Public appointment: Chair and Commissioners appointed to Boundaries Scotland

Public appointments news release

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The Minister for Parliamentary Business today announced the appointment of Ailsa Henderson as Chair and of Martin Smith and Alan Stewart as Commissioners of Boundaries Scotland.


Ailsa Henderson is Professor of Political Science at the University of Edinburgh. She is currently a member of the Boundary Commission for Scotland and current deputy chair of Boundaries Scotland.


Martin Smith is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde and the Open University, he spent most of his career in further and higher education management. Martin Smith worked at the University of Strathclyde before moving to the University of Paisley (now the University of the West of Scotland) as Director of Planning and Development. He then held a number of senior roles within the Scottish Funding Council (SFC - the body responsible to the Scottish Government for funding Scotland’s colleges and universities). Martin Smith is an experienced leader in

funding policy and information management. At SFC he lead the Funding and the Data Collection & Analytical Teams. Throughout his career he has specialised in data collection and analytics as well as financial planning and had responsibility for the publication of Official and National Statistics covering further and higher education in Scotland

Alan Stewart is a graduate of Glasgow University with an honours degree in modern history and politics. Alan has considerable regulatory experience in different sectors including education, sport and communications. He was Head of the Independent Television Commission in Scotland before moving into the Office of Communications (Ofcom) as Head of Broadcasting for Scotland. These roles involved analysing the performance of licensed broadcasters and leading consultations with a wide range of stakeholders across Scotland to ensure awareness of their concerns and priorities. Alan also has non-executive board experience gained from his involvement with two charities - Falkirk Community Trust and Forth Environment Link. He is a current member of Ofcom’s Community Radio Fund Panel.


These appointments will be for four years and will run from 1 June 2023 to 31 May 2027

These appointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.


Ailsa Henderson’s appointment is part-time and attracts a remuneration of £8,328 for a time commitment of 24 days per year.

Martin Smith and Alan Stewart’s appointments are part-time and attract a remuneration of £5,256 for a time commitment of 24 days per year.

Other ministerial appointments

Ailsa Henderson is a Member of the Boundary Commission for Scotland for which she receives remuneration of £505.50 per day, for a time commitment of less than one day per month.

Martin Smith and Alan Stewart do not hold any other public appointments.

Political activity

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.  However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public.   

Ailsa Henderson, Martin Smith and Alan Stewart have had no political activity within the last five years.


Boundaries Scotland is responsible for carrying out reviews of

  • the boundaries of local authority areas;
  • carrying out reviews of electoral wards for local authorities;
  • responding to requests for reviews of electoral wards or local authority areas; and
  • carrying out reviews of constituencies and regions for the Scottish Parliament.

Boundaries Scotland is an Advisory Non-departmental Public Body sponsored and wholly funded by the Scottish Government. It is an independent, non-political body created by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973. Full details of the legislation surrounding the Commission's work are available on the Legislation page.

Boundaries Scotland is supported in its work by a small Secretariat.

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