Dumfries and Galloway

Dumfries and Galloway

Dumfries and Galloway (Gaelic: Dùn Phris agus an Gall-Ghaidhealaibh, ) is one of 32 council areas of Scotland. To the north, it borders onto South Ayrshire, East Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire; in the east the Borders; and to the south the county of Cumbria in England. It lies to the north of the Solway Firth and to the east of the Irish Sea. The region is well-known for its many artists and writers.


The Dumfries and Galloway region is composed of several sub areas and former counties.
From west to east:

The term 'Dumfries and Galloway' has been used since at latest the 19th century - by 1911 the three counties had a united Sheriffdom under that name. Dumfries and Galloway covers the majority of the Western area of the Southern Uplands , it also hosts Scotland's most Southerly point, at the Mull of Galloway in the west of the region.


The region was created in 1975, by merging the former counties of Wigtownshire, Kirkcudbrightshire and Dumfriesshire as a two-tier region with the districts of Wigtownshire, Stewartry, Nithsdale and Annandale and Eskdale within it. In 1996 the region became a unitary authority area and the districts were wound up. After 1996 the unitary authority became known as Dumfries and Galloway Council, instead of Dumfries and Galloway Regional Council.


Local transport strategy is co-ordinated on behalf of the council and Transport Scotland by SWESTRANS (The South West of Scotland Transport Partnership).


The region has 6 working railway stations. All are on the Glasgow South Western Line, except Lockerbie which is on the West Coast Main Line

Bus and coach

The area is served by buses which connect the main population centres. Express bus services link the main towns with Glasgow, Ayr, Edinburgh and Carlisle. Local bus services are also operated across the region.


Dumfries and Galloway is home to two ports which have services to Northern Ireland, both are in the West of the region. Stena Line have a port in the town of Stranraer, and P&O Irish Sea in the village of Cairnryan.


The region also has no commercial airports; the nearest are Glasgow Prestwick Airport and Carlisle Airport. The region does host a number of private airfields. The town of Lockerbie was the scene of the Pan Am Flight 103 terrorist attack on December 21 1988.


The main roads to and from the region are:

Emergency services

The Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary is the police force for the region, and is the smallest in the United Kingdom. Dumfries and Galloway Fire and Rescue Service provide firefighting services across the region. The Coastguard, Lifeboats, Moffat mountain rescue and Galloway Mountain Rescue also offer emergency services across Dumfries and Galloway.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway provide healthcare services across the region, the two main hospitals are the Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary in Dumfries and Galloway Community Hospital in Stranraer.


Dumfries & Galloway Council provides nursery, primary and secondary education across the region.

Nurseries and primary schools

For a list of nurseries and primary schools see this page.

Secondary schools


The region is known as a stronghold for several rare and protected species of amphibian, such as the Natterjack toad and the Great crested newt. There are also RSPB Nature Reserves at the Mull of Galloway, Wood of Cree (Galloway Forest Park), Ken Dee Marshes (near Loch Ken) and Mereshead (near Dalbeattie on the Solway Firth).

Towns and villages

Main settlements in bold text.

Places of interest

Council political composition

The council consists of 47 councillors elected for a four-year term from 13 wards. These wards were introduced for the 2007 election and each returns three or four members by the single transferable vote system of election. This system was introduced by the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004, as a means of ensuring a reasonably proportionately representative outcome.


The result of the 2003 election returned a council with no party having overall control. A 'silver' coalition was first formed invovling all parties but Conservative and Labour, after this coalition resigned Labour took minority control of the council. The following number of councillors were elected for each party as follows:
Party Councillors
Labour 14
Independent 12
Conservative 11
Scottish National Party 5
Liberal Democrat 5


The result of the 2007 election returned the following number of councillors for each party as follows:
Party Councillors
Conservative 18
Labour 14
Scottish National Party 10
Liberal Democrat 3
Independent 2

The council is currently controlled by a Conservative and Liberal Democrat minority coalition.

After the resignation of Bruce Hodgson (Conservative councillor for the Abbey ward) a by-election was held on 1 May 2008, with Michael Thomson (Conservative) being returned as the replacement councillor. On Tuesday 20 May 2008, Councillor Robert Higgins stood down as Scottish National Party (SNP) Group Leader, after he received a triple driving ban for reckless driving.

Current Councillors

By political groupings.


  • Graham Bell
  • Ian Blake
  • Ian Carruthers
  • John Charteris
  • John Dougan
  • Peter Duncan Business Leader
  • Gillian Dykes
  • Patsy Gilroy (Convener)
  • Allan Graham
  • Roger Grant
  • Jack Groom (Provost)
  • Ivor Hyslop (Leader) Group Leader
  • Ian Lindsay
  • Gail MacGregor
  • Denis R Male
  • Graham Nicol
  • Mike Thomson
  • Roberta Tuckfield


  • Ted Brown
  • James H Dempster
  • Archie Dryburgh
  • Grahame Forster
  • Dr. Jeff Leaver Secretary
  • Sean W Marshall
  • John Martin
  • David J McKie
  • Ronnie Nicholson Group Leader
  • Ronald E Ogilvie
  • Willie Scobie
  • Colin Smyth
  • David Stitt
  • John Syme

Scottish National Party

  • Brian Collins
  • Rob Davidson Group Leader
  • Iain Dick
  • Alistair Geddes
  • Robert J Higgins
  • Thomas Jacques
  • Lorna J McGowan Secretary
  • Dr. Doug Snell
  • Andrew S Wood
  • Alastair Witts Deputy Group Leader

Liberal Democrat

  • Richard Brodie
  • Michael Dickie Secretary
  • Sandra McDowall Group Leader


  • Jane S Maitland Group Leader
  • George N Prentice Secretary



See also

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