Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889
Long titleAn Act to amend the Laws relating to Local Government in Scotland.
Citation52 & 53 Vict. c. 50
Territorial extentScotland
Royal assent26 August 1889
Commencement15 May 1890
Other legislation
Repealed byLocal Government (Scotland) Act 1929
Relates toLocal Government Act 1888 (E&W)
Status: Repealed

The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889 (52 & 53 Vict. c. 50) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which was passed on 26 August 1889. The main effect of the Act was to establish elected county councils in Scotland. In this it followed the pattern introduced in England and Wales by the Local Government Act 1888.

County councils

The Act provided that a county council should be established in each county, consisting of elected councillors. The county was to be divided into electoral divisions, made up of groupings of parishes, each returning one councillor. In addition police burghs in the county were also regarded as electoral divisions, though the councillors for these areas were co-opted by the members of the burgh's town council.

The chairman of each county council, elected by the members, was given the title "Convenor of the county".

Powers transferred to the county councils

The county councils received numerous powers and duties previously performed by a number of bodies:

Among the diverse functions acquired from the justices were inspection of gas meters, regulation of explosive materials, weights and measures, habitual drunkards, control of wild birds and providing visitors to asylums.

In addition the county council exercised authority under the Public Health Acts for the entire county outside burghs. They also had jurisdiction under legislation dealing with contagious animal diseases and destructive insects.

County councils also took over police functions from burghs with less than 7,000 population.

Section 15 of the Act allowed the Secretary for Scotland to transfer further powers to the councils.

Areas and boundaries

The counties were initially to have the same boundaries as those already existing with some stated exceptions:

Boundary changes

It was recognised in the Act that the boundaries of the counties would need to be altered. Accordingly, section 45 established a body styled the Boundary Commissioners for Scotland to form county electoral divisions, and to simplify the boundaries of counties, burghs and parishes, so that (1) each burgh and county would be, if expedient, within a single county, (2) no part of a county would be detached therefrom, and (3) no part of a parish would be detached therefrom, and to arbitrate disputes between local authorities arising from boundary changes. All boundary changes made by the commissioners came into full effect on 15 May 1892. For most purposes, however, the bulk of the changes became effective a year earlier, on 15 May 1891.[1]

Subsequent to the commissioners' dissolution, the Secretary for Scotland had the power to vary boundaries on the application of a council.

Districts and district committees

Each county (unless it contained fewer than six parishes) was to be divided into districts consisting of groups of electoral divisions. Each district was to have a district committee consisting of the area's county councillors, one representative from each parochial board in the district, and one from each burgh. The committees performed the county council's functions in respect of the Public Health Acts and highways legislation.

Notes and references

  1. ^ Shennan, Hay (1892). Boundaries of Counties and Parishes in Scotland: as settled by the Boundary Commissioners under the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1889. Edinburgh: William Green & Sons – via Internet Archive.