Siorrachd Àir a Deas
|Coordinates: 55°17′N4°42′W / 55.283°N 4.700°W Coordinates: 55°17′N4°42′W / 55.283°N 4.700°W|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Lieutenancy area||Ayrshire and Arran|
|• Body||South Ayrshire Council|
|• Control||Conservative (council NOC)|
|• Total||472 sq mi (1,222 km2)|
|• Rank||Ranked 15th|
|• Rank||Ranked 19th|
|• Density||240/sq mi (92/km2)|
|ISO 3166 code||GB-SAY|
South Ayrshire (Scots : Sooth Ayrshire; Scottish Gaelic : Siorrachd Àir a Deas, pronounced [ˈʃirˠəxk ə tʲes̪] ) is one of thirty-two council areas of Scotland, covering the southern part of Ayrshire. It borders onto Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire and North Ayrshire. The area had an estimated population in 2021 of 112,450. 
South Ayrshire was created in 1996 under the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994, which replaced Scotland's previous local government structure of upper-tier regions and lower-tier districts with unitary council areas providing all local government services. South Ayrshire covered the same area as the abolished Kyle and Carrick district, and also took over the functions of the abolished Strathclyde Regional Council within the area.  The area's name references its location within the historic county of Ayrshire, which had been abolished for local government purposes in 1975 when Kyle and Carrick district and Strathclyde region had been created. 
In 2021, South Ayrshire submitted a bid for city status as part of the 2022 Platinum Jubilee Celebrations. The bid was based on the area's rich history and links to royalty, and received backing from organisations and businesses including Ayrshire College and Scottish Enterprise.  The bid was ultimately unsuccessful, with eight other settlements across the UK, overseas territories and crown dependencies being awarded city status, including Scottish town Dunfermline. 
Geographically, South Ayrshire is located on the western coast of Scotland, sharing borders with neighbouring local authorities East Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway and North Ayrshire. The climate in South Ayrshire, typical of that in western Scotland, is milder than that of eastern Scotland due to the stronger maritime influence, as the prevailing winds blow from the sea into South Ayrshire, which is located primarily on the western coast of Scotland. The warm Gulf Stream also has a strong influence on western Scotland. With winds mainly blowing from the sea the annual mean temperatures are in the range 9.5 to 9.9 °C (49.1 to 49.8 °F) in coastal areas of South Ayrshire such as Ayr and Troon.
The sea reaches its lowest temperature in February or early March so that on average February is the coldest month in some coastal parts of South Ayrshire along with the Rhins of Galloway, Kintyre and the Hebrides. In February the mean daily minimum temperature varies from about 2 °C in most of the islands, 1 to 2 °C along most of the Solway Firth and lowland inland areas, but less than −1 °C in parts of the Southern Uplands and central Highlands. Inland, where the influence of the sea is less, January is the coldest month with mean daily minimum temperatures generally between −3 and 0 °C. 
The number of hours of natural sunshine in South Ayrshire is controlled by the length of day and by cloudiness. In general, December is the dullest month and May or June the sunniest. Sunshine duration decreases with increasing altitude, increasing latitude and distance from the coast. Local topography also exerts a strong influence and in the winter deep glens and north-facing slopes can be in shade for long periods. Industrial pollution and smoke haze can also reduce sunshine amounts, but the decline in heavy industry in the Ayrshire area, primarily in Ayr in South Ayrshire along with Kilmarnock in East Ayrshire, has resulted in an increase in sunshine duration particularly in the winter months. 
Average annual rainfall totals range from less than 1,000 mm (39 in) in the upper Clyde valley and along the coasts of Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway to on average over 3,500 mm (140 in) over the higher parts of the west Highlands, approaching the maximum values found in the UK (over 4,000 millimetres or 160 inches further north). 
South Ayrshire's population is mostly concentrated around the adjoining coastal towns of Ayr, Prestwick and Troon located to the north-west of the council, which represents 68% of the council's total population according to data derived from the 2011 census, with a combined population of 76,846. Other areas of significance include the towns of Maybole and Girvan which are located to the south of the council area in the district of Carrick.
A list of settlements in South Ayrshire may be found below:
The economy of South Ayrshire, like many other areas, was badly affected during the worldwide financial crisis from 2009–2012. Despite this, total Gross Value Added for South Ayrshire has seen a steady increase over the last 20 years, reaching a peak in 2015 of £2.4 million. South Ayrshire’s GVA represents 1.9% of the total Scottish Gross Value Added income which is consistent with the previous 20 years. The largest employment industry in South Ayrshire and Scotland is the public administration, education and health sector. Compared with Scotland, proportionally there are more South Ayrshire residents employed in this sector than Scotland, while there are proportionally fewer employed in banking, finance and insurance sector than Scotland. Despite being a costal area, the smallest employment in South Ayrshire is in the agriculture and fishing sector. 
The council and its neighbours of East Ayrshire and North Ayrshire work together on economic growth as the Ayrshire Regional Economic Partnership, with support from the Scottish and UK governments and other private and public sector organisations. 
Educational provision in South Ayrshire is offered via eight secondary schools, forty-one primary schools, two special needs schools and five stand-alone Early Years Centres (although some primary schools have Early Years Centres attached).   In terms of early years provision, there are also a number of private establishments which are operated in conjunction with South Ayrshire Council, rather than managed and operated entirely by the council.  Based on figures from the 2016-2017 academic year, within South Ayrshire, there were 6,091 secondary school aged pupils,  7,855 primary school aged pupils  and 251 pupils attending special educational needs provision establishments. 
since 19 May 2022
since 19 May 2022
since May 2013 
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|Single transferable vote|
|6 May 2022|
County Buildings, Wellington Square, Ayr, KA7 1DR
The council has been under no overall control since 2003, in which time various coalitions and minority administrations have operated. Since the last election in 2022, the council has been led by a Conservative minority administration which took office with support from two independent councillors and abstentions from Labour.  The next election is due in 2027.
The council's civic head takes the title of provost. This is a largely ceremonial role, chairing council meetings and acting as the area's first citizen. Although an elected councillor, the provost is expected to be politically impartial.  Political leadership is provided by the leader of the council.
The first election to South Ayrshire Council was held in 1995, initially operating as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing authorities until the new system came into force on 1 April 1996. Political control of the council since 1996 has been as follows: 
|Party in control||Years|
|No overall control||2003–|
The leaders of the council since 1996 have been:  
|Ian Welsh ||Labour||1 Apr 1996||6 May 1999|
|John Baillie||Labour||20 May 1999||Jun 2000|
|Andy Hill||Labour||22 Jun 2000||Nov 2005|
|Gibson MacDonald||Conservative||15 Dec 2005||May 2007|
|Hugh Hunter||Conservative||2007||Jan 2010|
|Bill McIntosh||Conservative||3 Feb 2010||May 2017|
|Douglas Campbell||SNP||18 May 2017||Jun 2020|
|Peter Henderson||SNP||25 Jun 2020||May 2022|
|Martin Dowey||Conservative||19 May 2022|
Since 2007 elections have been held every five years under the single transferable vote system, introduced by the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004. Election results since 1995 have been as follows: 
|Year||Seats||Conservative||SNP||Labour||Independent / Other||Notes|
|1999||30||13||0||17||0||New ward boundaries.  Labour majority|
|2007||30||12||8||9||1||New ward boundaries. |
|2017||28||12||9||5||2||New ward boundaries. |
The council is based at County Buildings on Wellington Square in Ayr, which had been built in 1931 as the headquarters for the old Ayrshire County Council, being an extension to the older Sheriff Court built in 1818.   When South Ayrshire Council was created in 1996 it inherited the former Kyle and Carrick District Council's offices at Burns House on Burns Statue Square in Ayr as well as County Buildings, the latter having been used between 1975 and 1996 as an area office for Strathclyde Regional Council.  In 2019 the council consolidated its offices into County Buildings. Burns House was subsequently demolished in 2021, creating a new open space, landscaped with funding from the Scottish Government. 
Since 2017 the area has been divided into eight wards, all electing either three or four councillors: 
South Ayrshire forms part of two UK Parliamentary constituencies, listed below:
|Constituency||Member of Parliament||Extent of constituency|
|Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock||Allan Dorans||SNP||Covering Ayr, Carrick and Coylton, alongside Cumnock and Doon Valley in East Ayrshire.|
|Central Ayrshire||Philippa Whitford||SNP||Covering Prestwick, Troon and Kyle, alongside Irvine and south-east Kilwinning in North Ayrshire|
Constituency MSPs South Ayrshire forms part of two Scottish Parliamentary constituency seats, listed below:
|Constituency||Member of Scottish Parliament||Extent of constituency|
|Ayr||Siobhian Brown||SNP||Covering Ayr, Prestwick and Troon.|
|Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley||Elena Whitham||SNP||Covering Kyle and Carrick outside of Ayr, Prestwick and Troon, alongside Ballochmyle, Cumnock and Doon Valley in East Ayrshire.|
Regional List MSPs As part of the South Scotland electoral region, South Ayrshire is represented by 7 regional MSPs who are elected to represent the entire South Scotland region – all regional list MSPs elected for the South Scotland region are listed below:
|South Scotland||Sharon Dowey||Conservative|
|Emma Harper||Scottish National|
At the 2014 Scottish independence referendum South Ayrshire rejected independence by an above-average margin of 57.9% "No" to 42.1% "Yes". With a turnout of 86.1%, there were 34,402 "Yes" votes and 47,247 "No" votes. Nationally 55.3% of voters voted "No" in the referendum compared to 44.7%, who voted "Yes" – resulting in Scotland remaining a devolved part of the United Kingdom.  
At the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum a majority of voters in South Ayrshire voted for the United Kingdom to remain a member of the European Union (EU), with 59% of voters in South Ayrshire voting for the United Kingdom to remain a member of the EU and 41% voting for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. With a turnout of 69.8%, 36,265 votes were cast for remain and 25,241 were cast for leave. 62% of Scottish voters voted remain whilst 38% voted leave, whilst nationally 51.8% of voters in the United Kingdom as a whole voting to leave and 48.2% voting to remain.  
Ayrshire is a historic county and registration county in south-west Scotland, located on the shores of the Firth of Clyde. Its principal towns include Ayr, Kilmarnock and Irvine and it borders the counties of Renfrewshire and Lanarkshire to the north-east, Dumfriesshire to the south-east, and Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire to the south. Like many other counties of Scotland it currently has no administrative function, instead being sub-divided into the council areas of East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire and South Ayrshire. It has a population of approximately 366,800.
Ayr is a town situated on the southwest coast of Scotland. It is the administrative centre of the South Ayrshire council area and the historic county town of Ayrshire. With a population of 46,982 Ayr is the 16th largest settlement in Scotland and second largest town in Ayrshire by population. The town is contiguous with the smaller town of Prestwick to the north.
Troon is a town in South Ayrshire, situated on the west coast of Ayrshire in Scotland, about eight miles north of Ayr and three miles northwest of Glasgow Prestwick Airport.
Kyle and Carrick was one of nineteen local government districts in the Strathclyde region of Scotland from 1975 to 1996.
Kyle is a former comital district of Scotland which stretched across parts of modern-day East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire. It is supposedly named after Coel Hen, a legendary king of the Britons, who is said to be buried under a mound at Coylton.
Ayr, Carrick, and Cumnock is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was created for the 2005 general election from parts of the old Ayr and Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley constituencies. It has been represented since 2019 by Allan Dorans of the Scottish National Party.
Central Ayrshire is a constituency of the British House of Commons, located in the south-west of Scotland within the North Ayrshire and South Ayrshire council areas. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) at least once every five years using the first-past-the-post system of voting.
Ayr was a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1950 to 2005. It elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first-past-the-post system of election.
South Ayrshire was a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1868 until 1983, when it was abolished. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP), elected by the first past the post voting system.
Ayr is a burgh constituency of the Scottish Parliament (Holyrood) covering the town of Ayr in the council area of South Ayrshire. It elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) via the plurality electoral system. It is also one of nine constituencies in the South Scotland electoral region which elects seven additional members to the Scottish Parliament via a proportional electoral system known as the Additional Members System which allows for greater accuracy in representation for the region as a whole.
Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley is a county constituency of the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood, covering parts of the council areas of South Ayrshire and East Ayrshire. It elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) by the plurality method of election. Also, it is one of nine constituencies in the South Scotland electoral region, which elects seven additional members, in addition to the nine constituency MSPs, to produce a form of proportional representation for the region as a whole.
Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley was a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1983 until 2005. Half of the constituency was incorporated into the new Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock constituency, with the remainder incorporated into the new Central Ayrshire constituency and the expanded Kilmarnock and Loudoun constituency.
The Glasgow South Western Line is a mainline railway in Scotland that runs from Glasgow to Kilmarnock, and then either Carlisle via Dumfries, or Stranraer via Ayr, with a branch to East Kilbride.
The Ayrshire Post is a weekly Scottish local newspaper serving the communities of South Ayrshire and parts of East Ayrshire with local news, issues and sports coverage. The Ayrshire Post primarily serves the towns of Ayr, Prestwick, Troon, Cumnock, Maybole, Girvan and their surrounding communities.
Doonfoot is a suburb in the south-west of Ayr, South Ayrshire.
The 2017 local council election to South Ayrshire Council was held on Thursday 4 May 2017, on the same day as the 31 other local authorities in Scotland. It was the third successive Local Council election in South Ayrshire to run under the STV Electoral System. Following the election, a coalition administration was formed between the SNP, Labour and Independent councillors, despite the fact that the Conservatives remained the largest party on the council, increasing their lead over the SNP by 2 seats.
Elections to South Ayrshire Council took place on 5 May 2022 on the same day as the 31 other Scottish local government elections. The election used the eight wards created following the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland's fifth review, with 28 councillors elected. Each ward elected either three or four members, using the STV electoral system.