West Lothian

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West Lothian
Wast Lowden
Lodainn an Iar
West Lothian in Scotland.svg
Coat of arms of West LothianWast LowdenLodainn an Iar
Coat of arms
Official logo of West LothianWast LowdenLodainn an Iar
Coordinates: Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Admin HQ Livingston
 • Body West Lothian Council
 • Control TBA (council NOC)
 • MPs
 • MSPs
 • Total 165 sq mi (427 km2)
Area rank Ranked 20th
Population (2010 est.)
 • Total 175,000
 • Rank Ranked 9th
 • Density 1,040/sq mi (402/km2)
ONS code 00RH
ISO 3166 code GB-WLN
Website http://www.westlothian.gov.uk/
West Lothian
County (until circa 1890)
Country Scotland
County town Linlithgow
 • Total 310.8 km2 (120.0 sq mi)
  Ranked 32nd
Chapman code WLN

West Lothian (Scots: Wast Lowden , Scottish Gaelic: Lodainn an Iar) is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, and a historic county (which was also known as Linlithgowshire). It borders the City of Edinburgh, Falkirk, North Lanarkshire, the Scottish Borders and South Lanarkshire.

The council area was created in 1996, under the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994, with the boundaries of the West Lothian district of the Lothian region.



Coat of Arms

The coat of arms is blazoned:

Party per fess argent and azure, a fess counterchanged between in chief a shale bing of five peaks gules and in base an oak tree fructed on a mount Or; the whole surrounded by a bordure argent charged with, in middle chief, a pellet charged with a Maltese cross argent, in dexter chief, a badger’s head contourny erased proper, in sinister chief, a boar’s head erased, in dexter fess, a tower, in sinister fess, a clarion, and in middle base, a lozenge, all sable. The shield is supported on the dexter by a lizard vert and on the sinister by a bitch sable, both armed and langued gules, the latter gorged of a collar wherefrom is issuant a chain reflexing over her back and binding her to base Or; for crest is the coronet of an area council, and for motto: 'Aye for the Common Weal'.

The lizard represents the westlothiana, an extinct genus of reptile discovered in Bathgate, while the bitch is taken from the arms of Linlithgow, West Lothian's county town. The red hills are bings, large spoil tips left over from the shale industry.

The motto is in Scots; in standard English it would be 'Always for the Common Good'.

Former status


The county of West Lothian was called Linlithgowshire or the County of Linlithgow until 1921.

Before it was abolished in 1975 by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, the county contained six burghs. Two are now outside the West Lothian unitary council area:

Burgh Unitary council area
Armadale West Lothian
Bo'ness Falkirk
South Queensferry City of Edinburgh

On abolition in 1975 the county, with the exception of the Bo'ness area, was included in the Lothian Region. Bo'ness became part of the Central Region. Lothian Region was divided into four districts, one of which was named West Lothian and approximated to the former county.


West Lothian District was created in 1975, comprising the county of West Lothian; less the burghs of Bo'ness and South Queensferry and the Kirkliston area; it also included the East Calder and West Calder districts of the former county of Midlothian. The council's headquarters were originally in Bathgate, later moving to the new town of Livingston. The unitary authority created in 1996 used the same boundaries.

Areas of West Lothian

Livingston: East Calder, West Calder, Mid Calder, Wilkieston, Pumpherston, Knightsridge, Carmondean, Deans, Eliburn, Ladywell, Craigshill, Howden, Dedridge, Murieston, Adambrae, Livingston Village, DeerPark

Broxburn: Uphall, Winchburgh, Ecclesmachan, Dechmont, Bridgend

Bathgate: Armadale, Whitburn, Fauldhouse, Longridge, Torphichen, Blackburn, Seafield

Places of interest

See also the pages of the West Lothian Archaeological Trust

Mentions in popular culture

The West Lothian question is often said to have been raised by Tam Dalyell, then member of Parliament for the former West Lothian constituency, in his 1977 book Devolution: The End of Britain? However, in the debate on the Referendum (English Parliament) Bill (HC Deb 16 January 1998 vol 304 cc589-660) Dalyell refers to the "so-called West Lothian question, as it was dubbed by Enoch Powell, not by me, in 1977",[1] denying this.

Famous people from West Lothian include:

Town twinnings

Livingston and West Lothian are twinned with Grapevine, Texas, in the USA, and Hochsauerland in Germany.[citation needed]

Council political composition

Party Councillors
Labour 16
Scottish National Party 15
Conservative 1
Independent 1

Youth participation

West Lothian Youth Congress

West Lothian has a formal structure for engaging with young people and including them in the decision making process. The West Lothian Youth congress is a constituted group of young people between the ages of 12 and 26. It includes 2 democratically elected representatives from each of West Lothian’s High schools as well as young people representing youth/ specific interest groups, community councils or local areas from across West Lothian. The Youth Congress meets on a Tuesday evening every 4 to 6 weeks in the Council chambers of the West Lothian civic centre between 7PM and 9PM. The Congress is a full community planning partner and played an integral role in developing West Lothian’s 2010 community plan. The Congress also elects West Lothian’s 4 Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament who are elected to represent West Lothian’s young people at a national level.

Scottish Youth Parliament

The Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) is a body set up to represent Scotland’s young people. Its members are aged between 14 and 26 and are elected from Scottish parliamentary constituencies with each Member of the Scottish Parliament being shadowed by 2 Members of the Scottish Youth parliament. There are also representatives from several voluntary organisations. West Lothian has four Scottish youth parliament seats as it comprises two Scottish parliamentary constituencies. West Lothian’s current MSYP’s are:

Dean Williamson - Linlithgow constituency
Sarah Devlin - Almond Valley constituency
Ryan Twaddle - Linlithgow constituency
Sarah Thomson - Almond Valley constituency


  1. "Referendum (English Parliament) Bill (Hansard, 16 January 1998)". Hansard.millbanksystems.com. Retrieved 2010-09-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Singing Talent of Susan Boyle Stuns Simon Cowell, Times of London Archived May 30, 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  3. Leigh Holmwood (14 April 2009). "Britain's got talent hits high note,'". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2010-09-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links