Lothian (, archaic Gaelic: Labhdaidh) is a region of the Scottish Lowlands, lying between the southern shore of the Firth of Forth and the Lammermuir Hills. The principal settlement is the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. Other significant towns include Livingston, Bathgate, Linlithgow, South Queensferry, Haddington, Tranent, North Berwick, Musselburgh, Dalkeith, Bonnyrigg and Dunbar.
Historically, the term Lothian is used for a province encompassing the present area plus the Scottish Borders region. In the 7th century it came under the control of the Anglian Bernicia, the northern part of the later Kingdom of Northumbria, for a time, but the Anglian grip on Lothian was quickly weakened following the Battle of Dun Nechtain in which they were defeated by the Picts. Lothian's distinction from Northumbria is indicated in the survival of its original Brittonic Celtic name, used even by English chroniclers. In 1018 AD Lothian was annexed by the Kingdom of Scotland.
Lothian Regional Council (1975–1996)
The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 abolished the counties and burghs as local government units, replacing them with regions and districts. Lothian Regional Council formally took over responsibility in May 1975. It was split into four districts: East, Mid and West Lothian, and the City of Edinburgh. The former had more or less identical boundaries to the old county of East Lothian, but West Lothian and Midlothian had large amounts of land taken from them to form the City of Edinburgh district. Towns such as Queensferry and Currie which had formerly been burghs of Mid and West Lothian, were now administered as part of Edinburgh, though they were geographically separate from the Capital.
The council was responsible for education, social work, water, sewerage, transport (including local buses within Edinburgh).
The two-tier system of local government was ended by the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994, resulting in the abolition of Lothian Regional Council, and its replacement by a unitary system of local government. The former districts of the Lothian region became the basis for the new unitary councils. The last convener of Lothian Regional Council was Eric Milligan, who later served as Lord Provost of Edinburgh. Lothian Regional Council also organised a series of lectures known as the Lothian Lectures. A notable speaker was Mikhail Gorbachev.
Lothian Joint Valuation Board handles valuation and electoral registration in the region. Lothian Health Board (NHS) was not a local government responsibility.