Metropolitan Borough of Walsall

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Borough of Walsall
Walsall Council House in Walsall, West Midlands
Coat of arms of Borough of Walsall
Walsall shown within the West Midlands and England
Walsall shown within the West Midlands and England
Coordinates: 52°34′48″N 1°58′48″W / 52.58000°N 1.98000°W / 52.58000; -1.98000Coordinates: 52°34′48″N 1°58′48″W / 52.58000°N 1.98000°W / 52.58000; -1.98000
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionWest Midlands
Metropolitan countyWest Midlands
Historic countyStaffordshire
Admin HQWalsall
Metropolitan borough status1 April 1974
Government
 • TypeMetropolitan borough
 • Governing bodyWalsall Metropolitan Borough Council
 • MayorMike Bird
 • MPs:Valerie Vaz (L)
Eddie Hughes (C)
Wendy Morton (C)
Area
 • Total40.14 sq mi (103.95 km2)
Population
 (mid-2019 est.)
 • Total285,478 (Ranked 49th)
 • Density6,943/sq mi (2,681/km2)
 • Ethnicity
(2011 census)
88.8% White (85.9% White British)
13.2% Asian
3.3% Black
2.7% Mixed Race
0.3% Other[1]
Time zoneUTC+0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
Postcode
WS (1–6, 8–10)

WV (12, 13)

B (74)
Area code(s)01922, 01902, 01543 & 0121
ISO 3166-2GB-WLL
ONS code00CU (ONS)
E08000030 (GSS)
OS grid referenceSP015985
NUTS 3UKG35
Websitewww.walsall.gov.uk

The Metropolitan Borough of Walsall is a metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, England. It is named after its largest settlement, Walsall, but covers a larger area which also includes Aldridge, Bloxwich, Brownhills, Darlaston, Pelsall and Willenhall. It also serves as the post town for nearby Cannock Chase District, Lichfield District and parts of South Staffordshire.

The borough had an estimated population of 254,500 in 2007.[2]

The borough was created on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. It is bounded on the west by the City of Wolverhampton, the south by the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell, to the south east by the City of Birmingham, and by the Staffordshire districts of Lichfield, Cannock Chase and South Staffordshire to the east, north and northwest respectively. Most of the borough is highly industrialised and densely populated, but areas around the north and east of the borough are open space.

In 1986 the borough became an effective unitary authority when the West Midlands County Council was abolished. However it remains part of the West Midlands for ceremonial purposes, and for functions such as policing, fire and public transport.

History[edit]

The local government structure within North Worcestershire and South Staffordshire prior to the West Midlands Order 1965 reorganisation.

Prior to 1966, the area that would later become the metropolitan borough of Walsall was governed by five smaller local authorities:

The four urban districts were all within the administrative county of Staffordshire, in a two-tier structure with Staffordshire County Council providing county-level services.[3][4][5][6] Walsall itself was a self-governing county borough, independent from the county council, but was still deemed to be part of Staffordshire for ceremonial purposes.[7]

A review of local government in the West Midlands area was carried out under the Local Government Act 1958, culminating in the West Midlands Review Order 1965, which merged many of the districts in the area with effect from 1 April 1966. Darlaston and Willenhall were both absorbed into the county borough of Walsall, whilst the two urban districts of Brownhills and Aldridge merged to become Aldridge-Brownhills Urban District. At the same time, there were also more minor boundary adjustments with neighbouring areas around the edges of the new districts.[8][9]

The new arrangements were relatively short-lived. Under the Local Government Act 1972, local government in the area was reviewed again, with Walsall County Borough and Aldridge-Brownhills Urban District merging to become the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall on 1 April 1974. On the same date the area became part of the new metropolitan county of West Midlands.[10] For the next twelve years there was a two-tier structure in place, with West Midlands County Council providing higher county-level services. The county council was abolished in 1986, and the area has since then been a unitary authority.

There were adjustments to some of the boundaries between Walsall and its neighbours in 1994.[11]

Governance[edit]

Parliamentary constituencies[edit]

The residents of the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall are represented in the British Parliament by Members of Parliament (MPs) for three separate parliamentary constituencies. Since the 2017 General Election, Walsall North has been represented by Eddie Hughes MP (Conservative),[12] Walsall South by Valerie Vaz MP (Labour)[13] and Aldridge-Brownhills by Wendy Morton MP (Conservative).[14] The borough is part of the West Midlands constituency in the European Parliament. Prior to Brexit in 2020, the West Midlands region elected seven MEPs.

Council[edit]

In 1974, Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council was created to administer the new metropolitan borough. Elections to the council take place in three out of every four years, with one-third of the seats being contested at each election. Between its formation in 1974 and the 2003 election, the council varied between control by the Labour Party, and where no one party had an overall majority. From 2003 to 2011 the Conservative Party then held a majority of councillors.[15] At the 2011 election the Conservative Party lost five seats, while Labour gained eight, and afterwards no party held a majority.[16] At the 2019 election, the Conservative Party regained control of the council.[17]

Demography[edit]

Walsall MBC Compared
2011 UK Census Walsall MBC West Midlands county England
Total population 269,323 2,738,100 53,013,000
White 78.8% 70.1% 85.5%
Asian 15.2% 18.9% 7.7%
Black 2.3% 6.0% 3.4%
Source: Office for National Statistics[1]

At the time of the United Kingdom Census 2001, according to the Office for National Statistics, the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall had a total resident population of 253,499, of which 123,189 (48.6%) were male and 130,310 (51.4%) were female,[18] with 101,333 households.[19] The Borough occupied 10,395 hectares (40.14 sq mi) at the time of the 2001 census.[18]

Its population density was 22.79 people per hectare compared with an average of 28.41 across the West Midlands metropolitan county.[18] The median age of the population was 37, compared with 36 within the West Midlands metropolitan county and 37 across England and Wales.[20]

The majority of the population of the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall were born in England (91.77%); 1.42% were born elsewhere within the United Kingdom, 0.82% within the rest of the European Union, and 6.00% elsewhere in the world.[21]

Data on religious beliefs across the borough in the 2001 census show that 72.1% declared themselves to be Christian, 10.0% said they held no religion, and 5.4% reported themselves as Muslim.[22] Whereas in the 2011 Census 59% declared themselves to be Christian, 26% said they held no religion or did not state their religion, and 8.2% reported themselves as Muslim.[23]

Within the Metropolitan Borough, 42.84% of households owned a single car or van, with 31.05% owning none. The average car ownership per household was 1.01, compared with 0.96 across the West Midlands metropolitan county.[19]

Population change[edit]

The table below details the population change in the area since 1801. Although the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall has existed as a metropolitan borough only since 1974, figures have been generated by combining data from the towns, villages, and civil parishes that would later be constituent parts of the borough.

Historical population of area now covered by the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall
Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
Population 17,615 20,329 22,309 27,640 37,670 46,597 67,260 87,923 108,586 125,317
Year 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001 2011
Population 140,919 158,465 169,406 181,114 194,983 209,918 239,729 273,794 265,908 263,399 253,502 269,300
Source: Vision of Britain[24]

Economy[edit]

Walsall MBC Compared
2001 UK Census Walsall MBC West Midlands county England
Population (16–74) 180,623 1,807,918 35,532,091
Full-time employment 39.1% 38.6% 40.8%
Part-time employment 11.9% 11.1% 11.8%
Self-employed 6.0% 5.7% 8.3%
Unemployed 4.4% 4.6% 3.3%
Retired 14.8% 13.5% 13.5%
Source: Office for National Statistics[25]

At the time of the 2001 census, there were 105,590 people (41.7%) in employment who were resident within Walsall Metropolitan Borough. Of these, 18.60% worked within the wholesale and retail trade, including repair of motor vehicles; 26.44% worked within manufacturing industry; and 9.85% worked within the health and social work sector.[26]

At the 2001 UK census, Walsall Metropolitan Borough had 180,623 residents aged 16 to 74. 2.3% of these people were students with jobs, 6.0% looking after home or family, 6.8% permanently sick or disabled and 2.4% economically inactive for other reasons. These figures are roughly in line with the averages for England, though Metropolitan Borough of Walsall has a higher rate of people who are permanently sick and disabled, where the national average is 5.3%.[25]

The Metropolitan Borough of Walsall is split between several travel to work areas (TTWA). The central and northern areas of the borough (including the towns of Walsall, Bloxwich and Brownhills) are within the Walsall and Cannock TTWA, whilst the majority of the area west of the M6 motorway (including the towns of Willenhall and Darlaston) is within the Wolverhampton TTWA. The southeast of the Metropolitan Borough (including Streetly) is within the Birmingham TTWA.[27] The entire borough is within the Birmingham Larger Urban Zone.[28]

Average house prices in the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall were fourth out of the metropolitan boroughs in the West Midlands county, with the average house price within the borough being £131,131 during the period April – June 2009, compared with the average across the Metropolitan County of £128,142.[29] Following transfer from the council in 2003, social housing in the area is primarily managed by WATMOS (consisting of eight Tenant management organisations), and the Walsall Housing Group.[30]

Transport[edit]

The A34 trunk road runs directly through the middle of Walsall .

An elevated section of the M6 Motorway built in 1968 half circles around Walsall to the West of the town. There can be increased congestion on the local A roads whenever the motorway is temporarily closed or in a state of serious delay as road users try to bypass the problem. Junctions (North to South) 11, 10, 9 and 7 allow access to and from various parts of the town. The M6 and M5 join at junction 8.

The A454 runs through Walsall on its way to Sutton Coldfield from Bridgnorth.

Localities[edit]

See List of areas in Walsall

Education[edit]

45% of pupils in the Borough of Walsall achieved five GCSEs with grades of A*-C, below the national average of 56%.[31]

The borough's education format is a traditional 5–7 infant, 7–11 junior and 11-16/18 secondary school system, with some infant and junior schools being combined single site primary schools, while others have infant and junior schools on separate sites. The towns of Walsall, Bloxwich, Darlaston and Willenhall have always used these age ranges, but the Aldridge, Brownhills and Streetly areas (which became part of the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall in 1974) adopted 5–9 first, 9–13 middle and 13-16/18 secondary schools in September 1972. However, this system was discontinued and replaced with the traditional age ranges in September 1986 to fit in with the other schools in the Walsall borough.[32]

Freedom of the Borough[edit]

The following people and military units have received the Freedom of the Borough of Walsall.

Individuals[edit]

Military units[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "2011 Census". Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 24 February 2016. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Walsall Metropolitan Borough resident population estimates by ethnic group (percentages) 2005 estimate". Statistics.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 3 September 2009. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  3. ^ "Aldridge Urban District". A Vision of Britain through Time. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  4. ^ "Brownhills Urban District". A Vision of Britain through Time. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  5. ^ "Darlaston Urban District". A Vision of Britain through Time. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  6. ^ "Willenhall Urban District". A Vision of Britain through Time. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  7. ^ "Local Government Act 1888: Schedule 3", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, 1888 c. 41 (sch. 3), retrieved 12 September 2022
  8. ^ "Aldridge Brownhills Urban District". A Vision of Britain through Time. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  9. ^ "Walsall Municipal Borough / County Borough". A Vision of Britain through Time. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  10. ^ "Local Government Act 1972: Schedule 1", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, 1970 c. 70 (sch. 1), retrieved 12 September 2022
  11. ^ "The Hereford and Worcester, Staffordshire and West Midlands (County and Metropolitan Borough Boundaries) Order 1993", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 1993/492
  12. ^ "BBC News Election 2017 Walsall North". Archived from the original on 7 October 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Walsall South constituency election results". London: Guardian.co.uk. Archived from the original on 3 March 2022. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  14. ^ "Aldridge-Brownhills constituency election results". London: Guardian.co.uk. Archived from the original on 3 March 2022. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  15. ^ "Walsall local elections 2008". London: BBC Online. 2 May 2008. Archived from the original on 6 May 2008. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  16. ^ "England council elections". BBC News Online. 10 May 2011. Archived from the original on 19 September 2011. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  17. ^ "BBC Local Election Results 2019". Archived from the original on 28 May 2019. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  18. ^ a b c KS01 Usual resident population: Census 2001, Key Statistics for local Authorities, National Statistics, archived from the original on 5 June 2011, retrieved 25 November 2009
  19. ^ a b KS17 Cars or vans: Key Statistics for urban areas, summary results for local authorities, National Statistics, archived from the original on 5 June 2011, retrieved 25 November 2009
  20. ^ KS02 Age structure: Key Statistics for urban areas, summary results for local authorities, National Statistics, archived from the original on 5 June 2011, retrieved 25 November 2009
  21. ^ KS05 Country of birth: Key Statistics for urban areas, summary results for local authorities, National Statistics, archived from the original on 5 June 2011, retrieved 25 November 2009
  22. ^ KS07 Religion: Key Statistics for urban areas, summary results for local authorities, National Statistics, archived from the original on 5 June 2011, retrieved 16 February 2009
  23. ^ Religion: Key Statistics for urban areas, summary results for local authorities, National Statistics, archived from the original on 11 March 2014, retrieved 11 March 2014
  24. ^ "Walsall Metropolitan Borough". Vision of Britain. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2009.
  25. ^ a b KS09a Economic activity – all people: Key Statistics for urban areas, summary results for local authorities, National Statistics, archived from the original on 5 June 2011, retrieved 4 December 2009
  26. ^ KS11a Industry of employment – all people: Key Statistics for urban areas, summary results for local authorities, National Statistics, archived from the original on 5 June 2011, retrieved 16 February 2009
  27. ^ Travel to Work Areas, Office for National Statistics, archived from the original on 1 October 2008, retrieved 24 September 2008
  28. ^ Towards a Common Standard (PDF), Greater London Authority, p. 29, archived from the original (PDF) on 17 December 2008, retrieved 5 October 2008
  29. ^ "UK House prices – West Midlands". London: BBC News Online. 16 March 2010. Archived from the original on 27 March 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  30. ^ "Housing associations". Walsall Council. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  31. ^ "National Statistics". Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2009.
  32. ^ "Lindens Primary School". Archived from the original on 28 February 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2009.
  33. ^ "Freedom of the Borough for paediatric consultant". Walsall Borough Council. Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  34. ^ "Noddy Holder from Slade given freedom of Walsall". BBC News. 24 June 2014. Archived from the original on 16 April 2021. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  35. ^ Walsall Council (3 December 2021). "Noddy Holder receives the freedom of the borough in Walsall". Archived from the original on 4 December 2021. Retrieved 4 December 2021 – via YouTube.
  36. ^ Thandi, Gurdip (18 November 2021). "Freedom of Walsall awarded for first time since 2014 and they feel 'humbled and surprised'". The Birmingham Mail. Archived from the original on 4 December 2021. Retrieved 3 December 2021.