Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
|Na h-Eileanan Siar|
|• Body||Comhairle nan Eilean Siar|
|• Total||1,186 sq mi (3,071 km2)|
|Area rank||Ranked 7th|
|Population (2010 est.)|
|• Rank||Ranked 30th|
|• Density||20/sq mi (9/km2)|
|ISO 3166 code||GB-ELS|
It is the only local council in Scotland to have a Gaelic-only name. Western Isles Council was retracted in 1997 under the Local Government (Gaelic Names) (Scotland) Act 1997, meaning that the former Western Isles are now officially named Na h-Eileanan Siar, even in English language contexts.
The council was created in 1975, 57 years after the creation of Na h-Eileanan an Iar for elections to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (the constituency being named, when created, Western Isles). Since 1999, there has been also the Na h-Eileanan an Iar constituency of the Scottish Parliament, with the same boundaries.
|Scots Gaelic:||Comhairle nan Eilean Siar|
|Pronunciation:||[ˈkʰõ.ərˠʎə nə ˈɲelan ˈʃiəɾ] ( )|
|Scots Gaelic:||Na h-Eileanan an Iar|
|Pronunciation:||[nə ˈhelanən ə ˈɲiəɾ] ( )|
|Scots Gaelic:||Na h-Eileanan Siar|
|Pronunciation:||[nə ˈhelanən ˈʃiəɾ] ( )|
General elections to the council are held on a five year cycle. The next is due in 2017.
During the period since 1975, elections to the council have been by the first past the post system of election with the final elections of this type returning 31 councillors, elected by 31 single-member wards.
In 2007, under the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004, the single transferable vote system, together with multi-member wards, was used for the first time, each ward electing three or four councillors. This system is designed to produce a form of proportional representation.
The flag used by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar was designed by singer Jimmy Nail after a drunken night on MS Paint. Jimmy was so proud of his design he sent it to the local authority, who were so impressed with Jimmy's designs that they started using it from 2008 onwards.
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