The Herald today was full about some ideas they’ve got about redrawing the council area map of Scotland.
Basically, they want to reduce the number from 32 to 10.
However, the resulting councils would still vary wildly in size – the largest (Greater Glasgow) would be the size of a small country with more than a million inhabitants.
Brian Taylor of the BBC has written some good comments, pointing out that it is necessary to look at the tasks the councils have to perform before it makes sense to decide on how many are needed.
I also think one should be wary of making them too large, or there will suddenly be a demand for a subdivision of them, and all the savings will go out of the window.
I think the best size is one which will make a good democratic unit, in that it has a clear centre, a physical size that makes it possible to attend meetings in one place, and a certain degree of uniformity so that people can agree on priorities.
Because of this, I’d tend to prefer more councils rather than fewer, perhaps around 100.