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Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004 [S]

The Act makes changes to the way in which councillors are elected, reduces the age qualification for candidates standing for election, changes the way councillors are remunerated and introduces a one-off severance scheme.

Main Provisions in the Act

  • Introduction of Single Transferable Voting for the next local government elections

  • Lower the age at which people can stand as a councillor from 21 to 18

  • Remove unnecessary political restrictions on council employees standing for local authority elections

  • Establish an independent remuneration committee for councillors

  • The reduction to three months of the period during which most former councillors are unable to take up employment with the council after their period of service as a councillor comes to an end

  • The introduction of a new system of remuneration

  • A one-off severance payment to councillors who decide not to stand at the next local government election

  • Powers to introduce a pension scheme for councillors to allow future service to count for pension purposes.

Widening Access
The provisions relating to widening access are designed to encourage a wider range of people to consider standing for election to their local council. The Widening Access to Council Membership Progress Group is also examining the issues around widening access.


Lead committee:

Local Government and Transport Committee

Preliminary discussion:

Local Government and Transport Committee on 2/09/03; 28/10/03

21/11/03 - Bill introduced to Scottish Parliament (by Andy Kerr, Minister for Finance and Public Services)


Equal Opportunities Committee on 10, 24 February 2004

Finance Committee on 16 December 2003; 20 January 2004; 3 February 2004

Local Government and Transport Committee on 2, 9, 16 December 2003; 6, 13 January 2004; 3, 10 February 2004; 2, 9, 16 March 2004

Subordinate Legislation Committee on 13, 20, 27 January 2004

19/03/04 - Stage 1 report from Local Government and Transport Committee published

24/03/04 - Stage 1 Debate in Scottish Parliament. The generall principles of the bill were agreed and the bill was passed at Stage 1.

25/03/04 - Stage 2


Local Government and Transport Committee on 4, 11 May 2004

11/05/04 - Stage 2 completed.

Pre-Stage 3:

Subordinate Legislation Committee on 15 June 2004

24/06/04 - Bill was passed at Stage 3.

Further Information

  1. Scottish Parliament Local Government and Transport Committee Website
  2. Local Governance (Scotland) Bill Policy Memorandum
  3. Local Governance (Scotland) Bill (as introduced)
  4. Stage 1 Report on the Local Governance (Scotland) Bill - Volume 1: Report
  5. Stage 1 Report on the Local Governance (Scotland) Bill - Volume 2: Evidence
  6. Local Governance (Scotland) Bill as amended at Stage 2
  7. Local Governance (Scotland) Bill Explanatory Notes