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As a council, our activities touch the lives of everyone living in our island community, from schools to the care of the elderly, from rubbish collection to maintaining the county’s roads and from caring for burial grounds to handling planning applications. Orkney Islands Council (OIC) has an impact on many aspects of everyday life. With around 1,800 staff, we are also the county’s biggest employer.

All pages for the Council section of this website can be accessed from the 'More pages in this section' menu. The Council areas are:

Finding Public Service Information

For detailed information on the services we provide, please explore the Service Directory or the A-Z index to locate the information you require. Popular topics can be found using the Online Services section.

If you need further assistance, visit our contact us web page to view the options for contacting Orkney Islands Council.

Commitment to High Quality Services

With such wide ranging responsibilities, we are committed to providing good-value, high quality services across the county. That commitment means we are continually looking for ways to improve the way we work.


OIC is Britain’s smallest local authority - but we lead the way in Scotland in providing all the council services used by the people of the county. Set up in 1975, the Council was one of the 3 original all-purpose authorities in Scotland, and became a model for the delivery of local government across the nation – a model used in the creation of 29 similar single-tier authorities in 1996.

Open Government

We are well aware that local authorities can be seen by some as remote, mysterious and bound up in red tape. But the principle of open government is important to us. Debates in the council chamber are often lively affairs, widely reported in the local media, and can be watched in comfort from a public gallery. We hope that you will be able to use this website to find out more about us – and to get involved in shaping the way we work.

Serving the Public

We never forget that we are here to serve the public, with a big role to play in improving the quality of life enjoyed by people throughout the islands. We work closely with organisations like Highlands and Islands Enterprise, NHS Orkney and Orkney Housing Association and we respond to feedback from community councils.

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS