Western Isles CouncilThe Outer Hebrides comprise an island chain off the west coast of Scotland. They form part of the Hebrides, separated from the Scottish mainland and from the Inner Hebrides by the stormy stretch of water known as the Minch and the Little Minch.

Most communities in the Outer Hebrides use the Scottish Gaelic language. The name for the UK Parliament constituency covering this area is Na h-Eileanan an Iar, whilst the Scottish Parliament constituency for the area continues to be officially known as Western Isles (although it is also commonly known as Eilean Siar).

The islands were known as Suðreyjar (‘Southern Islands’) under Norwegian rule for about 200 years, until sovereignty was transferred to Scotland in 1266 through the Treaty of Perth.

The Western Isles region has a population of 26,370.  Its council is currently controlled by Independents (seat distribution: Labour 4 / SNP 3 / Independent 24).

In accordance with the Government’s Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, the council has developed a Race Equality Scheme, intended to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination, to ensure that all members of the community have access to equal opportunities, and to generate a sense of social cohesion through the promotion of good intercultural relations.

The Scheme says: “The ethnic minority population of the Western Isles is very small, recorded at the 2001 Census as less than 0.7% of the total Western Isles population. However, the Comhairle recognises its responsibility towards all citizens of the Western Isles and is committed to maximising oportunities for every individual”.

It continues: “Along with its Community Planning partners, the Comhairle has developed 15 Themes of Sustainability for the Western Isles, one of which states: ‘People live without fear of crime, persecution or discrimination because of their personal beliefs, race, gender, disability or sexuality’.
“The Comhairle is represented on a local Community Equality and Diversity Group committed to tackling discrimination, promoting equality and celebrating the diverse community of the Western Isles. A primary objective for the Group is to establish and develop meaningful links with the local black and minority ethnic population. The group is currently working with the National Resource Centre for Ethnic Minority Health (NRCEMH) to develop an innovative project aimed at improving community relations through engagement and dialogue and facilitating greater sensitivity and integration to multiple identities”.


Western Isles (Outer Hebrides) Council Charter

West Dunbartonshire CouncilWest Dunbartonshire shares its borders with the City of Glasgow, containing many of Glasgow's commuter towns and villages as well as the city's suburbs. West Dunbartonshire also borders onto Argyll and Bute, Stirling, East Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire.

The area was formed on April 1, 1996 from part of the former Strathclyde Region, namely the entire district of Clydebank and the Dumbarton district less the Helensburgh area. In the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 that created the council area its name was Dumbarton and Clydebank. The council elected as a shadow authority in 1995 resolved to change the name of the area to West Dunbartonshire.

The area is essentially composed of three parts: the towns of Dumbarton and Clydebank and the Vale of Leven district.

West Dunbartonshire is administered from Dumbarton, although Clydebank is the largest town.
West Dunbartonshire has a population of 91,400.  Its council is currently Labour-controlled (seat distribution: Labour 16 / SNP 3 / Independent 3).

In accordance with the Government’s Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, the local council has developed a Race Equality Scheme, intended to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination from the area, to ensure that all residents have access to equal opportunities, and to create a sense of social cohesion through the promotion of good intercultural relations.

The Council has an Equality and Diversity Working Group, comprising of Elected Members and Senior Officers from services across the Council and chaired by the Council’s Spokesperson for Equal Opportunities, and this is supported by a Race Equality Working Group with representation of officers from each directorate.

The Gypsy Traveller Forum has representatives from Housing, Social Work, Development and Environmental Services, Legal, Education and Cultural Services and the Chief Executives department. Work is ongoing to identify ways in which this forum can interact with partner agencies, especially in regard to the development of a short stay site and managing unauthorised encampments.

The Council is a member of the Multi-Agency Racist Incident Monitoring (MARIM) Group which consists of representatives from the Council, Strathclyde Police, the Procurator Fiscals office, Victim Information and Advice, the Black and Ethnic Minorities Communities Partnership Project, and other partners, such as Housing Associations when required. This group is considering an expansion of its remit to have a more active role in promoting race equality.

In addition to these groups, the Council works closely with the Black and Ethnic Minorities Communities Partnership Project (BEMCPP), accessing information and advice, through the group, and also working with bilingual sessional workers on consultation and training issues.


West Dunbartonshire Council Charter

West Lothian landscapeWest Lothian borders onto the City of Edinburgh, Scottish Borders, South Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire and Falkirk.

West Lothian District was created in 1975, comprising the county of West Lothian; less the burghs of Bo'ness and Queensferry and the Kirkliston and Winchburgh areas; it also included the East Calder and West Calder districts of the former county of Midlothian. The council's headquarters were originally in Bathgate, later moving to the new town of Livingston. The unitary authority created in 1996 used the same boundaries.

The council area was created in 1996, under the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994, with the boundaries of the West Lothian district of the Lothian region.

West Lothian is a developing area and has seen significant growth in population size. The population has doubled since the 1950s, and between 1991 and 2001 the area achieved the highest population growth of any area in Scotland. Estimates demonstrate that there were 161,020 people living in the region in 2003 compared to 158,714 in 2001. Over the next decade the population is expected to rise by 10.6%.

Black and minority ethnic people make up 1.3% of the population (2001 census). The largest ethnic minority community at the moment is Pakistani, with 794 community members (0.5% of the region’s total population).  Recent local information indicates a rise in people from Eastern Europe, in particular Poland.  There are 99,339 Christians in the area, and 49,678 people with no religious affiliation.  The largest minority religious group is Muslim, comprising 952 local residents. The next largest is Buddhist (with 159 people), followed by Hindu (79), then Jewish (64) and Sikh (48).

West Lothian Council is currently Labour-controlled (seat distribution: Conservative 1 / Labour 18 / SNP 11 / Independent 2).  West Lothian won the top category of Council of the Year at the annual Local Government Chronicle Awards this year. It is the only Scottish council that has ever won the accolade since the awards were established.

In accordance with the Government’s Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, the council has developed a Race Equality Scheme, intended to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination, to ensure that equality of opportunity is made available to all in the community, and to create a sense of social cohesion through the promotion of good intercultural relations. 

The Scheme states: “West Lothian Council is committed to working with the people and communities of West Lothian to enhance the quality of life by providing, both directly and in partnership with others, a comprehensive range of quality and valued services that meet people’s needs and aspirations, and which are delivered on the basis of fairness and equity.”

The West Lothian Multicultural Forum is an independent local group that consists of people from minority ethnic communities living in West Lothian. The group formerly known as, ‘Let’s Get Together’ and the women’s group ‘Gaalbaat’ merged in 2004 to create the forum. The equality officer and the police regularly attend to receive feedback on council services; other council employees engage with the forum to gather views on service delivery from time to time.


West Lothian Council Charter

Stirling bridgeStirling covers most of the former county of Stirlingshire (with the exception of Falkirk) and the south-western portion of the former county of Perthshire. The administrative centre of the region is the City of Stirling itself. The region borders Clackmannanshire (to the east), Falkirk (to the south east), Perth and Kinross (to the north and north east), Argyll and Bute (to the north and north west), and both East and West Dunbartonshire, both to Stirling's southwest.

The majority of the population of the region is located in its southeast corner, in the city of Stirling and in the surrounding lowland communities: Dunblane and Bridge of Allan to the north, Bannockburn to the immediate south, and the three former coal mining communities of Cowie, Fallin, and Plean (known collectively as "The Eastern Villages").

The remaining 30 percent of the region's population is sparsely distributed across the rural, mainly highland, expanse in the north of the region. The southern half of this rural area comprises the flat western floodplain of the River Forth, bounded on the south by the Touch Hills and the Campsie Fells. North of the glen lie the Trossachs mountains, and the northern half of the region is generally mountainous in character.

Stirling has a population of 86,930.  Its council is currently Labour-controlled (seat distribution: Conservative 10 / Labour 11 / SNP 1).

In accordance with the Government’s Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, Stirling Council has developed a Race Equality Scheme, intended to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination from the local community, to ensure that all local residents are provided with equal opportunities, and to generate a sense of social cohesion through the promotion of good intercultural relations.  In the Scheme’s Introduction, the council states:

“Race equality is not something that we are considering in isolation, or as separate from our mainstream equalities work. Although we are required to publish a separate Race Equality Scheme, Stirling Council recognises that this must fit within our existing equalities framework if it is to be effective and not seen as an ‘add on’. Our Race Equality Scheme therefore helps us to promote our vision, values and aims, in accordance with the Social Charter”.

It continues: “As the agency with statutory lead responsibility in community planning, we have a duty to work with our community planning partners to provide governance within our area. Stirling’s community planning partners have recognised the importance of tackling inequality and racial prejudice, and have established a sub group to take work forward on a partnership basis. This is one way in which we will work to prevent unlawful discrimination and promote good race relations, using the power of wellbeing, as required”.


Stirling Council Charter

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