Council to discuss post-2007 electoral changes
Published October 10th 2005 in Buchan Observer
THE implications of changes to the electoral system post-2007 are to be examined by a cross-party group of councillors and council officers.

At a meeting of Aberdeenshire Council's policy and resources committee recently, members discussed a report which focused on the Single Transferable Vote system.

Under this system, each council ward would be represented by either three or four councillors rather than just one, as is currently the case. Each of the council's six administrative areas (Banff and Buchan; Buchan; Formartine; Garioch; Marr, and Kincardine and Mearns) would remain.

However, the number of wards in each area would reduce from around a dozen in each area to just three, apart from Garioch, which would have four.

Despite the significant changes, the overall effect would not see a dramatic change in the number of councillors serving with Aberdeenshire Council.

The Boundary Commission is currently considering proposals for each of the wards.

A new system of salaries and pensions for councillors is also due to come into effect at the time of the 2007 elections. It is hoped this will allow a large cross-section of the general public to consider becoming a councillor.

Aberdeenshire Council chief executive Alan Campbell said: "2007 I think will prove to be a very significant year for local government. There are quite a number of issues around in relation to support for councillors; perhaps even looking at existing committee structures and how we carry out the business of the council, the area structures and how they operate."

The committee went on to approve the cross-party group, and also agreed to forward provisional proposals for multi-member wards to the Boundary Commission, as well as all MPs and MSPs.