It was created in 1974, and consists of the five metropolitan boroughs:
- On the north bank of the River Tyne
- On the south bank of the River Tyne
- South Tyneside
- Spanning the River Wear
Like all metropolitan counties, the county council was abolished in 1986, and its functions given either to the individual boroughs or shared by new joint committees of the five boroughs.
Schools are now controlled by each borough. The fire brigade is one of several services run on a county-wide basis by a committee made up of members from each borough.
The people from Sunderland and the people from Newcastle did not like being joined in one county. The Royal Commission that recommended changing the county councils of England could not even find a name that the people of the two place liked. Their report just called the new county "area D".
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