About The Council

East Ayrshire

East Ayrshire is a diverse area covering 490 square miles with a population of 122,440 spread over both urban and rural communities. Kilmarnock is the largest town, with a population of around 44,000. The rest of the population live in smaller communities, ranging from less than a hundred people in some villages and rural areas to around 9,000 in Cumnock, the second largest town. Situated in south west Scotland, East Ayrshire has a varied natural environment, a rich and diverse cultural heritage, a proud industrial history and a range of leisure activities, recreation and hospitality, which attract residents and visitors alike.

Our vision

“East Ayrshire is a place with strong, safe and vibrant communities where everyone has a good quality of life and access to opportunities, choices and high quality services which are sustainable, accessible and meet people's needs.” 

Our priorities

Our communities sit at the very heart of everything we do and they have helped us shape our priorities for the next three years (2021-24):

  • Ayrshire Growth Deal and community wealth building
  • Care for East Ayrshire
  • Children and young people
  • Inclusive economic growth
  • Community wellbeing
  • Sustainability and the environment
  • Renewal and transformation
  • Poverty and equality
  • COVID-19 pandemic recovery

Who’s who in East Ayrshire Council

Chief Officers

Chief Executive

Eddie Fraser

Depute Chief Executive 

Katie Kelly

Director of East Ayrshire Council Health and Social Care Partnership

Craig McArthur

Head of Finance and ICT 

Joe McLachlan

Head of Education

Linda McAulay-Griffiths

Head of Human Resources

Amanda Lowe

Head of Planning and Economic Development 

David McDowall

Head of Housing & Communities

Blair Millar

East Ayrshire has nine multi-member wards, five wards with four members and four wards with three members, giving a total of 32 councillors.

Elected Members

Leader of the Council

Cllr Douglas Reid

Depute Leader of the Council

Cllr Jim McMahon


Cllr Jim Todd

Depute Provost

Cllr Claire Leitch

Portfolio Responsibilities

Strategic Planning, Covid Recovery, Community Wealth Building and Regeneration

Cllr Douglas Reid

Community Safety, Roads and Transportation & Community Cohesion

Cllr Neal Ingram

Housing, Welfare and Poverty, Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Addiction & Recovery

Cllr Jim McMahon

Lifelong Learning, Education and Skills and Culture

Cllr Elaine Cowan

Planning, Human Resources & Property

Cllr Claire Maitland

Finance and Digital

Cllr Iain Linton

Children and Young People, Net Zero, Environment, Climate Change, Equalities and Inclusion

Cllr Graham Barton

For information about Council meetings and how the Council works, including decisions, elections, wards and the East Ayrshire Community Planning Partnership, please visit About the Council page on our website

Any journalist wishing to contact an elected member should contact the Communications Team in the first instance. Please email: Communications.PR@east-ayrshire.gov.uk