simon Hutchison. However, their numbers reverted to 3 in June 2011, when Lib Dem councillor Duncan Cumming resigned from the party citing issues relating to the Liberal Democrats' role in the UK coalition government, sitting thereafter as an independent.


The 2012 election again returned a council where no single party had overall control, and the administration became a three-way Labour/Lib-Dem/Conservative coalition.[7] The leader of the council remained Rhondda Geekie, but Labour councillor Una Walker became provost. The depute leader and depute provost were the Lib Dem councillor Ashay Ghai and the Conservative councillor Anne Jarvis.

EDIA councillor Charles Kennedy, of the Campsie and Kirkintilloch North ward, died on 13 July 2012,[8] and the subsequent by-election took place on 13 September, when Gemma Welsh (Scottish Labour) was elected.[9] Thereafter the EDIA was voluntarily deregistered, its remaining councillor, Jack Young, continuing as an independent for the remainder of his term, finally retiring from the council in May 2017.

Following a disagreement between the Liberal Democrats and their administration colleagues, the ruling three-party coalition reverted to a minority two-party Labour/Conservative coalition in January 2016, and the Conservatives' Billy Hendry resumed the role of depute council leader.


The number of seats on the local council was reduced to 22 at the 2017 election, where a number of long-standing councillors from all parties announced their intention to stand down. No single party gained overall control, the SNP being elected as the largest group with 7 members. The Conservatives gained their highest ever number of councillors with 6, equaling the LibDems, who doubled their representation, while Labour were reduced to 2. Labour's Rhondda Geekie, leader of the council since 2007, and Ian Mackay, the SNP Group Leader, lost their seats.

Following the election, the Conservative and LibDem groups, who together formed a majority on the council, combined to secure the civic offices and various external appointments, the position of Provost being filled by Conservative Councillor Alan Brown and Depute Provost by LibDem Councillor Gary Pews. However, with the 2017 general election just weeks away, the two groups abstained on each other's nominations for the political posts, allowing the SNP to form a minority administration with Cllr Gordan Low as Leader and Cllr Gillian Renwick as Depute.

Thereafter, the Conservative and LibDem groups continued to vote together, and matters came to a head when a revised redundancy policy was pushed through against the opposition of the SNP administration. After a motion by the council leader calling for the policy to be withdrawn was rejected by Conservative and LibDem councillors, the administration stood down on 21 December 2017.

For the next few months the council functioned without an official administration, and then on 20 March 2018 Conservative Leader Councillor Andrew Polson and Lib Dem Leader Vaughan Moody were elected as Co-Leaders of the new Joint Administration, a first in East Dunbartonshire. Shortly thereafter the new redundancy policy was suspended in the face of potential industrial action.

Provost Brown died suddenly in November 2021, and was succeeded as provost by his depute, Cllr Pews. However, due to the proximity of the May 2022 council elections, both the former Provost's seat and the Depute Provost's position were left unfilled for the remainder of the council term. In January 2022, Cllr Sheila Mechan announced her resignation from the Conservative group, citing differences with her values at UK, Scottish and Association level, and served out the remainder of the council term as an independent, reducing the joint administration to a minority for its final four months.


At the 2022 council election, the Conservative group fell back to 3 seats, the SNP and Labour increasing their representation to 8 and 4 respectively. The LibDems stayed on 6, although former Depute Provost Gary Pews, who had succeeded the Conservative's Alan Brown as Provost in December 2022, lost his seat.

On 19 May 2022 a new SNP administration took office, with Cllr Gordan Low elected as Leader and Cllr Calum Smith appointed as Depute. Cllr Gillian Renwick was appointed as the first SNP Provost of East Dunbartonshire, and the first to represent a Kirkintilloch seat. Labour's Cllr Colette McDiarmid was elected as Depute Provost.

Party Representation

Party Councillors
Scottish National Party 8 8 8 8 8 7 7 8
Labour 15 11 9 7 6 6 6 8 9 2 2 4
Conservative 2 3 3 3 5 4 4 2 2 6 4 3
Liberal Democrat 9 10 12 12 3 4 3 3 3 6 6 6
ED Independent Alliance 2 2 2 2 2
Independent 1 1 2 1 2 1
Total 26 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 22 21 22


Map of the area's wards (2017 configuration)[10]
Map of the area's wards (2017 configuration)[10]

Since 2007, the council (as with all others in Scotland) has been elected using multi-member wards, each returning three councillors using a single transferable vote system of proportional representation. Initially this retained the number of councillors at 24 following on from the same number of single-member wards in previous elections, divided equally across eight wards. However, a national boundary and population review prior to the 2017 Scottish local elections led to the number of East Dunbartonshire wards being reduced to seven and the number of councillors being reduced to 22. These current wards are:[10]

# Ward Name Seats Population


1 Milngavie 3 13,572
2 Bearsden North 3 14,943
3 Bearsden South 3 13,318
4 Bishopbriggs North and Campsie 4 19,323
5 Bishopbriggs South 3 15,868
6 Kirkintilloch East and North and Twechar 3 18,251
7 Lenzie and Kirkintilloch South 3 13,475

Council Leadership


John Dempsey (Labour) (April 1995 – May 1999)
Robin McSkimming (Lib Dem) (May 1999 – May 2003
Pat Steel (Lib Dem) (May 2003 – May 2007)
Alex Hannah (Labour) (May 2007 – April 2009)
Eric Gotts (Lib Dem) (August 2009 – May 2012)
Una Walker (Labour) (May 2012 – May 2017)
Alan Brown (Conservative) (May 2017 – November 2021)
Gary Pews (Lib Dem) (December 2021 – May 2022)
Gillian Renwick (SNP) (May 2022 – present)

Depute Provosts

Ann Cameron (Labour) (April 1995 – May 1999)
Anne Jarvis (Conservative) (May 1999 – May 2003)
Cathy McInnes (Lib Dem) (May 2003 – May 2007)
Anne Jarvis (Conservative) (May 2007 – May 2017)
Gary Pews (Lib Dem) (May 2017 – December 2021)
Colette McDiarmid (Labour) (May 2022 – present)

Council Leaders

Charles Kennedy (Labour) (April 1995 – October 1999)
Keith Moody (Lib Dem) (October 1999 – May 2003)
John Morrison (Lib Dem) (May 2003 – May 2007)
Rhondda Geekie (Labour) (May 2007 – May 2017)
Gordan Low (SNP) (May 2017 – December 2017)
(May 2022 – present)


Vaughan Moody (Lib Dem) (March 2018 – May 2022)
Andrew Polson (Conservative) (March 2018 – May 2022)

Depute Council Leaders

Michael McCarron (Labour) (April 1995 – May 1999)
Rhondda Geekie (Labour) (May 1999 – October 1999)
John Morrison (Lib Dem) (October 1999 – May 2003)
Fiona Risk (Lib Dem) (May 2003 – May 2007)
Billy Hendry (Conservative) (May 2007 – May 2012)
Ashay Ghai (Lib Dem) (May 2012 – January 2016)
Billy Hendry (Conservative) (January 2016 – May 2017)
Gillian Renwick (SNP) (May 2017 – December 2017)
Calum Smith (SNP) (May 2022 – present)

Group Leaders

Party Leader From To
Scottish National Party Ian Mackay May 2007 May 2017
Gordan Low May 2017 present
Labour Charles Kennedy April 1995 May 2000
Rhondda Geekie May 2000 May 2003
Alex Hannah May 2003 May 2007
Rhondda Geekie May 2007 May 2017
Alan Moir May 2017 present
Conservative Billy Hendry April 1995 May 2017
Andrew Polson May 2017 June 2022
Billy Hendry June 2022 present
Liberal Democrat Keith Moody April 1995 May 2003
John Morrison May 2003 May 2007
Eric Gotts May 2007 August 2009
Vaughan Moody August 2009 October 2010
Ashay Ghai October 2010 May 2017
Vaughan Moody May 2017 present
ED Independent Alliance Charles Kennedy June 2004 July 2012

Depute Group Leaders

Party Depute Leader From To
Scottish National Party Gordan Low May 2007 May 2017
Gillian Renwick May 2017 present
Labour Michael McCarron April 1995 May 1999
Rhondda Geekie May 1999 May 2000
Tom Smith May 2000 May 2003
Rhondda Geekie May 2003 May 2007
Michael O'Donnell May 2007 May 2012
Alan Moir May 2012 May 2017
Stewart MacDonald May 2017 May 2022
Colette McDiarmid May 2022 present
Conservative Ian Miller April 1995 May 1999
Anne Jarvis May 1999 May 2007
Amanda Stewart May 2007 May 2012
Anne Jarvis May 2012 May 2017
Billy Hendry May 2017 June 2022
Alix Mathieson June 2022 present
Liberal Democrat Robert Duncan April 1995 May 1999
John Morrison May 1999 May 2003
Fiona Risk May 2003 May 2007
Vaughan Moody May 2007 August 2009
Duncan Cumming August 2009 June 2011
Vaughan Moody June 2011 May 2017
Susan Murray May 2017 present
ED Independent Alliance Jack Young June 2004 October 2012


Designation Councillor From To
Independent Duncan Cumming June 2011 present
Sheila Mechan January 2022 May 2022
Jack Young October 2012 May 2017

Chief Executives

Cornelius Mallon (April 1995 – June 1999)
Vicki Nash (June 1999 – February 2004)
Sue Bruce (August 2004 – November 2008)
Gerry Cornes (January 2009 – present)

Towns and villages

Places of interest


Secondary schools

School School roll Founded Area Served
Bearsden Academy 1186 1911 Northern Bearsden and Baljaffray
Bishopbriggs Academy 1229 2006 Bishopbriggs and Auchinairn
Boclair Academy 943 1976 Southern Bearsden and Torrance
Douglas Academy (incorporating Douglas Academy Music School) 1062 1967 Milngavie, Craigton and Baldernock
Kirkintilloch High School 639 2009 Kirkintilloch, Twechar and Milton of Campsie
Lenzie Academy 1296[11] 1886 Lenzie, South Kirkintilloch, Auchinloch and Lennoxtown
St Ninian's High School, Kirkintilloch 760 1874 Kirkintilloch, Milngavie, Lenzie, Lennoxtown, Twechar and Milton of Campsie
Turnbull High School 673 1976 Bishopbriggs

Closed schools

Bishopbriggs High School

Thomas Muir High School

Auchinairn Primary School

Gask House Primary School

Lenzie Primary School

Lenzie Moss Primary School

St Agatha's Primary School

St Flannan's Primary School

St Joseph's Primary School

Woodhill Primary School

Primary schools

Baldernock Primary
Baljaffray Primary
Balmuildy Primary
Bearsden Primary
Castlehill Primary
Clober Primary
Colquhoun Park Primary
Craigdhu Primary
Craighead Primary
Gartconner Primary
Harestanes Primary
Hillhead Primary
Holy Family Primary
Holy Trinity Primary
Killermont Primary
Lairdsland Primary
Lennoxtown Primary
Lenzie Meadow Primary
Meadowburn Primary Gaelic Unit
Meadowburn Primary
Millersneuk Primary
Milngavie Primary
Mosshead Primary
Oxgang Primary
St. Andrew's Primary
St. Helen's Primary
St. Machan's Primary
St. Matthew's Primary
Thomas Muir Primary
Torrance Primary
Twechar Primary
Wester Cleddens Primary
Westerton Primary


  1. ^ Controller of Audit to the Accounts Commission (May 2009). "The Audit of Best Value and Community Planning - East Dunbartonshire Council". Scottish Government. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Scots areas top happy family poll". BBC News. 18 April 2007. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  3. ^ "BBC News - Aberdeenshire tops 'quality of life' list". BBC News. 27 December 2010. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  4. ^ "East Dunbartonshire is only Scottish area in UK top 20 for 'quality of life'". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. 28 March 2008. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  5. ^ "New coalition moves to bring back weekly bin collections". The Herald. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 22 May 2007.
  6. ^ "Tributes after provost loses fight with cancer". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. 15 April 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2009.
  7. ^ "Labour do a deal with LibDems and Tories to seize control of East Dunbartonshire". Milngavie Herald. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  8. ^ "Councillor Charles Kennedy". 16 July 2012. Archived from the original on 26 June 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  9. ^ "New Campsie and Kirkintilloch North Councillor Elected". 14 September 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2012.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ a b Council Area | East Dunbartonshire, Scottish Government Statistics. Retrieved 21 April 2022
  11. ^ http://www.lenzieacademy.e-dunbarton.sch.uk/_files/S%20and%20Q%20Report%202010-11.pdf[permanent dead link]