Aberdeenshire

infobox Scotland council area
Council= Aberdeenshire
Siorrachd Obar Dheathain


SizeRank= 4th
Size= 6,313 km²
Water= ?
AdminHQ= Aberdeen
ISO= GB-ABD
ONS= 00QB
PopulationRank= 6th
PopulationDate= 2004
Population= 232,850
PopulationDensity=37 / km²
Control=
CouncilDetails= Aberdeenshire Council
http://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/
MPs=

  • Malcolm Bruce
  • Alex Salmond
  • Robert Smith

MSPs=
  • Stewart Stevenson
  • Alex Salmond
  • Mike Rumbles
Aberdeenshire ( _gd. Siorrachd Obar Dheathain) is one of the 32 unitary council areas in Scotland.

In this present day Aberdeenshire does not include Aberdeen City which is a Council Area in its own right. However, Aberdeenshire Council does have its headquarters at Woodhill House, in Aberdeen; the only Scottish council whose headquarters are based outwith its area's border. Aberdeenshire borders Angus and Perth and Kinross to the south, and Highland and Moray to the west.

History

Aberdeenshire has a rich prehistoric and historic heritage. It is the locus of a large number of Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeological sites, including Longman Hill, Kempstone Hill, Catto Long Barrow and Cairn Lee. Since medieval times there have been a number of crossings of the Mounth (a spur of mountainous land that extends from the higher inland range to the North Sea slightly north of Stonehaven) through present day Aberdeenshire from the Scottish Lowlands to the Highlands. Some of the most well known and historically important trackways are the Causey Mounth and Elsick Mounth. [W. Douglas Simpson, "The Early Castles of Mar", Proceedings of the Society, 102, 10 December 1928] [ [http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=18037 C.Michael Hogan, "Elsick Mounth", Megalithic Portal, ed. Andy Burnham] ]

The present council area is named after the historic county of Aberdeen which had different boundaries and was abolished in 1975, under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 to be replaced by Grampian Regional Council, and five district councils; Banff and Buchan, Gordon, Kincardine and Deeside, Moray and the City of Aberdeen, with local government functions shared between the two levels. In 1996, under the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994, the Banff and Buchan district, the Gordon district and the Kincardine and Deeside district were merged to form the present Aberdeenshire council area, with the other two districts becoming autonomous council areas.

Demographics

The council area has a population of 226,871, representing 4.5% of Scotland's total, and a 20% increase since 1981, 50% since 1971. The ten largest towns in Aberdeenshire (with 2004 population estimates) [ [http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/index.html General Register Office for Scotland] ] are :

*Peterhead (17,560)
*Fraserburgh (12,150)
*Inverurie (10,760)
*Stonehaven (10,160)
*Westhill (10,060)
*Ellon (9,540)
*Portlethen (6,770)
*Banchory (6,270)
*Turriff (4,610)
*Huntly (4,460)

The population has a higher proportion of younger age groups than the rest of Scotland, reflecting employment-driven in-migration in recent decades.

Governance and politics

The council has 68 councillors, elected in 19 multi-member wards by Single Transferable Vote. The 2007 elections resulted in the following representation:

The overall political composition of the council was as follows: [cite web| url=http://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/elections/local/index.asp| title=Aberdeenshire Council Results| accessdate=2007-05-06]

The Council's net expenditure is £399.1m a year (2003/04). Education takes the largest share of expenditure (55%), followed by Social Work and Housing (19%), Transportation and Infrastructure (11%), and Joint Services such as Fire and Police (10%). 22% of revenue is raised locally through the Council Tax. Average Band D Council Tax is the eighth lowest in mainland Scotland at £966 (2003/04).

The council has devolved power to six area committees: Banff and Buchan, Buchan, Formartine, Garioch, Marr and Kincardine and Mearns

[http://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/statistics/area/index.asp Boundary Map]

Notable features

The following significant structures or places are within Aberdeenshire:
*Badenyon
*Balmoral Castle
*Cairness House
*Crathes Castle
*Causey Mounth, an ancient road
*Drum Castle
*Dunnottar Castle
*Fetteresso Castle
*Fowlsheugh Nature Reserve
*Haddo House
*Loch of Strathbeg
*Monboddo House
*Muchalls Castle
*Portlethen Moss
*Raedykes Roman Camp
*River Dee
*Sands of Forvie Nature Reserve
*Slains Castle
*Stonehaven Tolbooth
*Ythan Estuary Nature Reserve

Hydrology and climate

There are numerous rivers and burns in Aberdeenshire, including Cowie Water, Carron Water, Burn of Muchalls, River Dee, River Don, River Ury, River Ythan, Water of Feugh, Burn of Myrehouse, Laeca Burn and Luther Water. Numerous bays and estuaries are found along the seacoast of Aberdeenshire, including Banff Bay, Ythan Estuary, Stonehaven Bay and Thornyhive Bay. Summers are mild and winters are typically cold in Aberdeenshire; Coastal temperatures are moderated by the North Sea such that coastal areas are typically cooler in the summer and warmer in winter than inland locations. Coastal areas are also subject to haar, or coastal fog.

Notable residents

*Alexander Garden, (1730-1791), born in Birse, noted naturalist and physician. He moved to North America in 1754, and discovered two species of lizards. He was a Loyalist during the American Revolutionary War, which led to the confiscation of his property and his banishment in 1782. The gardenia flower is named in his honor. cite book | title = Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896 | publisher = Marquis Who's Who | location = Chicago | date = 1963]
*John Kemp, (1763-1812), born in Auchlossan, was a noted educator at Columbia University who is said to have influenced DeWitt Clinton's opinions and policies.
*Hugh Mercer, (1726-1777), born in the manse of Pitsligo Kirk, near Rosehearty, brigadier general of the Continental Army during the American Revolution.
*John Skinner, (1721-1807) author, poet and ecclesiastic. Penned the famous verse, Tullochgorum.

References

External links

* [http://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/ Aberdeenshire Council]
* [http://www.visitpeterhead.org.uk/ Peterhead and Buchan Tourism Web Site]
* [http://www.aberdeenshirearts.org.uk/ Aberdeenshire Arts]
* [http://www.aberdeenshire-sports-council.org.uk/ Aberdeenshire Sports Council]
* [http://www.ScottishPlots.com/AberdeenshirePlotsOfLand.aspx Land for sale in Aberdeenshire]


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