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Caithness News Bulletins April 2005
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13 May 05
To accommodate the introduction of Proportional Representation and multi-member wards, using the Single Transferable Vote, the Commission has advised the Council it has redrawn the Council map to create 23 multi-member wards, distributing the 80 elected members into 12 three-member and 11 four-member wards.
In responding to the consultation, the Council is seeking a number of changes, which would see the creation of 22 multi-member wards, distributing the members into 8 three-member and 14 four-member wards.
The Commission will consult with the public once it considers the Council's comments and finalises its boundary recommendations. In its submission, the Council welcomed the opportunity of making its views known before the Boundary Commission consulted with the general public later in the year.
With only minor amendments, the Council accepted the configuration of wards in Caithness, where there would be two three-member wards and one four-member ward, and in Sutherland, where there would be two three-member wards.
The Council, however, did not agree with the Commission that Lochalsh should be incorporated in a four-member ward linked with West Lochaber. The Council view is that Lochalsh should be part of an enlarged Wester Ross ward that also stretches eastward to include Strathpeffer.
The Council also stated that Lochaber should comprise one three-member and one four-member ward, reconfigured on a north to south divide. Ardnmurchan, Mallaig, Kilmallie and Caol would be in a three-member ward; while Glencoe, Fort William and Spean Bridge would be in a four-member ward.
The creation of a three-member ward that stretched from East Loch Ness (Dores) to Grantown drew no support from the Council, who recommended that this ward should be scrapped in favour of using more natural boundaries and incorporating communities with stronger ties.
Members believed that East Loch Ness should be incorporated into an Inverness ward to form an enlarged four-member ward and that Grantown, Carrbridge and Cromdale should join with Aviemore and Kingussie to form a four-member ward representing the whole of Badenoch and Strathspey. This would also allow the proposed Nairn ward to be expanded to include Cawdor.
The Council is recommending the following wards: -
1 North, West and Central Sutherland (3)