Dunbartonshire

Dunbartonshire

Dunbartonshire: see Dumbartonshire.
Dunbartonshire Lieutenancy
Dunbartonshire (Siorrachd Dhùn Bhreatainn in Gaelic) or the County of Dumbarton, is a lieutenancy area and a registration county of Scotland. Until 1975 it was a county. The area had been previously been part of the historic district of Lennox, which was a duchy in the Peerage of Scotland, see Duke of Lennox.

Name

Dumbarton was formerly the county town, and the county was originally also spelled Dumbartonshire. By the eighteenth century the names "County of Dunbarton" and "County of Dumbarton" were used interchangeably. Different county bodies used the two spellings: the Dunbarton County Constabulary were formed in 1857 by the Commissioners of Supply for the County of Dunbarton. Dumbartonshire County Council, set up under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889 adopted the spelling "Dunbartonshire" by 1914, a fact recognised by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1947.

Boundaries

The county retained a large exclave despite the boundary changes in the 1890s elsewhere in Scotland, consisting of the civil parishes of Kirkintilloch and Cumbernauld, between Stirlingshire and Lanarkshire : this area had originally been part of Stirlingshire, but had been annexed to Dunbarton in the reign of David II at the request of Malcolm Fleming, Earl of Wigtown, the owner of the land, who was also Sheriff of Dumbarton.

The exclave was dealt with in nineteenth century legislation as greater administrative duties were given to the counties. The Police (Scotland) Act 1857 established police forces throughout Scotland. A section of the act allowed for the parishes to be transferred to the jurisdiction of either Stirlingshire or Lanarkshire Constabulary on resolution of two thirds of the Commissioners of Supply for the County of Dumbarton. Similar provisions allowing for the transfer of the area for all purposes were included in the County General Assessment (Scotland) Act 1868. No such resolution was made, and the two parishes remained in Dumbartonshire.

The Roads and Bridges (Scotland) Act 1878 provided that for the purposes of that act all detached parts of counties should be placed in the county by which they were surrounded, or with which they had the longest boundary. Accordingly, Cumbernauld and Kirkintilloch came under the control of the Stirlingshire Road Board. It was originally anticipated that the area would be transferred to Stirlingshire for all other purposes by the boundary commissioners proposed by the Local Government Bill of 1889 However, a clause was inserted in the bill that stated "the parishes of Cumbernauld and Kirkintilloch, including the burghs and police burghs situate therein, shall for the purposes of this Act, be considered as forming part of the county of Dumbarton". The clause was vigorously opposed by the Stirlingshire Commissioners of Supply as they had incurred considerable expense in maintaining the roads of the two parishes. The Act as passed provided that the Dunbartonshire County Council was to financially compensate Stirlingshire on the transfer of road powers.

Abolition of county

The county was abolished in 1975 by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, when it became part of the large Strathclyde Region. Strathclyde was divided into nineteen districts, with the area of the former county being divided between Dumbarton, Bearsden and Milngavie, Clydebank, Cumbernauld and Kilsyth and Strathkelvin Districts, the latter also containing a small part of the former Lanarkshire.

The regional identity was retained for some major functions such as fire service and police at the next reorganisation of local government in 1996, but for most purposes the former county then found itself served by three new unitary councils: Argyll and Bute Council (which took over the Helensburgh and Lomond part of Dumbarton District), West Dunbartonshire Council and East Dunbartonshire Council. Cumbernauld was not included in either of the new Dunbartonshire councils, instead being placed in the North Lanarkshire area.

References

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