Although containing the traditional county town of Renfrew from which its name derives, the centre of local government in Renfrewshire is found in the nearby town of Paisley. Renfrewshire borders the south-west of Glasgow and contains many of Glasgow's commuter towns and villages.
Present day Renfrewshire borders the south-west of Glasgow and contains many of Glasgow's commuter towns and villages. Renfrewshire also has boundaries with North Ayrshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde and West Dunbartonshire. Although by area one of Scotland's smallest unitary authorities (excluding the cities), it is one of the country's most populous areas, being the fifth largest unitary authority and the ninth largest including the city authorities.
The ancient county of Renfrewshire covered a larger area — including both Inverclyde and East Renfrewshire. This area still exists in the form of a lieutenancy area and registration county, and has a statutory funding board called the Renfrewshire Valuation Joint Board The county was traditionally based around its seat, the Royal Burgh of Renfrew and as such was also known as the County of Renfrew.
There was also a district named Renfrew which existed between 1975 and 1996. Renfrew District covered a slightly larger area than the present local authority area, and included the towns of Barrhead, Neilston and Uplawmoor, which, following the partition of Strathclyde region in 1996, were transferred into the new East Renfrewshire unitary local authority.
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The wards used for elections to Renfrewshire Council are assigned a number of councillors to be selected by the Single Transferable Vote system since the coming into effect of the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004. These wards, as defined in the Renfrewshire (Electoral Arrangements) Order 2006 (SSI 2006/551) are as follows:
Ward 1 - Renfrew North (3 councillors)
Ward 2 - Renfrew South & Gallowhill (3 councillors)
Ward 3 - Paisley East & Ralston (4 councillors)
Ward 4 - Paisley North West (4 councillors)
Ward 5 - Paisley South (4 councillors)
Ward 6 - Paisley South West (4 councillors)
Ward 7 - Johnstone South, Elderslie & Howwood (4 councillors)
Ward 8 - Johnstone North, Kilbarchan & Lochwinnoch (3 councillors)
Ward 9 - Houston, Crosslee & Linwood (4 councillors)
Ward 10 - Bishopton, Bridge of Weir & Langbank (3 councillors)
Ward 11 - Erskine & Inchinnan (4 councillors)
The Braehead Arena in Renfrewshire close to the boundary with Glasgow is home to leading professional basketball team, the Scottish Rocks, who compete in the British Basketball League. The arena was also host to the 2000 Ford World Curling Championships.