Harris, Outer Hebrides
Harris is the southern and more mountainous part of Lewis and Harris, the largest island in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Although not an island itself, Harris is referred to as the Isle of Harris, the former postal county and the current post town for Royal Mail postcodes starting HS3 or HS5. St Kilda, an uninhabited small archipelago, located 40 miles west-northwest of North Uist is considered part of the civil parish of Harris; the same is true for the remote uninhabited rock islet Rockall, 230 miles west of North Uist. According to the 2011 Census, there are 1,212 Gaelic speakers in Harris. Harris is most to be the island referred to as Adru on Ptolemy's map of the British Isles. In Old Norse, a Hérað was a type of administrative district, the name may derive from that. An alternative origin is the Norse Hærri, meaning "higher" - a reference to the high hills in comparison with the much flatter Lewis lying to the north. Most of the place names on Harris are Gaelicized Old Norse; the Gaelic name "Na Hearadh" was an earlier term for the Rinns of Islay.
Harris divides into northern and southern parts which are separated by West and East Loch Tarbert. These halves are joined by a narrow isthmus at the main settlement of Tarbert; the bedrock of Harris is Lewisian gneisses, which were laid down in the Precambrian period, interspersed with igneous intrusions. One of these intrusions forms the summit plateau of the mountain Roinebhal; the rock here is anorthosite, is similar in composition to rocks found in the mountains of the Moon. Harris is a part of historic Inverness-shire, was administered as such under older administrative divisions. In the 2001 census, Harris had a resident population of 1,916, it is part of the South Lewis and North Uist National Scenic Area, one of 40 in Scotland. North Harris, adjoining Lewis, contains Clisham, the highest mountain in the Outer Hebrides at 799 metres; the area is sparsely populated. Beyond Tarbert, the furthest settlement is Hushinish on the west coast. A bridge from the east coast links Harris to the island of Scalpay.
In March 2003 the 25,300-hectare North Harris Estate was purchased by the North Harris Trust, a development trust, on behalf of the local community. In April 2006 the Trust hosted the Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company conference "Community Energy: Leading from the Edge" in Tarbert. In early 2008 the Trust received planning consent for three 86 metre wind turbines to be located at Monan. In 2008 Mike Russell, the Scottish environment minister announced that the North Harris Trust had begun canvassing local opinion about a proposal to create Scotland's third national park in the area; the southern part of Harris is less mountainous, with numerous unspoilt, white sandy beaches on the west coast. Its main settlements are Rodel, known for its medieval kirk of St. Clement, the most elaborate surviving medieval church in the Hebrides after Iona Abbey, Leverburgh. A ferry sails from the latter to Berneray, an island off the coast of North Uist, to which it is joined by a causeway; the east coast of south Harris is known as the Bays.
The best known section called the "Golden Road" as it cost so much money to build, when it was built in 1897. It runs from Miavaig via Drinishader, Grosebay and Cluer to Stockinish. From Stockinish the road is the Bays and meanders through the coastal townships of Lickisto, Manish, Ardvay and Lingerbay; the beaches of Luskentyre and Scarista are amongst the most spectacular. From the former the island of Taransay, where the BBC Television series Castaway 2000 was recorded, is seen most from Harris. At Scarista the beach is a venue for kite buggying. Nearby the Harris Golf Club offers well kept greens and views of the hills, but there is no play on Sundays. Scarista is the birthplace of the author Finlay J. MacDonald, who wrote about growing up on Harris in the 1930s, his books: Crowdie and Cream and White and The Corncrake and the Lysander paint a vivid and humorous picture of Hebridean life. Tarbert is the main port and main settlement of Harris, with a population of about 550; the name Tarbert comes from the Norse tairbeart meaning "portage" or "isthmus".
It is located on an isthmus between West Loch Tarbert. The village has a ferry terminal, local tourist information and some small shops, including a Harris Tweed shop overlooking the main access road to the CalMac ferry terminal and a general grocery store; the island of Scalpay is located at the mouth of East Loch Tarbert. It was known for its fishing industry, though little of that remains; the island was linked to Harris when the Scalpay Bridge was opened in 1997, connecting Scalpay to the settlement of Kyles on Harris. Media attention has been drawn to angling on Harris, Tarbert in particular. Local fishermen have been targeting large Common Skate in the area and have had prolific catches from West Loch Tarbert, in autumn and winter. There is an application for the Scottish shore record of 183 pounds although a fish estimated at 204 pounds was landed; these catches have attracted the attention of the local and national press and sea angling's leading magazines. In common with many parts of the Highlands and Islands, Harris has numerous single-track roa
2003 Scottish Parliament election
The Scottish Parliament election, 2003, was the second election of members to the Scottish Parliament. It was held on 1 May 2003 and it brought no change in terms of control of the Scottish Executive. Jack McConnell, the Labour Party Member of the Scottish Parliament, remained in office as First Minister and the Executive continued as a Labour and Liberal Democrat coalition; as of 2019, it remains the last general election victory for the Scottish Labour Party. The results showed rises in support for smaller parties, including the Scottish Green Party and the Scottish Socialist Party and declines in support for the Labour Party and the Scottish National Party; the Conservative and Unionist Party and the Scottish Liberal Democrats each polled exactly the same percentage of the vote as they had in the 1999 election, with each holding the same number of seats as before. Three independent MSPs were elected: Dennis Canavan, Margo MacDonald and Jean Turner. John Swinburne, leader of the Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party, was elected.
This led to talk of a "rainbow" Parliament, but the arithmetic meant that the coalition of Labour and Scottish Liberal Democrats could continue in office, which they did until the 2007 election. The decline in support for the SNP was viewed by some as a rejection of the case for Scottish independence. Others argued against this, pointing out that the number of MSPs in favour of independence rose because most of the minor parties such as the SSP share this position with the SNP. At the dissolution of Parliament on 31 March 2003, ten MSPs were not seeking re-election; the parliament was dissolved on 31 March 2003 and the campaign began thereafter. Labour – Jack McConnell SNP – John Swinney Conservative – David McLetchie Liberal Democrat – Jim Wallace Greens – Robin Harper & Eleanor Scott SSP – Tommy Sheridan Brian Fitzpatrick and Bearsden Rhoda Grant and Islands Iain Gray, Edinburgh Pentlands Angus MacKay, Edinburgh South Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife Elaine Thomson, Aberdeen North Kenneth Gibson, Glasgow Irene McGugan, North East Scotland Fiona McLeod, West of Scotland Gil Paterson, Central Scotland Lloyd Quinan, West of Scotland Michael Russell, South of Scotland Andrew Wilson, Central Scotland Keith Harding, Mid Scotland and Fife Lyndsay McIntosh, Central Scotland Notes: 1.
The Scottish Greens did not stand in any constituencies, instead concentrating their resources on winning the largest possible share of the "second" vote for'list' seats. 2. Three independents were elected: Margo MacDonald, Dennis Canavan and Jean Turner. 4. Overall turnout was 49.4%, down on the 1999 election. As part of the coalition deal between Labour and the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Labour allowed proportional representation to be used in Scottish local government elections; this system was first used in 2007. The Lib Dems declared a total of £130,358 was spent on the campaign, SSP spent £74,361 the Greens spent £65,852 and the Scottish Senior Citizens' Unity Party spent 3,558; the Scottish People's Alliance spent £188,889 and UKIP spent £39,504. Members of the Scottish Parliament, 2003-2007 Welsh Assembly election, 2003 and United Kingdom local elections, 2003 the same day British National Party- Freedom Pro-Life Alliance Scottish Liberal Democrats- Make the difference Scottish National Party- Release our potential Scottish Socialist Party – another Scotland is possible BBC: Vote Scotland 2003 Scottish Election Results 1997 – present
2016 Scottish Parliament election
The Scottish parliament election, 2016 was held on Thursday, 5 May 2016 to elect 129 members to the Scottish Parliament. It was the fifth election held since the devolved parliament was established in 1999, it was the first parliamentary election in Scotland in which 16 and 17 year olds were eligible to vote, under the provisions of the Scottish Elections Act. It was the first time the three largest parties were led by women. Parliament went into dissolution on 24 March 2016, allowing the official period of campaigning to get underway. Five parties had MSPs in the previous parliament: Scottish National Party led by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Labour Party led by Kezia Dugdale, Scottish Conservatives led by Ruth Davidson, Scottish Liberal Democrats led by Willie Rennie, Scottish Greens, led by their co-conveners Patrick Harvie and Maggie Chapman. Of those five parties, four changed their leader since the 2011 election. During the campaign, a series of televised debates took place, including party leaders of the elected parties.
BBC Scotland held the first leaders’ debate on 24 March, STV broadcast the next on 29 March, BBC Scotland hosted the final debate on 1 May. The Scottish National Party won the election and a third term in government, but fell two seats short of securing a second consecutive overall majority; the Conservatives saw a significant increase in support and replaced the Labour Party as the second-largest party and main opposition in the Scottish Parliament. This was the first time; the Scottish Greens won six seats on the regional list and overtook the Liberal Democrats, who remained on five seats. Although the SNP had lost their majority, it was still by far the largest single party in the Scottish Parliament, with more than double the seats of the Conservatives. Accordingly, Sturgeon announced, she was voted in for a second term as First Minister on 17 May. Under the Scotland Act 1998, an ordinary election to the Scottish Parliament would have been held on the first Thursday in May four years after the 2011 election, i.e. in May 2015.
In May 2010, the new UK Government stated in its coalition agreement that the next United Kingdom general election would be held in May 2015. This proposal was criticised by the Scottish National Party and Labour, as it had been recommended after the 2007 election that elections with different voting systems should be held on separate days: a recommendation which all of the political parties had accepted. In response to this criticism, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg offered the right to vary the date of the Scottish Parliament election by a year either way. All the main political parties stated their support for delaying the election by a year; the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, a statute of the UK Parliament, moved the date of the Scottish Parliament election to 5 May 2016. The date of the poll may be varied by up to one month either way by the monarch, on the proposal of the Presiding Officer. If Parliament itself resolves that it should be dissolved, with at least two-thirds of the Members voting in favour, the Presiding Officer proposes a date for an extraordinary election and the Parliament is dissolved by the monarch by royal proclamation.
It does not require a two-thirds majority to precipitate an extraordinary election, because under the Scotland Act Parliament is dissolved if it fails to nominate one of its members to be First Minister within certain time limits, irrespective of whether at the beginning or in the middle of a parliamentary term. Therefore, if the First Minister resigned, Parliament would have 28 days to elect a successor. If no new First Minister was elected the Presiding Officer would ask for Parliament to be dissolved under s3a; this process could be triggered if the First Minister lost a vote of confidence by a simple majority, as s/he must resign. To date the Parliament has never held a confidence vote on a First Minister. No extraordinary elections have been held to date. Any extraordinary elections would be in addition to ordinary elections, unless held less than six months before the due date of an ordinary election, in which case they supplant it; the subsequent ordinary election reverts to the first Thursday in May, a multiple of four years after 1999.
It was envisaged that the election would still have taken place as scheduled if Scotland had voted in favour of independence in 2014. Changes to the SNP's selection procedures the previous year in order to ensure gender balance of candidates meant that any incumbent constituency MSP who chose to retire would have their replacement selected from an all woman shortlist; the only ways for a new male candidate to receive a constituency nomination would be to stand in a constituency held by an opposition MSP or to run a de-selection campaign against a sitting MSP. For that reason there were far more challenges than normal within the SNP, but only two were successful: The total number of Members of the Scottish Parliament elected to the Parliament is 129; the First Periodical Review of the Scottish Parliament's constituencies and regions by the Boundary Commission for Scotland, was announced on 3 July 2007. The Commission published its provisional proposals for the regional boundaries in 2009; the Scottish Parliament uses an Additional Members System, designed to produce approximate proportional representation for each region.
There are each sub-divided into smaller constituencies. There are a total of 73 constituencies; each constituency elects one MSP by the plurality system of election. Each reg
2014 Scottish independence referendum
A referendum on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom took place on Thursday 18 September 2014. The referendum question was "Should Scotland be an independent country?", which voters answered with "Yes" or "No". The "No" side won, with 2,001,926 voting against 1,617,989 voting in favour; the turnout of 84.6% was the highest recorded for an election or referendum in the United Kingdom since the introduction of universal suffrage. The Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013, setting out the arrangements for the referendum, was passed by the Scottish Parliament in November 2013, following an agreement between the devolved Scottish government and the Government of the United Kingdom. To pass, the independence proposal required a simple majority. With some exceptions, all European Union or Commonwealth citizens resident in Scotland aged sixteen years or over could vote, which produced a total electorate of 4,300,000 people; this was the first time that the electoral franchise was extended to include sixteen and seventeen-year-olds in Scotland.
Yes Scotland was the main campaign group for independence, while Better Together was the main campaign group in favour of maintaining the union. Many other campaign groups, political parties, businesses and prominent individuals were involved. Prominent issues raised during the referendum included the currency an independent Scotland would use, public expenditure, EU membership, North Sea oil. An exit poll of voters revealed that for "No"-voters, the retention of the pound sterling was the deciding factor, while for "yes"-voters, the biggest single motivation was "disaffection with Westminster politics"; the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England were established as independent countries during the Middle Ages. After fighting a series of wars during the 14th century, the two monarchies entered a personal union in 1603 when James VI of Scotland became James I of England; the two nations were temporarily united under one government when Oliver Cromwell was declared Lord Protector of a Commonwealth in 1653, but this was dissolved when the monarchy was restored in 1660.
Scotland and England united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. Factors in favour of union were, on the Scottish side, the economic problems caused by the failure of the Darien scheme and, on the English, securing the Hanoverian line of succession. Great Britain in turn united with the Kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Most of Ireland left the Union in 1922 to form the Irish Free State; the Labour Party was committed to home rule for Scotland in the 1920s, but it slipped down its agenda in the following years. The Scottish National Party was founded in 1934, but did not achieve significant electoral success until the 1960s. A document calling for home rule, the Scottish Covenant, was signed by 2,000,000 people in the late-1940s. Home rule, now known as Scottish devolution, did not become a serious proposal until the late 1970s as the Labour Government of James Callaghan came under electoral pressure from the SNP. A proposal for a devolved Scottish Assembly was put to a referendum in 1979.
A narrow majority of votes were cast in favour of change, but this had no effect due to a requirement that the number voting'Yes' had to exceed 40% of the total electorate. No further constitutional reform was proposed until Labour returned to power in a landslide electoral victory in May 1997. A second Scottish devolution referendum was held that year, as promised in the Labour election manifesto. Clear majorities expressed support for both a devolved Scottish Parliament and that Parliament having the power to vary the basic rate of income tax; the Scotland Act 1998 established the new Scottish Parliament, first elected on 6 May 1999, with power to legislate on unreserved matters within Scotland. A commitment to hold an independence referendum in 2010 was part of the SNP's election manifesto when it contested the 2007 Scottish Parliament election; the press were hostile towards the SNP, with a headline for The Scottish Sun in May 2007 stating – along with an image of a hangman's noose – "Vote SNP today and you put Scotland's head in the noose".
As a result of that election, the SNP became the largest party in the Scottish Parliament and formed a minority government led by the First Minister, Alex Salmond. The SNP administration launched a'National Conversation' as a consultation exercise in August 2007, part of which included a draft referendum bill, the Referendum Bill. After this, a white paper for the proposed Referendum Bill was published, on 30 November 2009, it detailed 4 possible scenarios, with the text of the Referendum to be revealed later. The scenarios were: no change; the Scottish government published a draft version of the bill on 25 February 2010 for public consultation. The consultation paper set out the proposed ballot papers, the mechanics of the proposed referendum, how the proposed referendum was to be regulated. Public responses were invited; the bill outlined three proposals: the first was full devolution or'devolution max', suggesting that the Scottish Parliament should be responsible for "all laws and duties in Scotland", with the exception of "defence and foreign affairs.
Barra is an island in the Outer Hebrides and the second southernmost inhabited island there, after the adjacent island of Vatersay to which it is connected by a short causeway. In 2011, the population was 1,174. Gaelic is spoken, at the 2011 Census, there were 761 Gaelic speakers; the Isle of Barra is 60 km2 in area, 11 miles long and 6 miles wide. A single-track road, the A888, runs around the coast of the southern part of the island following the flattest land and serving the many coastal settlements; the interior of the island here is uninhabited. The west and north of the island has white sandy beaches consisting of sand created from marine shells adjoining the grassed machair, while the south east side has numerous rocky inlets. To the north a sandy pensinsula runs to Eoligarry; the main village is Castlebay in a sheltered bay, where Kisimul Castle sits on a prominent rock not far from shore. This is the main harbour. A smaller medieval tower house, Dun Mhic Leoid, can be found in the middle of Loch St Clare on the west side of the island at Tangasdale.
The highest elevation on the island is Heaval, near the top of, a prominent white marble statue of the Madonna and Child, called "Our Lady of the Sea", erected during the Marian year of 1954. The predominant faith on the island is Catholicism and the Catholic church dedicated to Our Lady of the Sea is apparent to all who arrive at Castlebay. Other places of interest on the island include a ruined church and museum at Cille Bharra, a number of Iron Age brochs such as those at Dùn Chuidhir and An Dùn Bàn, a range of other Iron Age and structures which have been excavated and recorded. Barra is connected by a modern causeway to the smaller island of Vatersay, population 90. During the construction of a road in the 1990s, the discovery of a near-complete pottery beaker dating from 2500BC established that there has been a human presence on Barra since the neolithic era; as well as pottery, a number of stone remains were found, including a neolithic "work platform", which complement the several standing stones scattered around the island.
In the hills to the north of Borve, there is a large chambered cairn, sited in a prominent position. Beyond the main island, a Bronze Age cemetery can be found on Vateray, as well as an Iron Age broch. Remains of Bronze Age burials and Iron Age roundhouses were discovered in sand dunes, near the hamlet of Allasdale, following storms in 2007. Occupation of Barra continued during the Iron Age, as evidenced by the discovery of a wheelhouse from the end of the period, re-occupied between the 3rd and 4th centuries, again in the 7th and 8th centuries. Whoever the occupants were, they were followed in the 9th century by viking settlers, who gave the island at least part of its name; the latter is derived from two elements: Barr and Old Norse ey. Barr may represent the Gaelic personal name Finnbarr. Or it could represent the Old Norse elements berr or barr, or the Celtic element *barr. According to the ancient Grettis saga, the first viking to arrive was named Omund the Wooden-Leg; the Vikings established the Kingdom of the Isles including Barra.
Following Norwegian unification, the Kingdom of the Isles became a crown dependency of the Norwegian king. Malcolm III of Scotland acknowledged in writing that they were not Scottish, king Edgar quitclaimed any residual doubts. In the north of Barra, from this period survived a gravestone, on which a Celtic cross is present on one side, runic inscriptions on the other. However, in the mid 12th century, Somerled, a Norse-Gael of uncertain origin, launched a coup, which made Suðreyjar independent. Following his death, Norwegian authority was nominally restored, but in practice the kingdom was divided between Somerled's heirs, the dynasty that Somerled had deposed. Clann Ruaidhrí, a branch of Somerled's heirs, ruled Barra, as well as Uist, Eigg, Rùm, the Rough Bounds, Bute and northern Jura. In the 13th century, despite Edgar's quitclaim, Scottish forces attempted to conquer parts of Suðreyjar, culminating in the indecisive Battle of Largs. In 1266, the matter was settled by the Treaty of Perth, which transferred the whole of Suðreyjar to Scotland, in exchange for a large sum of money.
The Treaty expressly preserved the status of the rulers of Suðreyjar. In 1293, king John Balliol established the Sheriffdom of Skye. However, following his usurpation, the sheriffdom ceased to be mentioned, the Garmoran lordship was confirmed to Ruaidhrí Mac Ruaidhrí, the head of Clann Ruaidhri. In 1343, King David II issued a further charter to Ruaidhrí's son, but Raghnall's assassination, just three years left Garmoran in the hands of Amy of Garmoran; the southern parts of the Kingdom of the Isles had become the Lordship of the Isles, ruled by the MacDonalds. Amy married the MacDonald leader, John of Islay, but a decade he divorced her, married the king's niece instead; as part of the divorce, John deprived his eldest son, Ranald, of the ability to inheri
The Scottish Parliament is the devolved unicameral legislature of Scotland. Located in the Holyrood area of the capital city, Edinburgh, it is referred to by the metonym Holyrood; the Parliament is a democratically elected body comprising 129 members known as Members of the Scottish Parliament, elected for four-year terms under the additional member system: 73 MSPs represent individual geographical constituencies elected by the plurality system, while a further 56 are returned from eight additional member regions, each electing seven MSPs. The most recent general election to the Parliament was held on 5 May 2016, with the Scottish National Party winning a plurality; the original Parliament of Scotland was the national legislature of the independent Kingdom of Scotland, existed from the early 13th century until the Kingdom of Scotland merged with the Kingdom of England under the Acts of Union 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. As a consequence, both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England ceased to exist, the Parliament of Great Britain, which sat at Westminster in London was formed.
Following a referendum in 1997, in which the Scottish electorate voted for devolution, the powers of the devolved legislature were specified by the Scotland Act 1998. The Act delineates the legislative competence of the Parliament – the areas in which it can make laws – by explicitly specifying powers that are "reserved" to the Parliament of the United Kingdom; the Scottish Parliament has the power to legislate in all areas that are not explicitly reserved to Westminster. The British Parliament retains the ability to amend the terms of reference of the Scottish Parliament, can extend or reduce the areas in which it can make laws; the first meeting of the new Parliament took place on 12 May 1999. The competence of the Scottish Parliament has been amended numerous times since most notably by the Scotland Act 2012 and Scotland Act 2016, with some of the most significant changes being the expansion of the Parliament's powers over taxation and welfare. Before the Treaty of Union 1707 united the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England into a new state called "Great Britain", Scotland had an independent parliament known as the Parliament of Scotland.
Initial Scottish proposals in the negotiation over the Union suggested a devolved Parliament be retained in Scotland, but this was not accepted by the English negotiators. For the next three hundred years, Scotland was directly governed by the Parliament of Great Britain and the subsequent Parliament of the United Kingdom, both seated at Westminster, the lack of a Parliament of Scotland remained an important element in Scottish national identity. Suggestions for a'devolved' Parliament were made before 1914, but were shelved due to the outbreak of the First World War. A sharp rise in nationalism in Scotland during the late 1960s fuelled demands for some form of home rule or complete independence, in 1969 prompted the incumbent Labour government of Harold Wilson to set up the Kilbrandon Commission to consider the British constitution. One of the principal objectives of the commission was to examine ways of enabling more self-government for Scotland, within the unitary state of the United Kingdom.
Kilbrandon published his report in 1973 recommending the establishment of a directly elected Scottish Assembly to legislate for the majority of domestic Scottish affairs. During this time, the discovery of oil in the North Sea and the following "It's Scotland's oil" campaign of the Scottish National Party resulted in rising support for Scottish independence, as well as the SNP; the party argued that the revenues from the oil were not benefitting Scotland as much as they should. The combined effect of these events led to Prime Minister Wilson committing his government to some form of devolved legislature in 1974. However, it was not until 1978 that final legislative proposals for a Scottish Assembly were passed by the United Kingdom Parliament. Under the terms of the Scotland Act 1978, an elected assembly would be set up in Edinburgh provided that a referendum be held on 1 March 1979, with at least 40% of the total electorate voting in favour of the proposal; the 1979 Scottish devolution referendum failed: although the vote was 51.6% in favour of a Scottish Assembly, with a turnout of 63.6%, the majority represented only 32.9% of the eligible voting population.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, demand for a Scottish Parliament grew, in part because the government of the United Kingdom was controlled by the Conservative Party, while Scotland itself elected few Conservative MPs. In the aftermath of the 1979 referendum defeat, the Campaign for a Scottish Assembly was initiated as a pressure group, leading to the 1989 Scottish Constitutional Convention with various organisations such as Scottish churches, political parties and representatives of industry taking part. Publishing its blueprint for devolution in 1995, the Convention provided much of the basis for the structure of the Parliament. Devolution continued to be part of the platform of the Labour Party which, in May 1997, took power under Tony Blair. In September 1997, the Scottish devolution referendum was put to the Scottish electorate and secured a majority in favour of the establishment of a new devolved Scottish Parliament, with tax-varying powers, in Edinburgh. An election was held on 6 May 1999, on 1 July of that year power was transferred from Westminster to the new Parliament.
Since September 2004, the official home of the Scottish Parliament has been a new Scottish Parliament Building, in the Holyrood area of Edinburgh. The Scottish Parliament building was designed by Spanish architect Enric Miralles in partnership with local Ed
South Uist is the second-largest island of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. At the 2011 census, it had a resident population of 1,754: a decrease of 64 since 2001; the island, in common with the rest of the Hebrides, is one of the last remaining strongholds of the Gaelic language in Scotland and the population – South Uist's inhabitants are known in Gaelic as Deasaich – is about 90% Roman Catholic. The island is home to a nature reserve and a number of sites of archaeological interest, including one, the only location in Great Britain where prehistoric mummies have been found. In the northwest, there is a missile testing range. In 2006 South Uist, together with neighbouring Benbecula and Eriskay, was involved in Scotland's biggest-ever community land buyout; the west is machair with a continuous sandy beach, whilst the east coast is mountainous with the peaks of Beinn Mhòr 620 metres and Hecla 606 metres. The main village on the island is Lochboisdale, from which ferries sail to Oban on the mainland and to Castlebay on Barra.
The island is linked to Benbecula by causeways. Smaller settlements include Daliburgh and Ludag. South Uist has a bedrock of Lewisian Gneiss, high-grade regional metamorphism dating back to 2,900 million years ago in the Archaean; some show granulite facies metamorphism, but most are the lower temperature amphibolite facies. These formed part of the Earth's deep ancient crust, left here; these are the oldest rocks in the British Isles today and they have been brought to the surface by tectonic movements. They now bear the scars of the last glaciation. Mac an Tàilleir suggests that the derivation of Uist may be "corn island". However, whilst noting that the vist ending would have been familiar to speakers of Old Norse as meaning "dwelling", Gammeltoft says that the word is "of non-Gaelic origin" and that it reveals itself as one of a number of "foreign place-names having undergone adaptation in Old Norse". South Uist was home to a thriving Neolithic community; the island is covered in several neolithic remains, such as burial cairns, a small number of standing stones, of which the largest—standing 17 feet tall—is in the centre of the island, at the northern edge of Beinn A' Charra.
Occupation continued into the Chalcolithic, as evidenced by a number of Beaker finds throughout the island. In the Bronze Age, a man was mummified, placed on display at Cladh Hallan, parts being replaced over the centuries. Together they are the only known prehistoric mummies in the British Isles. Towards the end of the Bronze Age, the mummies were buried, a row of roundhouses built on top of them. Cladh Hallan was not abandoned until the late Iron Age. At around that time, in the 2nd century BC, a broch was built at Dun Vulan. After the 2nd century AD, the Dun Vulan broch was converted into a three-roomed house. At a similar time, a wheelhouse was constructed at Kilpheder. In the 9th century, Vikings invaded South Uist, along with the rest of the Hebrides, the gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata to the south, established the Kingdom of the Isles throughout these lands. A short Ogham inscription has been found in Bornish, inscribed on a piece of animal bone, dating from this era. Following Norwegian unification, the Kingdom of the Isles became a crown dependency of the Norwegian king.
Malcolm III of Scotland acknowledged in writing that Suðreyjar was not Scottish, king Edgar quitclaimed any residual doubts. At Kilpheder, the roundhouses were abandoned in favour of Norse longhouses; as indicated by archaeological finds, residents had access to a wide trading network, stretching throughout the Norwegian empire, as well as adjacent lands like Ireland. However, in the mid-12th century, Somerled, a Norse-Gael of uncertain origin, launched a coup, which made Suðreyjar independent. Following his death, Norwegian authority was nominally restored, but in practice the kingdom was divided between Somerled's heirs, the dynasty that Somerled had deposed; the MacRory, a branch of Somerled's heirs, ruled Uist, as well as Barra, Eigg, Rùm, the Rough Bounds, Bute and northern Jura. A small monastery was established at Howmore. In the 13th century, despite Edgar's quitclaim, Scottish forces attempted to conquer parts of Suðreyjar, culminating in the indecisive Battle of Largs. In 1266, the matter was settled by the Treaty of Perth, which transferred the whole of Suðreyjar to Scotland, in exchange for a large sum of money.
The Treaty expressly preserved the status of the rulers of Suðreyjar. Following this, the Norse longhouses were abandoned, in favour of new Blackhouses and a new parish church was built at Howmore for South Uist. At the turn of the century, William I had created the position of Sheriff of Inverness, to be responsible for the Scottish highlands, which theoretically now extended to Garmoran. In 1293, king John Balliol established the Sheriffdom of Skye, which