Subdivisions of England

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Subdivisions of England
Administrative map of England (2010)
Subdivisions of England (as of 2010) that have a principal local authority: two-tier non-metropolitan counties and their non-metropolitan districts; metropolitan boroughs; unitary authorities; London boroughs; and the sui generis City of London and Isles of Scilly.
Location England
Subdivisions
Type Number
Region 9
Ceremonial county 48
Metropolitan county 6
Non-metropolitan county 77
District 326D1
Civil parish ~4,500
Royal Arms of England (1198-1340).svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
England

The subdivisions of England constitute a hierarchy of administrative divisions and non-administrative ceremonial areas.

Overall, England is divided into nine regions and 48 ceremonial counties, although these have only a limited role in public policy. For the purposes of local government, the country is divided into counties, districts and parishes. In some areas, counties and districts form a two-tier administrative structure, while in others they are combined under a unitary authority. Parishes cover only part of England.

The current system is the result of incremental reform which has its origins in legislation enacted in 1965 and 1972.[1]

Regions[edit]

At the highest level, all of England is divided into nine regions that are each made up of a number of counties and districts. The 'government office regions' were created in 1994[2] and since the 1999 Euro-elections have been used as England's European Parliament constituencies. The regions vary greatly in their areas covered, populations and contributions to the national economy.[2] All have the same status, except London which has substantive devolved powers.[3]

There was a failed attempt to create elected regional assemblies outside London in 2004 and since then the structures of regional governance (regional assemblies, regional development agencies and local authority leaders' boards) have been subject to review. Following the change of government in 2010, these have been scheduled for abolition by 2012.[needs update]

Counties and districts[edit]

For non-administrative purposes, England is wholly divided into 48 counties,[4] commonly known, but not named in statute, as ceremonial counties. These counties are used for the purposes of appointing Lords Lieutenant[4] who are historically the Crown's representatives in those areas. Ceremonial counties are often different from the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties used for local government as they include the areas covered by unitary authorities. They are taken into consideration when drawing up Parliamentary constituency boundaries.

For local government, England is divided into areas with a two-tier structure of counties and districts governed by two local authorities, and unitary authority areas where there is one local authority. The arrangement varies in different parts of the country and there are four main configurations: non-metropolitan two-tier 'shire' areas, six metropolitan counties, unitary authorities, and Greater London.

Two-tier non-metropolitan counties[edit]

Most of the geographical area of England is within a two-tier non-metropolitan arrangement. In 27 of these areas the county councils provide the majority of services, including education and social services, and the 201 district councils have a more limited role.[1] Non-metropolitan districts can additionally have the status of borough or city, although this has no effect on their powers or functions. All two-tier non-metropolitan counties are also ceremonial counties.C3 Berkshire is an anomaly in this arrangement whereby its districts are unitary authorities, but the non-metropolitan county was not formally abolished[5] and it is also a ceremonial county.[4] Bedfordshire and Cheshire are two former non-metropolitan counties that continue to exist only as ceremonial counties.

Metropolitan counties[edit]

                     regional boundary                      ceremonial county boundary                      unitary authority boundary
  unitary authority (non-metropolitan county)

Six large conurbations of England correspond to metropolitan counties.[1] Each metropolitan county had a county council providing limited strategic services, such as public transport and planning, from 1974 to 1986.[1] Despite no longer having county councils the metropolitan counties still legally exist, and are each a ceremonial county. County-level functions, such as public transport, are exercised by joint-boards and other arrangements organised by the district councils. In the metropolitan counties, the 36 district councils operate effectively as unitary authorities and provide the majority of services, including education and social services.[2] All metropolitan districts additionally have the status of borough, and some are cities, although this has no effect on their powers or functions. From April 2011 there has been a formal upper-tier structure in Greater Manchester with the creation of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.[6]

London[edit]

The Greater London administrative area created in 1965 corresponds to the London region. Through incremental change, culminating in 2000, the upper-tier authority is the Greater London Authority, comprising an elected Mayor of London and the London Assembly.[7] Greater London is divided into 32 London boroughs, also dating from 1965, each governed by a London borough council. The ancient City of London forms a 33rd division and is governed by the City of London Corporation, a sui generis authority unlike any other in England[7] that has largely avoided any of the reforms of local government in the 19th and 20th centuries.[8] The City of London, and the rest of Greater London, each form a ceremonial county. The London borough councils and the City of London Corporation provide the majority of services, for example they are education authorities and co-ordinate waste management, whereas the Greater London Authority is responsible for the key strategic services of public transport, the police, economic development and emergency planning.[7]

Unitary authorities[edit]

Outside London and the metropolitan counties, some parts of England are governed by a single council, commonly called (but not named in statute) as a unitary authority.[1] Unitary authorities are a combined non-metropolitan county and non-metropolitan district, undertaking the functions of both.[9] Unitary authorities can additionally have the status of borough or city, although this has no effect on their powers or functions.

46 unitary authorities were created between 1995 and 1998 and nine more were created in 2009. They were formed either by non-metropolitan districts taking on county-level functions, or by counties taking on district-level functions. In some cases, borders were altered or districts were combined during this reorganisation. Berkshire is an anomaly in this arrangement whereby its districts became unitary authorities, but the non-metropolitan county was not formally abolished.[5]

For ceremonial purposes, unitary authorities are considered to be part of the county to which they formerly belonged. Politically, however, they are fully independent entities, unaffiliated with the council of their former county. For instance, the unitary authority of Plymouth is traditionally considered part of County Devon, though politically it is not part of the county. In the case of Berkshire, there is no county council, as all of its former territory is now covered by six unitary authorities, unaffiliated with each other politically. Although there is no county council in Berkshire, these six unitary authorities comprise the ceremonial county of Berkshire.

Isles of Scilly[edit]

The Isles of Scilly are a governed by a sui generis local authority called the Council of the Isles of Scilly. The authority was established in 1890 as the Isles of Scilly Rural District Council. It was renamed but otherwise unreformed by the changes in local government that occurred in 1974 in the rest of England outside Greater London.[10] Although effectively a unitary authority, for example it is an education authority,[11] the Isles of Scilly are part of the Cornwall ceremonial county and combine with Cornwall Council for services such as health[12] and economic development.[13]

Civil parishes[edit]

The civil parish is the most local unit of government in England.[1] A parish is governed by a parish council or parish meeting, which exercises a limited number of functions that would otherwise be delivered by the local authority. There are no civil parishes in Greater London and not all of the rest of England is parished. The number of parishes and total area parished is growing.

Lists of subdivisions[edit]

Regions[edit]

Type Created Number Units
Region 1994 9

Two-tier non-metropolitan counties[edit]

Type Created Number Units
Non-metropolitan county 1974 27
Non-metropolitan district 1974 201 List of districts

Metropolitan counties[edit]

Type Created Number Units
Metropolitan county 1974 6 Greater Manchester Merseyside South Yorkshire Tyne and Wear West Midlands West Yorkshire
Metropolitan district 1974 36

London[edit]

Type Created Number Units
London borough 1965 32
Sui generis in antiquity 1
Total 33

Unitary authorities[edit]

Type Created Number Units
County gained district functions 2009 5
District(s) gained county functions 2009 4
District(s) gained county functions 1998 15
District(s) gained county functions when
Berkshire County Council was wound-up
1998 6
District(s) gained county functions 1997 11
District gained county functions 1996 13
County gained district functions 1995 1
Total 55

Sui generis[edit]

Civil parishes[edit]

Hierarchical list of regions, counties and districts[edit]

Region Ceremonial county Metropolitan or
non-metropolitan
county
Districts, boroughs and cities
East of England
East of England counties 2009 map.svg
Essex 1Thurrock U.A.
2Southend-on-Sea U.A.
3. Essex † aHarlow, bEpping Forest, cBrentwood, dBasildon, eCastle Point, fRochford, gMaldon, hChelmsford, iUttlesford, jBraintree, kColchester, lTendring
4Hertfordshire † aThree Rivers, bWatford, cHertsmere, dWelwyn Hatfield, eBroxbourne, fEast Hertfordshire, gStevenage, hNorth Hertfordshire, iSt Albans, jDacorum
Bedfordshire 5Luton U.A.
6Bedford U.A.
7Central Bedfordshire U.A.
Cambridgeshire 8Cambridgeshire † aCambridge, bSouth Cambridgeshire, cHuntingdonshire, dFenland, eEast Cambridgeshire
9Peterborough U.A.
10Norfolk † aNorwich, bSouth Norfolk, cGreat Yarmouth, dBroadland, eNorth Norfolk, fKing's Lynn and West Norfolk, gBreckland
11Suffolk † aIpswich, bSuffolk Coastal, cWaveney, dMid Suffolk, eBabergh, fSt. Edmundsbury, gForest Heath
East Midlands
East Midlands counties 2009 map.svg
Derbyshire 1Derbyshire † aHigh Peak, bDerbyshire Dales, cSouth Derbyshire, dErewash, eAmber Valley, fNorth East Derbyshire, gChesterfield, hBolsover
2Derby U.A.
Nottinghamshire 3. Nottinghamshire † aRushcliffe, bBroxtowe, cAshfield, dGedling, eNewark and Sherwood, fMansfield, gBassetlaw
4Nottingham U.A.
Lincolnshire
(part only)
5. Lincolnshire † aLincoln, bNorth Kesteven, cSouth Kesteven, dSouth Holland, eBoston, fEast Lindsey, gWest Lindsey
Leicestershire 6Leicestershire † aCharnwood, bMelton, cHarborough, dOadby and Wigston, eBlaby, fHinckley and Bosworth, gNorth West Leicestershire
7Leicester U.A.
8Rutland U.A.
9Northamptonshire † aSouth Northamptonshire, bNorthampton, cDaventry, dWellingborough, eKettering, fCorby, gEast Northamptonshire
London
Greater London boroughs 2009 map.svg
1Greater London Greater London

aCity of Westminster, bKensington and Chelsea, cHammersmith and Fulham, dWandsworth, eLambeth, fSouthwark, gTower Hamlets, hHackney, iIslington, jCamden, kBrent, lEaling, mHounslow, nRichmond, oKingston upon Thames, pMerton, qSutton, rCroydon, sBromley, tLewisham, uGreenwich, vBexley, wHavering, xBarking and Dagenham, yRedbridge, zNewham, aaWaltham Forest, abHaringey, acEnfield, adBarnet, aeHarrow, afHillingdon

2City of London aCity of London
North East England
North East England counties 2009 map.svg
1Northumberland U.A.
2Tyne and Wear * aNewcastle upon Tyne, bGateshead, cNorth Tyneside, dSouth Tyneside, eSunderland
Durham 3. Durham U.A.
4Darlington U.A.
5Hartlepool U.A.
6Stockton-on-Tees U.A.
North Yorkshire
(part only)
7Redcar and Cleveland U.A.
8Middlesbrough U.A.
North West England
North West England counties 2009 map.svg
Cheshire 1Cheshire East U.A.
2Cheshire West and Chester U.A.
3Halton U.A.
4Warrington U.A.
5Cumbria † aBarrow-in-Furness, bSouth Lakeland, cCopeland, dAllerdale, eEden, fCarlisle
6Greater Manchester * aBolton, bBury, cManchester, dOldham, eRochdale, fSalford, gStockport, hTameside, iTrafford, jWigan
Lancashire 7Lancashire † aWest Lancashire, bChorley, cSouth Ribble, dFylde, ePreston, fWyre, gLancaster, hRibble Valley, iPendle, jBurnley, kRossendale, lHyndburn
8Blackpool U.A.
9Blackburn with Darwen U.A.
10Merseyside * aKnowsley, bLiverpool, cSt. Helens, dSefton, eWirral
South East England
South East England counties 2009 map.svg
1. Berkshire † aWest Berkshire U.A., bReading U.A., cWokingham U.A., dBracknell Forest U.A., eWindsor and Maidenhead U.A., fSlough U.A.
Buckinghamshire 2Buckinghamshire † aSouth Bucks, bChiltern, cWycombe, dAylesbury Vale
3Milton Keynes U.A.
East Sussex 4. East Sussex † aHastings, bRother, cWealden, dEastbourne, eLewes
5Brighton & Hove U.A.
Hampshire 6Hampshire † aFareham, bGosport, cWinchester, dHavant, eEast Hampshire, fHart, gRushmoor, hBasingstoke and Deane, iTest Valley, jEastleigh, kNew Forest
7Southampton U.A.
8Portsmouth U.A.
9Isle of Wight U.A.
Kent 10Kent † aDartford, bGravesham, cSevenoaks, dTonbridge and Malling, eTunbridge Wells, fMaidstone, gSwale, hAshford, iShepway, jCanterbury, kDover, lThanet
11Medway U.A.
12Oxfordshire † aOxford, bCherwell, cSouth Oxfordshire, dVale of White Horse, eWest Oxfordshire
13Surrey † aSpelthorne, bRunnymede, cSurrey Heath, dWoking, eElmbridge, fGuildford, gWaverley, hMole Valley, iEpsom and Ewell, jReigate and Banstead, kTandridge
14West Sussex † aWorthing, bArun, cChichester, dHorsham, eCrawley, fMid Sussex, gAdur
South West England
South West England counties 2009 map.svg
Somerset 1Bath and North East Somerset U.A.
2North Somerset U.A.
11Somerset † aSouth Somerset, bTaunton Deane, cWest Somerset, dSedgemoor, eMendip
3Bristol U.A.
Gloucestershire 4South Gloucestershire U.A.
5. Gloucestershire † aGloucester, bTewkesbury, cCheltenham, dCotswold, eStroud, fForest of Dean
Wiltshire 6Swindon U.A.
7Wiltshire U.A.
Dorset 8Dorset † aWeymouth and Portland, bWest Dorset, cNorth Dorset, dPurbeck, eEast Dorset, fChristchurch
9Poole U.A.
10Bournemouth U.A.
Devon 12Devon † aExeter, bEast Devon, cMid Devon, dNorth Devon, eTorridge, fWest Devon, gSouth Hams, hTeignbridge
13Torbay U.A.
14Plymouth U.A.
Cornwall 15Isles of Scilly sui generis U.A.
16Cornwall U.A.
West Midlands
West Midlands counties 2009 map.svg
1Herefordshire U.A.
Shropshire 2Shropshire U.A.
3Telford and Wrekin U.A.
Staffordshire 4. Staffordshire † aCannock Chase, bEast Staffordshire, cLichfield, dNewcastle-under-Lyme, eSouth Staffordshire, fStafford, gStaffordshire Moorlands, hTamworth
5Stoke-on-Trent U.A.
6Warwickshire † aNorth Warwickshire, bNuneaton and Bedworth, cRugby, dStratford-on-Avon, eWarwick
7West Midlands * aBirmingham, bCoventry, cDudley, dSandwell, eSolihull, fWalsall, gWolverhampton
8Worcestershire † aBromsgrove, bMalvern Hills, cRedditch, dWorcester, eWychavon, fWyre Forest
Yorkshire and the Humber
Yorkshire and the Humber counties 2009 map.svg
1South Yorkshire * aSheffield, bRotherham, cBarnsley, dDoncaster
2West Yorkshire * aWakefield, bKirklees, cCalderdale, dBradford, eLeeds
North Yorkshire
(part only)
3. North Yorkshire † aSelby, bHarrogate, cCraven, dRichmondshire, eHambleton, fRyedale, gScarborough
4York U.A.
East Riding of Yorkshire 5. East Riding of Yorkshire U.A.
6Kingston upon Hull U.A.
Lincolnshire
(part only)
7North Lincolnshire U.A.
8North East Lincolnshire U.A.
       (all two-tier except for Berkshire)
  U.A. unitary authority (non-metropolitan county and district)
       (except for Berkshire districts which are not counties)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • ^C1   Also a ceremonial county of identical area.
  • ^C2   Also a ceremonial county covering a larger area.
  • ^C3   Cumbria, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Sussex and Worcestershire occupy the same area as the ceremonial county; Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, East Sussex, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Somerset and Staffordshire are larger for ceremonial purposes, being combined with one or more unitary authorities.
  • ^D1   Metropolitan (36); non-metropolitan two-tier (201); unitary authority (55); London borough (32); sui generis (2).
  • ^NC   Berkshire has no county council and the districts function as unitary authorities.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Jones, B., Kavanagh, D., Moran, M. & Norton, P., Politics UK, (2004), Pearson Longman.
  2. ^ a b c Atkinson, H. & Wilks-Heeg, S. (2000). Local Government from Thatcher to Blair. Polity. 
  3. ^ Collins, S., Colville, I & Pengelly, S., A Guide to the Greater London Authority, (2000), Sweet and Maxwell
  4. ^ a b c "Lieutenancies Act 1997". Office of Public Sector Information. 1997. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "The Berkshire (Structural Change) Order 1996". National Archives(legislation.gov.uk). 1996. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  6. ^ Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (March 2010). "Greater Manchester Combined Authority Final Scheme" (PDF). agma.gov.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c Travers, T., The Politics of London, (2004), Palgrave
  8. ^ Hebbert, Michael (1998). London: More by fortune than design. John Wiley & Sons. 
  9. ^ "Local Government Act 1992". Office of Public Sector Information. 1992. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  10. ^ "Local Government Act 1972". Office of Public Sector Information. 1972. Retrieved 9 August 2010. 
  11. ^ "Education and Learning". Council of the Isles of Scilly. Retrieved 9 August 2010. 
  12. ^ "About Us". Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust. Retrieved 9 August 2010. 
  13. ^ "The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Enterprise Partnership". Cornwall Council. 30 July 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2010. 

External links[edit]