Metropolitan county

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The six metropolitan counties shown within England

There are six metropolitan counties in England, which each cover large urban areas, typically with populations of 1.2 to 2.8 million.[1] They were created in 1974 and are each divided into several metropolitan districts.

There are no county councils any more since 1986. Most of their functions were taken over by the individual boroughs. So the boroughs became unitary authorities. The remaining functions were taken over by so-called joint-boards.[2]

The metropolitan counties have population densities of between 838 (South Yorkshire) and 28 (West Midlands) people/km². Individual metropolitan districts range from 4 people/km² in Liverpool to only 500 people/km² in Doncaster.[3]

Counties and districts[change | change source]

The six metropolitan counties and their metropolitan districts are:

Metropolitan county Metropolitan boroughs
Greater Manchester City of Manchester, City of Salford, Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan
Merseyside City of Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens, Wirral
South Yorkshire City of Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham
Tyne and Wear City of Newcastle upon Tyne, City of Sunderland, Gateshead, South Tyneside, North Tyneside
West Midlands City of Birmingham, City of Coventry, City of Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall
West Yorkshire City of Leeds, City of Bradford, City of Wakefield, Calderdale, Kirklees

The structure of Greater London is similar to the metropolitan counties, but it is not one. It was created earlier in 1965, by the London Government Act 1963. The idea for creating administrative areas based upon the large conurbations outside London based on the model of the County of London or Greater London.

The metropolitan counties were established by the Local Government Act 1972, the county councils were first elected in 1973, and were formally established in April 1974.

Since 1995, the cities of Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield have come together in the English Core Cities Group. This organisation has no distinct legal status but seems to move towards a role of these cities as regional capitals outside of London.

References[change | change source]

  1. Jones, B. et al., Politics UK, (2004)
  2. Her Majesty's Stationary Office, Aspects of Britain: Local Government, (1996)
  3. 2001 census : KS01 Usual resident population