Siorrachd Obar Dheathain
|- Total||6,313 km2 (2,437 sq mi)|
|- Total (2010 est.)||245,800|
|TBA (council NOC)|
The present day Aberdeenshire council area does not include the City of Aberdeen, now a separate council area, from which its name derives. Together, the modern council area and the city formed historic Aberdeenshire - one of the counties of Scotland formerly used for local government purposes. Within these borders, the County of Aberdeen remains in existence as a registration county.
Aberdeenshire Council is headquartered 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.
Traditionally, it has been economically dependent upon the primary sector (agriculture, fishing, and forestry) and related processing industries. Over the last 40 years, the development of the oil and gas industry and associated service sector has broadened Aberdeenshire’s economic base, and contributed to a rapid population growth of some 50%. since 1975, while the land covered represents 8% of Scotland's overall territory.
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.
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. It was replaced by Grampian Regional Council and five district councils: Banff and Buchan, Gordon, Kincardine and Deeside, Moray and the City of Aberdeen. Local government functions were shared between the two levels. In 1996, under the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994, the Banff and Buchan district, Gordon district and Kincardine and Deeside district were merged to form the present Aberdeenshire council area, with the other two districts becoming autonomous council areas.
The council area has a population of approximately 247,600, representing 4.7% of Scotland's total, a rise of over 50% from 1971. Aberdeenshire’s population has grown steadily over recent years, increasing by 9.1% since 2001. Over this period Scotland’s population grew by 3.8%. The population currently has a relatively high proportion of under 16s and slightly less people of working-age compared with the Scottish average. The twelve biggest settlements in Aberdeenshire (with 2011 population estimates) are:
Aberdeenshire’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated at £3,496m (2011), representing 5.2% of the Scottish total. Aberdeenshire’s economy is closely linked to Aberdeen City’s (GDP £7,906m) and in 2011 the region as a whole was calculated to contribute 16.8% of Scotland’s GDP. Between 2012 and 2014 the combined Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City economic forecast GDP growth rate is 6.8%, the highest growth rate of any local authority area and above the Scottish rate of 4.8%.
A significant proportion of Aberdeenshire’s working residents commute to Aberdeen City for work, varying from 11.5% from Fraserburgh to 65% from Westhill.
Average Gross Weekly Earnings (for full time employees employed in work places in Aberdeenshire in 2011) are £570.60. This is lower than the Scottish average by £4.10 and a fall of 2.6% on the 2010 figure. The average gross weekly pay of people resident in Aberdeenshire is much higher, at £641.90, as many people commute out of Aberdeenshire, principally into Aberdeen City.
Total employment (excluding farm data) in Aberdeenshire is estimated at 93,700 employees (Business Register and Employment Survey 2009). The majority of employees work within the service sector, predominantly in public administration, education and health. Almost 19% of employment is within the public sector. Aberdeenshire’s economy remains closely linked to Aberdeen City’s and the North Sea oil industry, with many employees in oil related jobs.
The average monthly unemployment (claimant count) rate for Aberdeenshire in 2011 was 1.5%. This is lower than the average rates for Aberdeen City (2.3%), Scotland (4.2%) and the UK (3.8%).
Energy - There is significant energy related infrastructure, presence and expertise in Aberdeenshire. Peterhead is an important centre for the energy industry. Peterhead Port, which includes an extensive new quay with adjacent lay down area at Smith Quay, is a major support location for North Sea oil and gas exploration and production and the fast growing global subsea sector. The Gas Terminal at St Fergus handles around 15% of the UK’s natural gas requirements and the Peterhead power station is looking to host the UK’s first carbon capture and storage power generation project.
Fishing - Aberdeenshire is Scotland's foremost fishing area. In 2010, catches landed at Aberdeenshire's ports accounted for over half the total fish landings of Scotland, and almost 45% in the UK. Peterhead and Fraserburgh ports, alongside Aberdeen City, provide much of the employment in these sectors.
Agriculture - Aberdeenshire is rich in arable land, with an estimated 9,000 people employed in the sector, and is best known for rearing livestock.
Tourism - this sector continues to grow, with a range of sights to be seen in the area. From the lively Cairngorm Mountain range, to the bustling fishing ports on the North-east coast, Aberdeenshire samples a bit of everything. Aberdeenshire also has rugged coastline to complete many sandy beaches, and is a hot spot for tourist activity throughout the year. Almost 1.3 million tourists visisted the region in 2011 - up 3% on the previous year.
|1. Banff and District||3||2 SNP, 1 Con|
|2. Troup||3||1 SNP, 1 Con, 1 Ind|
|3. Fraserburgh and District||4||2 SNP, 2 Ind|
|4. Central Buchan||4||2 SNP, 1 Ind, 1 Con|
|5. Peterhead North and Rattray||4||2 SNP, 2 Ind|
|6. Peterhead South and Cruden||3||2 SNP, 1 Ind|
|7. Turriff and District||3||1 Lib Dem, 1 SNP, 1 Ind|
|8. Mid Formartine||4||2 SNP, 1 Ind, 1 Con|
|9. Ellon and District||4||2 SNP, 1 Lib Dem, 1 Con|
|10. West Garioch||3||1 SNP, 1 Lib Dem, 1 Con|
|11. Inverurie and District||4||2 SNP, 1 Lib Dem, 1 Con|
|12. East Garioch||3||1 SNP, 1 Lib Dem, 1 Green|
|13. Westhill and District||4||2 SNP, 1 Con, 1 Lib Dem|
|14. Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford||4||1 Con, 1 Ind, 1 Lib Dem, 1 SNP|
|15. Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside||3||1 Con, 1 Lib Dem, 1 SNP|
|16. Banchory and Mid Deeside||3||1 Lib Dem, 1 SNP, 1 Con|
|17. North Kincardine||4||1 Con, 1 Lab, 1 Lib Dem, 1 SNP|
|18. Stonehaven and Lower Deeside||4||1 Con, 1 Lab, 1 Lib Dem, 1 SNP|
|19. Mearns||4||1 Con, 1 Lib Dem, 1 Ind, 1 SNP|
|Scottish National Party||27|
The Council’s Revenue Budget for 2012/13 totals approx £548 million. The Education, Learning and Leisure Service takes the largest share of budget (52.3%), followed by Housing and Social Work (24.3%), Infrastructure Services (15.9%), Joint Boards (such as Fire and Police) and Misc services (7.9%) and Trading Activities (0.4%).
21.5% of the revenue is raised locally through the Council Tax. Average Band D Council Tax is £1,141 (2012/13), no change on the previous year. The current Chief Executive of the Council is Colin Mackenzie and the elected Council Leader is Jim Gifford. Aberdeenshire also has a Provost, who is Councillor Jill Webster.
The council has devolved power to six area committees: Banff and Buchan; Buchan; Formartine; Garioch; Marr; and Kincardine and Mearns. Each area committee takes decisions on local issues such as planning applications, and the split is meant to reflect the diverse circumstances of each area. (Boundary map)
The following significant structures or places are within Aberdeenshire:
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.
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