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Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England

Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England
County (England)

Lieutenancies. Later changes in legislation during the 1980s and 1990s have allowed counties without county councils and ’unitary authority’ counties of a single district. Counties for the purposes of Lieutenancies are now defined separately, based on the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties. It is planned that during 2009 there will be further changes in some areas.

Current metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England
Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England

Location Found in Created by Created Number Possible types

England Region
Local Government Act 1972

1974 81 (as at 2008) multiple district (41) single district (40)

Possible status

metropolitan (6) non-metropolitan (75) with county council (34)


Metropolitan district Non-metropolitan district

Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties are one of the four levels of subdivisions of England used for the purposes of local government outside Greater London. As originally constituted, the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties each consisted of multiple districts, had a county council and were also the counties for the purposes of

1. Northumberland 29. Warrington *

55. Worcestershire


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2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Tyne and Wear † Durham

Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England

56. Herefordshire * • Sovereign 57. South Gloucestershire Elizabeth II • Queen Cumbria * • Government of England Lancashire Wrekin * 58. Bristol *• West Lothian question Blackpool * 33. Staffordshire 59. North Somerset * • Devolution proposals Blackburn with 34. Stoke-on-Trent * 60. Bath and North East Government Offices Darwen * 35. West Midlands † Somerset * Regional Assemblies in England • 8. West Yorkshire † 36. Warwickshire 61. Wiltshire Regional Development Agency • 9. North Yorkshire 37. Leicestershire 62. Swindon * Greater London Authority • 10. Darlington * 38. Leicester * 63. Berkshire ‡Regions of England • 11. Stockton-on-Tees 39. Rutland * 64. Greater London ¹ • Greater London * 40. Northamptonshire65. Medway * • South East 12. Middlesbrough * 41. Peterborough * 66. Kent • South West 13. Hartlepool * 42. Cambridgeshire 67. East Sussex West Midlands • 14. Redcar and 43. Norfolk 68. Brighton & • North West Hove * Cleveland * 44. Suffolk 69. West Sussex North East • 15. York * 45. Essex 70. Surrey • Yorkshire and the Humber 16. East Riding of 46. Southend-on-Sea 71. Hampshire • East Midlands Yorkshire * * 72. Southampton *Eastern • 17. Hull * 47. Thurrock * 73. Portsmouth * & Justice Law 18. North 48. Hertfordshire 74. Isle of Wight * • Courts of England Lincolnshire * 49. Bedfordshire 75. Dorset • English law 19. North East 50. Luton * 76. Poole * England in the UK Lincolnshire * 51. Milton Keynes * 77. BournemouthMajesty’s Government Her * 20. Lincolnshire 52. Buckinghamshire 78. Somerset Acts • 21. Nottinghamshire 53. Oxfordshire 79. Devon • Constituencies 22. Nottingham * 54. Gloucestershire 80. Torbay * Elections: 1979, 1983, 1987, 1992, • 23. South Yorkshire † 81. Plymouth * 1997, 2001, 2005, 2009/10 24. Derbyshire 82. Cornwall England in the EU 25. Derby * European Parliament 26. Greater • European Parliament constituency Manchester † • London 27. Merseyside † • South East England 28. Halton * • South West England • West Midlands • North West England * unitary authority • North East England † metropolitan county (no county council) • Yorkshire and the Humber ‡ non-metropolitan county with no county • East Midlands council • East of England ¹ ’administrative area’ and region (not a • Elections: 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, county). 1999, 2004, 2009 Local Government Metropolitan counties • Subdivisions of England England • Counties
Other countries

30. Cheshire 31. Shropshire 32. Telford and

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Politics and government of England Government

The metropolitan counties are Greater Manchester, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, West Midlands and West Yorkshire. The counties typically have populations of 1.2 to 2.8 million.[1] The county councils of these were abolished in 1986 by the Thatcher government for largely political rather than practical


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Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England

reasons, but the counties themselves still exist legally.[2] They are used for some administrative and geographic purposes, and are still ceremonial counties. Most of the powers that the former county councils had were devolved to their metropolitan boroughs, which are now in effect unitary authorities; however, some functions (such as emergency services, civil defence and public transport) are still run jointly on a metropolitan-countywide basis.[3]

Unitary authorities
Unitary authorities are areas with only one council. 40 of these are coterminous with a non-metropolitan county: Bath and North East Somerset, Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Brighton and Hove, Bristol, Darlington, Derby, East Riding of Yorkshire, Halton, Hartlepool, Herefordshire, Isle of Wight, Kingston upon Hull, Leicester, Luton, Medway, Middlesbrough, Borough of Milton Keynes, North East Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, North Somerset, Nottingham, Peterborough, Plymouth, Poole, Portsmouth, Redcar and Cleveland, Rutland, South Gloucestershire, Southampton, Southend-onSea, Stockton-on-Tees, Stoke-on-Trent, Swindon, Telford and Wrekin, Thurrock, Torbay, Warrington, York Thirty-nine of these are defined as counties with a single district council, and no county council. The Isle of Wight is technically a county with a county council and no district councils, but the effect is the same. The districts of Berkshire are unitary authorities, but are not granted county status. The Isles of Scilly are not part of Cornwall for administrative purposes, but neither do they constitute a county.

Greater London
The Greater London administrative area and the Greater London Council were created in 1965 by the London Government Act 1963.[4] The Greater London Council was abolished in 1986 at the same time as the metropolitan county councils. Since 2000 Greater London has had an elected Assembly and Mayor, and forms the London region of England.

Non-metropolitan counties
Shire counties
A ’shire county’ is a non-metropolitan county that has multiple districts. Its name need not have ’shire’ in it. The term shire county is however unofficial. There are 35 such counties: Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Cornwall, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, Durham, East Sussex, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, North Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Sussex, Wiltshire, Worcestershire. All, apart from Berkshire, have county councils. Sometimes ’shire county’ is used to exclude Berkshire, because it has no county council. The counties have populations of 109,000 to 1.4 million.[1] Under local government reforms coming into effect in 2009, the number of such counties will be reduced. Bedfordshire and Cheshire will be split into three and two separate counties respectively, while Cornwall, County Durham, Northumberland, Shropshire and Wiltshire will became unitary authorities each of a single district.

The current system of metropolitan and nonmetropolitan counties came into effect on 1 April 1974 and replaced the administrative counties and county boroughs, which were abolished at that time. Greater London was created in 1965 under separate legislation. In the 1990s a new type of non-metropolitan county was created: the unitary authority, which combines the functions and powers of county and district. The existing non-metropolitan counties became known as shire counties to distinguish them from the unitary authorities.

Local Government Act 1972
By the late 1960s, it had become obvious that the structure of local government in England and Wales needed reforming. Harold Wilson’s Labour government set up the Redcliffe-Maud Commission to produce proposals for wholesale reform. The report proposed that for most of England the two-tier structure be abolished, and


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Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England
Northumberland, along with Sunderland in County Durham • West Midlands - Birmingham conurbation, including the Black Country and Coventry • West Yorkshire - Leeds-Bradford area in the West Riding Other significant changes were: • Avon formed from northern Somerset, southern Gloucestershire, and Bristol and Bath • Cleveland formed from southern Durham and northern part of the North Riding, focusing on the Teesside conurbation along with Guisborough and Hartlepool • Cumbria was formed from Westmorland, Cumberland and part of Lancashire and Yorkshire • Herefordshire and Worcestershire were merged into Hereford and Worcester • Humberside formed from eastern Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire • Huntingdon and Peterborough was annexed by Cambridgeshire • Rutland was merged into Leicestershire as a district • Vale of White Horse, including Berkshire’s former county town Abingdon, was ceded to Oxfordshire, as was the area around Wallingford and Didcot now comprising the western half of the South Oxfordshire District • Bournemouth was moved from Hampshire to Dorset, to join its sister town of Poole The changes were adopted by the Royal Mail for the purposes of postal addresses wherever they were able, with the notable exceptions of Hereford and Worcester and Greater Manchester. Humberside was divided for this purpose into North Humberside and South Humberside.

replaced with a system of 58 unitary authorities, which would generally ignore the previous administrative boundaries in favour of changes that made geographic sense - a total redrawing of the map. In the metropolitan areas of Merseyside, South East Lancashire and North East Cheshire, and the Birmingham area, there would be 3 metropolitan areas, with 20 district authorities. These proposals were opposed by the Conservative Party opposition led by Edward Heath. They won the 1970 general election, and set to work defining their own scheme. This scrapped the concept of unitary authorities (even for existing county boroughs) – the entire area of England and Wales was to be divided into uniform counties and districts. In England the new divisions were to be largely modelled on the existing counties with quite radical reforms put forward, even in some non-metropolitan areas. Despite reassurances from the government that nobody’s loyalties were expected to change as a result of the local government reform, many changes did incur significant local opposition. Most of the radical changes were withdrawn. One aspect the government stood firm on was the mergers of small counties. Campaigns for the continuation of Rutland and Herefordshire were unsuccessful, although due to its special geographic circumstances, the Isle of Wight was permitted to retain a separate county council, as opposed to being reunified with its historic county of Hampshire. The Local Government Act was passed in 1972, and defined the English counties and metropolitan districts, but not the non-metropolitan districts. These were set by a Boundary Commission that had already begun work.[5] The metropolitan counties were composed as follows: • Merseyside - based around Liverpool, south-west Lancashire, along with the Wirral in north-west Cheshire, on the other side of the River Mersey, • Greater Manchester - the Manchester urban area along with many surrounding towns • South Yorkshire - based upon the Sheffield-Rotherham area in the West Riding of Yorkshire • Tyne and Wear - the Tyneside conurbation based on Newcastle-upon-Tyne in

Map 1974-1996
Counties of England from 1974 to 1996


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. Durham 26. Cleveland 27. North Yorkshire 28. Cumbria 29. Lancashire 30. Merseyside 31. Greater 32.
Northumberland Tyne and Wear Manchester Norfolk Suffolk Essex Hertfordshire Bedfordshire Buckinghamshire Oxfordshire Gloucestershire Hereford and Worcester Avon Wiltshire Berkshire Greater London Kent East Sussex West Sussex Surrey Hampshire Isle of Wight Dorset Somerset Devon Cornwall

Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England

33. South Yorkshire 34. Humberside 35. Lincolnshire 36. Nottinghamshire 37. Derbyshire 38. Cheshire 39. Shropshire 40. Staffordshire 41. West Midlands 42. Warwickshire 43. Leicestershire 44. Northamptonshire45. Cambridgeshire 46.
West Yorkshire

1 April 1996 to 1 April 1997

Structure of subnational entities in England 1974 - 1990s County Metropolitan Non-metrolevel: county politan county District Metropolitan Non-metrolevel: district politan district Parish level: (Civil parish) (Civil parish) Greater London London borough n/a

Abolition of metropolitan county councils
In 1986 the county councils of the metropolitan counties and the Greater London Council were abolished by Margaret Thatcher’s government following disputes with central government, but the counties themselves remained legally in existence.

1 April 1997 to 1 April 1998 The 1990s led to the restoration of county boroughs under a new name, unitary authorities, which radically changed the administrative map of England. The changes were carried out in several waves.

Local Government Act 1992


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Non-metropolitan county Bedford (borough) Bedfordshire Central Bedfordshire Cheshire Cheshire East Cheshire West and Chester

Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England
Action Also becomes a non-metropolitan county[6] Abolished[6] New non-metropolitan county[6] Abolished[7] New non-metropolitan county[7] New non-metropolitan county[7] to form the new unitary authority of Brighton and Hove. On 1 April 1998, Blackburn with Darwen (based on the former Blackburn district), Blackpool, Halton, Nottingham, Peterborough, Plymouth, Southend-on-Sea, Telford and Wrekin (based on the former Wrekin district), Torbay, Thurrock and Warrington became unitary authorities. Also, the districts of Rochester-upon-Medway and Gillingham were merged to form the new unitary authority of Medway, and the county of Hereford and Worcester was abolished and replaced by the unitary authority of Herefordshire and the shire county of Worcestershire. Berkshire was split into six unitary authorities, but not formally abolished.

2009 structural changes
In April 2009 the following changes will be made to the non-metropolitan counties: 1 April 1998 onwards On 1 April 1995, the Isle of Wight became a single unitary authority. It had previously had a two-tier structure with an Isle of Wight County Council, Medina Borough Council and South Wight Borough Council. Also on this day, two small areas were ceded from Surrey and Buckinghamshire to Berkshire, giving it a border with Greater London. On 1 April 1996, the unpopular counties of Avon, Humberside and Cleveland were abolished and their former area divided into unitary districts. Also at this time, the city of York was expanded and separated from North Yorkshire. On 1 April 1997, the districts of Bournemouth, Darlington, Derby, Leicester, Luton, Milton Keynes, Poole, Portsmouth, Rutland, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent and Swindon (based on the former Thamesdown district) became unitary authorities. Also, the districts of Brighton and Hove were merged

See also
• • • • Counties of England Subdivisions of England Ceremonial counties of England List of articles about local government in the United Kingdom

[1] ^ Jones, B. et al, Politics UK, (2004) [2] Elcock, H, Local Government, (1994) [3] Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, Aspects of Britain: Local Government, (1996) [4] Bryne, T., Local Government in Britain, (1994) [5] Arnold-Baker, C., Local Government Act 1972, (1973) [6] ^ Office of Public Sector Information Bedfordshire (Structural Changes) Order 2008 (Draft)


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[7] ^ Office of Public Sector Information Cheshire (Structural Changes) Order 2008 (Draft)

Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England

External links
• European Parliamentary Elections Act 1999 - Schedule 2 - Electoral Regions in England listing many counties extant at that date

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