Talk:City status in the United Kingdom

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Does gaining city status have nothing to do with having a university? AJUK Talk!! 22:46, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Nope. Otherwise there would be a University of St David's... :) DWaterson 22:53, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Well no because St Davids has a cathedral, I thought that to be a city you had to have one or the otheror possibly both, after reading this I now think the word City must be of poor definition? AJUK Talk!! 00:27, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
(I think the "St Davids" remark was meant as a joke.) I don't know where you got the idea from, but having a university is nothing to do with the formal criteria at all. The definition of "city" should be quite clear from the article: to be a city you have to have letters patent or a Royal Charter, both of which are issued by the monarch.
In the modern era, where city status is granted to the winner of a competition, I could see that having a university would be a selling point (for instance, it would strengthen the case of Reading, in my opinion anyway), but it is certainly not a formal requirement. --RFBailey (talk) 02:03, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Well I know you have to have a letters patent or a Royal Charter, but I still think it is a word or poor definition because, whats the set criteria to get that? If its not a University or a cathedral then is it a population over X amount? Well St David would fail that now straight away. AJUK Talk!! 00:18, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
There are no set criteria for getting letters patent or a Royal Charter. The end. (This is explained in the article!) --RFBailey (talk) 00:53, 30 November 2007 (UTC)


At the moment there is a column in the list of officially designated cities for ceremonial counties. Since ceremonial counties are peculiar to England, shouldn't this be changed to something applicable to the whole United Kingdom, e.g. traditional counties?GSTQ (talk) 02:19, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure what the purpose of the column is, really. But definitely not traditional counties: it would properly be ceremonial counties, preserved counties, lieutenancy areas or (just plain) counties for England, Wales, Scotland and NI respectively. Rather than do that, it might be best to just delete the column. I don't think adding the historic counties would contribute anything: quite a few cities were counties in their own right, while (for example) the area of modern Birmingham was in three of them. In the end the counties column doesn't add any information on the subject of the article, which is City status in the UK. Lozleader (talk) 10:04, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with removing this column. Following the links to the city articles themselves can provide the sometimes tangled story of their counties much better than this potentially contentious column here.  DDStretch  (talk) 10:20, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

I imagine the column could be headed Current lieutenancy or Current lieutenancy area (lieutenancy being perhaps more generic than ceremonial county) with all relevant lieutenancies given, for Scotland as well as for elsewhere, under the new heading. Laurel Bush (talk) 13:40, 15 January 2008 (UTC).

I say remove it. If we needed an extra column at all, something like size and/or population within the city boundary at the 2001 census would be more interesting. MRSCTalk 14:21, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm also for removing the column. -- Jza84 · (talk) 14:36, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

A size or population column would be problematic re cities (eg Inverness in Scotland) which lack statutory boundaries and for which different statisticians use very different notions of boundary. If city status is related to letters patent, however, then lieutenancy seems important. Some cities seem to be also lieutenancies, and both conditions seem to derive from very similar notions of crown privelege or obligation. Laurel Bush (talk) 17:40, 15 January 2008 (UTC).

I disagree with changing the column to lieutenancies. The purpose of the column seems to have been a geographical pinpointer; I doubt many readers would be familiar with the concept of lieutenancies so that it would be unlikely to assist the reader in this respect. It's the Lord Chancellor's Office who issues the letters patent on behalf of the Queen, not the Lord Lieutenants: I don't think there's any particularly compelling connexion between the lieutenancies and cities. I also think the proposed population column is a bad idea, for the reason given by Laurel Bush. If the column is going to give assistance to the reader by geographically pinpointing a few cities the reader might be unfamiliar with, then it should use a system with which the reader will be familiar. I personally think traditional counties would be appropriate, especially given the historical bent of the article. Administrative counties and regions might be just as recognizable in England, but I'm not sure about Scotland or Wales or especially Northern Ireland. They seem to change so often too. On the other hand, the table could do just as well without the column.GSTQ (talk) 22:36, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
I think that having a column with some kind of geographical descriptor is a good idea, and for England using ceremonial counties seems best. For Scotland, Wales and NI, it's less obvious, and perhaps could be missed out. That could mean cutting the table up into four pieces, but that may be a good idea anyway.
On the subject of proper names for columns, the "Type of local government" column title seems to me to be inappropriate: its contents in fact seem to describe what type of body the city status is formally held by (e.g. Charter Trustees). This is obviously useful information that should be retained, but I'm afraid I can't think of a sensible column title right now! --RFBailey (talk) 00:09, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
How about thinking of something that emerges from considering the following poor possibilities: "Bearer of City Status", "City Status Holders", "Body carrying the city status"?  DDStretch  (talk) 00:18, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

"Bearer of city status" seems best of those titles to me; given the variety of bodies a less clumsy term seems unachievable. As to just leaving out Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland or using different units for different home countries, that makes the table irregular by providing information for English cities which it doesn't provide for other cities. The table should be able to show the same sort of information for all the cities on it as far as possible, and I can't think of any geographical indicators that are common to all the countries other than: (1) traditional counties, (2) administrative units, (3) degrees of longitude & latitude! (3) is not likely to be helpful to the reader, which leaves (1) & (2), and of those the most uniform amongst all the home countries is (1). If we can't reach a general consensus on a column title which covers all cities in the list, I think it would be better just to get rid of the column. But Lozleader so far is the only person who's objected to using traditional counties, and she hasn't cited a reason. Has anybody got a good reason (1) wouldn't be appropriate?GSTQ (talk) 00:30, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Absence of opposition is not the same as even tacit support. I would rather delete the column rather than dive into a morass of recurrent arguments that litter a variety of UK-related pages whenever "traditional", "historic", and similar kinds of adjectives are used to qualify "counties". Is that reason enough for you?  DDStretch  (talk) 01:14, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree, and I quote part of my last comment: "If we can't reach a general consensus on a column title which covers all cities in the list, I think it would be better just to get rid of the column." I'm not sure where Ddstretch got the impression that I had said or implied that absence of oppostition equalled tacit support. I was merely summarizing what had been said thus far regarding traditional counties (effectively, nothing) before presenting my argument for their inclusion, and inviting other users to present a good reason against. At this point it seems to me general consensus is for removing the column.GSTQ (talk) 02:09, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

I believe some cities are also lieutenancies. A Lieutenancy column would idientify those which are and those which are not (except perhaps - complication - where the name of the lieutenancy - eg Inverness - is also that of a non-lieutenancy city) and lieutenancy names (generally also names of counties or former counties) would serve as geographical pointers. As regards what body bears city status for Inverness I am not sure there is one, unless it is the museum where the letters patent were on display last time I saw them Laurel Bush (talk) 12:05, 16 January 2008 (UTC).
OK, I didn't mention traditional/historic counties deliberately, because I'm thoroughly fed up of Wikipedia arguments about them. However, to clarify, I support the use of "ceremonial county" (for England) or "administrative area" or "council area" (for Scotland and Wales) to describe a city's location, and oppose the use of "traditional county" (these have changed over time, and so aren't necessarily helpful--e.g. Bristol, Peterborough). Besides, I don't want to see the supporters and/or detractors of the Association of British Counties showing up here, wreaking havoc and causing edit wars! Lieutenancy areas aren't particularly helpful as a descriptor, as (generally speaking) people don't know what they are. --RFBailey (talk) 23:41, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

I think Laurel Bush's wisecrack about museums "bearing" city status is a bit wide of the mark; city status isn't a physical entity that can be put in a museum, it is a conceptual attribute that is granted to a conceptual entity, e.g. a city council, a board of trustees &c. "Bearer of city status" seems the least clumsy column title possible in the circumstances. I don't see how the fact that there are havoc-wreaking supporters or havoc-wreaking opponents of traditional/historic counties affects the merit of their being used for the column. But using administrative areas (including in England, for consistency's sake) would be better than the situation we have at present, where no pinpointers can be given for cities outside England.GSTQ (talk) 00:41, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't see how City Councils or Charter Trustees are "conceptual entities"--they do actually exist! The problem with Inverness is that it doesn't have a City Council, and I don't know if it has Charter Trustees--therein lies the problem. In Inverness's case, the city status appears to be conceptual, certainly when compared with, say, Birmingham.
You're right, the presence of havoc-wreaking supporters/detractors of traditional counties isn't a reason to exclude such information. However, the fact that traditional/historic counties changed over time and were never constant, not to mention complicated (e.g. the Soke of Peterborough), is a valid reason.
The one advantage of using Ceremonial Counties in England rather than administrative areas is that we'd be saying "Leicester is in Leicestershire" and "Sheffield is in South Yorkshire" rather than "Leicester is in Leicester" and "Sheffield is in Sheffield"--that doesn't really help describe where Leicester or Sheffield are, does it? --RFBailey (talk) 01:42, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Well for the same reason perhaps we should use registration counties in Scotland instead of administrative regions. It would save saying that "Glasgow is in the City of Glasgow". I think we can safely use counties of Northern Ireland, they've got pretty uncontroversial boundaries even though they're no longer used by the government. What about Wales? Local government units will involve saying "Swansea is in Swansea". Preserved counties?GSTQ (talk) 04:22, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Registration counties? I believe Glasgow is a registration county, but boundaries are likely to be rather different from the current boundaries of the city (which date, except for one minor change, from 1996). I believe the boundaries of the city are, however, also those of the lieutenancy. And I believe Welsh preserved counties are, in fact, lieutenancies (and, unlike lieutenancies anywhere else in Britain, are used by the commission responsible for reviewing constituency boundaries). Laurel Bush (talk) 11:45, 17 January 2008 (UTC).

Actually, I also agree that the possibility of havoc-creating people causing problems does not in itself count against using "traditional counties", but I do think that the the use of "traditional", "historic", etc counties would give a false sense of permanence of boundaries, etc., which would then become the target of disruptive edit-wars. Furthermore, they are not current area entities, and so may cause further problems of understanding in readers unfamiliar with the tangled history of (administrative) units in the UK. I, too, think that in England's case, using ceremonial counties would be best, as they are not contentious entities, and so would solve the problems outlined so far as well as minimizing the chance of disruptive edit-wars. I also think that if separate kinds of areas are best for the other constituent countries of the UK, then we should have separate tables for each of them. It might ruin a certain single-table neatness, but it would allow for a more accurate and well-targetted set of information.  DDStretch  (talk) 12:00, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

"Status Bearer" (or "City Status Bearer") may be a slightly less long possibility for the name of the column currently written as "Type of local government". I believe this is accurate and descriptive of what is being shown in that column.  DDStretch  (talk) 12:04, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Just a suggestion here, but why not use the ISO 3166 or NUTS geocode system? -- Jza84 · (talk) 13:01, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Or the ONS coding system. -- Jza84 · (talk) 13:03, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm all for "Status bearer" being the heading title. It's way more accurate than "type of local government" anyhow. As for counties, it seems agreement has not been reached on what to do with this column, and so I'm going to suggest removing it. If the reader is uncertain about the location of a city, he can simply click on the link to the city and find out.GSTQ (talk) 02:36, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

I have pointed out earlier that some cities seem not have any "status bearer". As regards location, map refs should work. Laurel Bush (talk) 13:30, 24 January 2008 (UTC).

If you can tell us which ones don't, that might help us all see a way forward on this.  DDStretch  (talk) 15:07, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I would imagine that Inverness, Stirling and Newry would be the bearer-less or "non-corporeal" cities. Lozleader (talk) 17:09, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
In that case, assuming no more and perhaps even if there are a small number more, these can surely be dealt with by means of a special footnote attached to, say "none" explaining the situation in a "status bearer" column, whilst the rest have what would be considered the natural content for such a column?  DDStretch  (talk) 17:56, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Map refs are uncontroversial, but are they actually helpful? I'm not fussed either way about their inclusion, but a map ref column would seem to be clogging the table up with too much information without helping the average reader. The reader can see the cities are in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. Isn't that enough?GSTQ (talk) 22:31, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Google Books[edit]

Just came across this in Google Books: City Status in the British Isles, 1830-2002 By J. V. Beckett
Published 2005
Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
202 pages
ISBN 0754650677

It's possible to read a lot of the book in previews and it seems very solid (and interesting). I don't see it referenced in the article. I suppose someone ought to buy a copy :-)Lozleader (talk) 17:06, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Inverness again[edit]

Interestingly, a petition for matriculation of a coat of arms for the City of Inverness was recently refused by Lord Lyon. [1] The decision was based on the fact that there is no legal persona to grant the arms to, and that Inverness is a city in name only. Lozleader (talk) 10:34, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Curious. As the article says, "There is nothing to grant arms to. Arms is property that must belong to someone. Highland Council has responsibility for the city of Inverness." Um... so why were the arms not conferred on Highland Council, with some sort of specification that they relate only to the City of Inverness and not the whole of the council area? And more's the point, if the Lord Lyon is correct, on what corporate entity was the royal charter conferred in 2000? I think it's fairly safe to ignore the point in that article about Elizabeth II/Elizabeth R though, which sounds spurious to me. DWaterson (talk) 13:09, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Ah, actually Inverness#City Status clarifies slightly. Odd though. DWaterson (talk) 13:10, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

The letters patent refer to the Town of Inverness and do not include any reference to The Highland Council. Highland Council has responsibility for the city of Inverness appears to be erroneous, except perhaps to the extent that the council was involved in campaigning (together with at least one other body) for grant of the letters. The letters themsleves are not addressed to anyone in particular, but seem to have been delivered to Inverness Town House care of the Inverness Lord Lieutenant. Laurel Bush (talk) 18:28, 12 February 2008 (UTC).

The Table[edit]

I was looking at a possible redesign of the big table. See sample below....

City Mayor Year granted city status Details Occasion Notes (Diocesan) Cathedral (pre 1888) Type of Local Government
English Cities
Bath Mayor (1590)[1] TI Charter of incorporation dated September 4th, 1590.[1]

City Status confirmed to non-metropolitan district by Letters Patent dated April 1, 1974.[2]
Status maintained by trustees established by The Charter Trustees Regulations 1996[3]

Incorporation of city.
Recognised as city by "ancient prescriptive usage".[4] [5]
Bath Abbey
No longer a cathedral
charter trustees
Birmingham Lord Mayor (1896)[6] 1889 Letters Patent dated January 14, 1889[7]

City Status confirmed to Metropolitan Borough of Birmingham by Letters Patent dated June 25, 1974.[8]

Golden jubilee of incorporation of Borough of Birmingham. In response to petition that from corporation of Birmingham noting that it was the second most populous town in England and the largest borough without the title of city.[9] not applicable metropolitan borough
Bradford Lord Mayor (1907)[10] 1897 Letters patent dated July 10, 1897[11]

City Status confirmed to Metropolitan Borough of Bradford by Letters Patent dated April 1, 1974.[2]

Golden jubilee of Queen Victoria City status was also granted to Kingston-upon-Hull and Nottingham. These were the three largest county boroughs that were not cities at the 1891 census.[12] not applicable metropolitan borough
Brighton & Hove Mayor (1854)[13] 2000 Letters Patent dated January 31, 2001 ordained that "the Towns of Brighton and Hove shall have the status of a City".[14] Millenium Competition City status also awarded to Inverness and Wolverhampton. not applicable non-metropolitan district,
unitary authority
Bristol Lord Mayor (1899)[15] [16] 1542 Letters patent constituting "Bishoprick of Bristol" dated June 4, 1542[17]

City Status confirmed to non-metropolitan district by Letters Patent dated April 1, 1974.[2]

Creation of Diocese of Bristol   Bristol Cathedral non-metropolitan district,
unitary authority
Cambridge Mayor (1207)[18] 1951 Letters Patent dated March 21, 1951.[19]

City Status confirmed to non-metropolitan district by Letters Patent dated May 28, 1974.[20]

750th anniversary of incorporation of Borough of Cambridge.[21] [22] Petition from the Corporation of Cambridge noted that of six "ancient seats of learning" in Great Britain, only Cambridge was not a city or royal burgh. not applicable non-metropolitan district
Canterbury Lord Mayor (1988) [23] TI City Status confirmed to the non-metropolitan district by Letters Patent dated May 28, 1974.[20] Recognised as city by "ancient prescriptive usage".[4]   Christchurch Cathedral Non-metropolitan district
  1. ^ a b Royal Charters, (City of Bath), accessed February 14, 2008
  2. ^ a b c London Gazette, issue no. 46255, April 4, 1974
  3. ^ The Charter Trustees Regulations 1996 (S.I.1996/263), accessed February 14, 2008
  4. ^ a b Home Office List of 19 English cities recognised by ancient prescriptive right, 1927 (PRO HO 286/40), cited in Beckett
  5. ^ Norman Bath, (City of Bath), accessed February 14, 2008
  6. ^ The first Lord Mayor was appointed June 3, 1896 History of Mayoralty of Birmingham from Birmingham City Council website
  7. ^ From the London Gazette, January 18, 1889, The Times, January 19, 1889
  8. ^ London Gazette, issue no. 46303, June 28, 1974
  9. ^ Petition to Queen Victoria, (National Archives), accessed February 14, 2008
  10. ^ Letters Patent dated September 16, 1907. (London Gazette, issue no.28065, October 1, 1907)
  11. ^ London Gazette issue 26872, July 13, 1897, page 3895
  12. ^ J V Beckett, City Status in the British Isles, 1830-2002, London, 2005
  13. ^ The mayoralty of Brighton dates from the incorporation of the borough on January 19, 1854Incorporation, (My Brighton and Hove), accessed February 14, 2008
  14. ^ London Gazette, issue no.56109, May 2, 2001
  15. ^ The Lord Mayoralty of Bristol was granted as part of the Birthday Honours in 1899 Birthday Honours, The Times, June 3, 1899
  16. ^ History of The Lord Mayor of Bristol from Bristol City Council website
  17. ^ Frederic A Youngs Jr., Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol.I: Southern England, London, 1979
  18. ^ The 1207 Charter, Cambridge City Council, accessed February 14, 2008
  19. ^ London Gazette, issue no.39201, April 13, 1951
  20. ^ a b London Gazette, issue no. 46334, May 31, 1974
  21. ^ Cambridge Petition to the King: Wish to be a City, The Times, March 19, 1951
  22. ^ Cambridge City, The Times, March 24, 1951
  23. ^ Letters Patent dated July 13, 1988. London Gazette, issue no.51416, July 20, 1988

What I'm trying to do is eliminate some of the footnotes and incorporate them in the table. I also thought the "Occasion" column would be of interest... Lozleader (talk) 22:23, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

I like the present design of the table, and think it caters to the vast majority of readers in its present form, which enables readers to see basic essential information on each city without too much space being taken up by each entry. If the reader wants more specific information, he can always check the footnotes, but I do not believe most readers would.GSTQ (talk) 23:57, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
I think that changing the table to look like the above would make it very unwieldy and excessively large. I think there's a case of if it ain't broke, don't fix it here! --RFBailey (talk) 02:41, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

1974 reorganisation[edit]

Re "... This meant that the various municipal boroughs that ..." : is the text correct? or should it say "various county boroughs"? or "various county and municipal boroughs"? or "various boroughs"? 25 March 2008. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:28, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

It's correct, in that county boroughs were also municipal boroughs. But maybe boroughs would be less misleading. Having said that there was one urban district (Ely) with city status. Maybe "various local authorities" would be better... Lozleader (talk) 11:43, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, I have changed it to "local authorities". 26 March 2008. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:31, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Inverness — when was it granted city status?[edit]

Some references say 2000, some say 2001. Which is it? (+References please!)--Observer29 (talk) 23:38, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

I seem to remember 2001 as the date on letters patent, last time I saw them. There may have been earlier intimation of a decision in favour of Inverness. Laurel Bush (talk) 10:33, 4 April 2008 (UTC).

The winning cities were announced on 18 December 2000 (, but the Letters Patent were dated 31 January 2001 according to the London Gazette source in this article. Whether it's 2000 or 2001 is debateable, but I'd suggest that as it was a Millenium competition, then the 2000 date should take precidence. Fingerpuppet (talk) 10:46, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
I was about to add the same info as Fingerpuppet: announced December 18, 2000, LP January 31, 2001. The competition was certainly supposed to be in celebration of the year 2000, but there were delays due to political factors. In particular the lack of a designation of a Welsh or Northern Irish city led to problems, with arguments going on until late November at least.See BBC here
An announcement had been expected since the summer of 2000 and it seems to have been delayed until the last possible minute, and then only by a written answer in the Commons, meaning the letters patent were not ready until the next year (what with christmas and all).Lozleader (talk) 11:15, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for info. I see that Lozleader has now added Inverness to Scotland with appropriate wording to reflect the fact of the matter in a succinct way. Regards. --Observer29 (talk) 22:13, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

City status awarded to "town" or "council"?[edit]

I would like to open an discussion regarding the notices of the grants of city status to the three English and Welsh towns in 2000 and 2002 as published in the London Gazette. It appears there has been a change in the wording of the announcements which suggested city status was bestowed on the "town" and not the "borough" or council.

In the London Gazette of 5 February 2001 the wording of the Wolverhampton announcement says " ordain the Town of Wolverhampton shall have the status of a City" and for Brighton and Hove says "...the Towns of Brighton and Hove shall have the status of a City." On both instances the word Borough is not used as was previously the case for Sunderland in the London Gazette of 26th March 1992 "....the Borough of Sunderland shall have the status of a City" and Derby in the Gazette of 14 June 1977 "....the Borough of Derby shall have the status of a City." and nearly all previous city status grants.

The announcements in the London Gazette of 21 May 2002 for Newport and Preston is also very interesting as it says "to ordain the Town of Newport in the County Borough of Newport and the Town of Preston shall have the status of a City." Here it clearly states for Newport, the town within the County Borough.

I recalled in 2001 both Wolverhampton and Brighton and Hove Councils had special meetings to change their names to "City" Councils. This had me wondering whether perhaps it was the recognised urban town that got the status and not the Council. At this point I contacted both Wolverhampton and Brighton Councils who replied with interesting information.

According to Mark Wall of Brighton Council in an email dated 17 August 2007, "The City Council was granted City Status in 2001 and an Extraordinary meeting of the council was called on the 15th February to receive the Letters Patent and determine whether the council should alter is name from Brighton & Hove to Brighton & Hove City Council. Whilst the council had actively sought consideration from Her Majesty's office to be granted city status, there was a need for the council to formally pass a resolution to accept that position and accept the Letters Patent."

According to Amy Hardiman of Wolverhampton Council in an email dated 17 August 2007" Thank you for your enquiry. The award of City status on 31 January 2001 was to Wolverhampton as a place and not to the council and therefore the title of the Council did not change automatically. The legal status of the Council is as a metropolitan borough council under the Local Government Act 1972, which is technically what we became in 1974 when the 1972 Act came into force and still are, as is Coventry, Manchester, Birmingham etc. Councils can choose what to call themselves. (I know that Wigan in Greater Manchester used the title Wigan Metro, with no reference to Council.) After the grant of City Status, the Council passed a resolution at the next full meeting on 14 February 2001 to change its title from Wolverhampton Metropolitan Borough Council to Wolverhampton City Council. It was open to the Council to decide to call itself the "City Council of Wolverhampton" or not make any change at all."

Amy's reply makes it clear city status was given to the place and NOT the Council. To get clarification I contacted Linda Henshaw at the Ministry of Justice and in her email of 28 August 2007 she says " You have asked whether city status is given to the town in the Council area from which a request for city status is successful and not the council. The last occasion on which a competition was held was in December 2000 when it was announced that to mark The Queen's Golden Jubilee grants of city status would be made to a suitably qualified town in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Application was to be made by an identifiable local authority that served the town. This would suggest that the identifiable council might then seek to change its name to include the word 'city'. I cannot, however, advise on how any future grant of city status will be undertaken. I am unable to comment on your statement "It is then an official requirement for the Council governing the new towns to have a meeting to formally become city councils". The procedural aspects of local authorities would, I suggest, be something on which the Department for Communities and Local Government might assist you."

Do you think there has been a change in the granting of City status to "towns" as an identifiable urban entity and not the administrative local authority which bears the same name and controls the town? Does this mean the section about City councils needs to be updated? I'd be very interested in learning your views on the matter.

--Statsfan (talk) 23:03, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Very interesting indeed. I can see how that would work for Wolverhampton, Preston, Newport or any of the other 21st century cities, but I'm a little confused as to how it works for Brighton & Hove. The wording of "The Towns of Brighton and Hove shall have the status of a city" is somewhat confusing. The statement clearly suggests that there are two separate towns of Brighton and Hove (which is to be expected), but they only hold city status jointly. Does this mean that Brighton is a City and so is Hove, or that neither is individually, and that only the combination of the two towns hold that status? Fingerpuppet (talk) 23:17, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
My interpretation is that the towns of Brighton and Hove ceased to exist and jointly became components of a new place called the city of Brighton and Hove. --Statsfan (talk) 00:44, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
I wouldn't say that they were. Take the following similar example - when a district gains borough status, it's a borough - but it's also still a district in legal terms. When a town becomes a city, it doesn't lose its town charter (or it doesn't undeclare itself a town if it was a civil parish post-1974). Hence a city is also a town.
How does this relate to the discussion? Well, Brighton and Hove are still separate towns - there are still roadsigns to each place (rather than "Brighton & Hove"), they still have their own town charters, there are still references to "Hove Town Centre" and "Brighton Town Centre" and so on.
I hope I've explained my thoughts properly. Whilst considering all the possibilities, I'd like to add another one for discussion. Is the wording change (and the potential removal of involvement of a local authority) a response to the issues at Rochester? If Rochester's wording had been something like "The Town of Rochester shall have the status of a City", then it would never have lost its city status, as it would have applied to the settlement, as suggested. Fingerpuppet (talk) 14:02, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
You may be on to something here. I was reading through the minutes of Newry and Mourne District Council for March 19, 2002 here: [2] In particular I was struck by the advice that the Council could decide to change the name to Newry City and Mourne District Council or retain its present name. Lozleader (talk) 19:41, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
Having said that, the city status does extend to the entire districts... The City of Brighton and Hove (Electoral Changes) Order 2001 states that The non-metropolitan district of Brighton and Hove has the status of a city. The City of Wolverhampton (Electoral Changes) Order 2003 states that The metropolitan district of Wolverhampton has the status of a city.
I would imagine there is no obligation on the council to call itself "city council". I remember that an administration in Liverpool dropped the title of "lord mayor" in favour of chair or chairman for a while. Lozleader (talk) 22:37, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

With respect to the case of Brighton and Hove, you may like to compare and contrast their situation with what was done for Stoke-on-Trent back in 1925: Originally six towns (Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke-upon-Trent (note the subtle, yet important difference in the name of this town and the name of the city), Fenton, and Longton) they became federated together in 1910 as a county borough known as Stoke-on-Trent, which after some boundary changes and expansion, became a city in 1925. Road signs in the city still point to the separate towns, and there is still a dispute about what some would see as Hanley's usurpation of the name "city centre". (Wikipedia's article about it is roughly correct according to my understanding, but it is a bit unclear in places.) Brighton and Hove were united into a borough prior to city status being given as quoted. It would be interesting to see where the announcements for Stoke-on-Trent were different. My guess is that the county borough was awarded the status, rather than the six towns separately.  DDStretch  (talk) 22:58, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
From the London Gazette, July 3, 1925:

Whitehall, July 1, 1925.

The KING has been pleased, by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, bearing date the 5th ultimo, to ordain that the County Borough of Stoke-on-Trent shall be a City and shall be called and styled " The City of Stoke-on- Trent," and that the Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the said Borough shall be one body politic and corporate by the name and style of "The Mayor, Aldermen and Citizens of

the City of Stoke-on-Trent."
Lozleader (talk) 23:18, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
I wonder about those areas of the settlements outside the local authority boundaries? For example, Wolverhampton (the urban sub-division, hence the settlement) has some parts outside the area administered by Wolverhampton City Council. Whilst they are part of the settlement (or town), are they parts of the City? I rather suspect that that's a question that can never be definitively answered. Fingerpuppet (talk) 09:02, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

I have dug through the gazettes and newspaper archives to find out exactly who was awraded the city status. These are the grants since 1977 (unfortunately the N.I. grants weren't gazetted):

Announcement Letters patent Status granted to
June 7, 1977 June 7, 1977 Borough of Derby
N/A November 4, 1980 Town of Lichfield
N/A January 25, 1982 Borough of Rochester upon Medway
February 14, 1992 March 23, 1992 Borough of Sunderland
July 7, 1994 September 16, 1994 Town of St David's
July 7, 1994 Presented June 1, 1995 Armagh (??)
N/A March 29, 1996 County of Cardiff (with effect April 1, 1996)
N/A March 29, 1996 County of Swansea (with effect April 1, 1996)
N/A April 1, 1996 "the New Borough of York"
N/A October 11 2000 Town of Hereford
December 18, 2000 January 31, 2001 Towns of Brighton and Hove
December 18, 2000 January 31, 2001 Town of Inverness
December 18, 2000 January 31, 2001 Town of Wolverhampton
March 14, 2002 May 15, 2002 Town of Newport in the County Borough of Newport
March 14, 2002 May 15, 2002 Town of Preston
March 14, 2002 Presented in May 2002 Town of Stirling
March 14, 2002 Presented May 14, 2002 Lisburn (??)
March 14, 2002 Presented May 14, 2002 Newry (??)

It is interesting to note that inn the case of Cardiff and Swansea the grant is to the entire county, but in the case of Newport only to the town in the county borough. Lozleader (talk) 10:50, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

If only the town of Preston was awarded city status how come the borough council (which includes a large rural area outside of Preston) changed tis name to Preston City Council? Penrithguy (talk) 19:08, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
IIRC, councils can call themselves whatever they like. Fingerpuppet (talk) 20:54, 12 May 2008 (UTC)


Chesters an old Roman City and has an old Cathedral... Seems unusual that it was only given City status in 16th century. Any thoughts? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:02, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

The date is correct: the building that is now a Chester Cathedral was a monastery before 1541. It is true that there was a cathedral in Chester until 1075 when the see moved to Lichfield, but this was a different church entirely. Chester was not one of the 19 cities recognised by "ancient prescriptive right" by the Home Office, but by virtue of the letters patent of Henry VIII. The place's status in Roman times is not really relevant, city status as we understand it dates from the Middle Ages. There are plenty of places which were a Roman "civitas", that have never been considered a city (eg Cirencester, Colchester, Silchester, Wroxeter etc) Lozleader (talk) 19:59, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Blurry photo[edit]

I can see no justification for this out of focus picture. The mayoral chain is not exactly prominent and in other respects its no more than a picture of some bloke standing in front of a political banner that has no relation to the article. A decent picture of a mayor in his/her full regalia would be brilliant. But no picture is much better than this poorly taken shot. Jooler (talk) 20:25, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Two other reasons for not including it are that someone is claiming copyright on it (see image name) and secondly that it's a .png which is a good format for a diagram but not a good format for a photo. Jooler (talk) 20:29, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Oh whatever. Personally I can't see that it was doing any harm (I disagree with your premise that no picture is better than a poor one), but I'm not going to get into a revert war. Cheers, DWaterson (talk) 21:28, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Style problems[edit]

This is an old and respected Featured Article, but it seems to be behind times when it comes to the style of text. The Manual of Style, which should always be followed by FAs, is often ignored when it comes to punctuation and text formatting. Furthermore, there are several sections which are under-linked and numerous links which are over-repeated, and links are generally used inconsistently throughout the article. I have already started attempts to redress these issues, but I cannot complete this task alone. This article requires attention, or it might suffer the unfortunate fate of the many demoted articles. Waltham, The Duke of 22:27, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

One of the substantial concerns voiced was that the leader was too short. I agree, it is also defective. It doesn't address Scotland or Ireland, and does not outline the evolution of the modern practice of granting city status. Off the top of my head, I might suggest the following addition to the header at the end:
City status in Ireland was granted to far fewer communities than in England and Wales, and there are only two pre-nineteenth century cities in present-day Northern Ireland. City status in Scotland did not explicitly receive any recognition by the state until the nineteenth century. In the nineteenth century, a revival of grants of city status took place, first in England, where the grants were accompanied by the establishment of new cathedrals, and later also in Scotland and Ireland, without cathedrals being established. In the twentieth century, it was explicitly recognized that the status of city would no longer be bound to the presence of a cathedral, either in England or elsewhere, and grants made since then have been awarded to communities on a variety of criteria, and on a variety of occasions.
Does anybody think it's too wordy, and are there any proposals to edit it in any way? Should there be anything about the many losses of city status which have been effected by the abolition of bodies bearing the status?GSTQ (talk) 23:41, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

It looks good. I have combined it with the existing intro, and added a third paragraph for the reforms and losses of status (concluding it with a nice reference to its beginning, which I think is called "circular scheme"); with a few tweaks, the result is the following:

City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the British monarch to a select group of communities. The status does not apply automatically on the basis of any particular criteria, although in England and Wales it was traditionally given to towns with diocesan cathedrals. This association between having a cathedral and being called a city was established in the early 1540s when King Henry VIII founded dioceses (and therefore cathedrals) in six English towns and also granted them all city status by issuing letters patent.
City status in Ireland was granted to far fewer communities than in England and Wales, and there are only two pre-nineteenth-century cities in present-day Northern Ireland. In Scotland, city status did not explicitly receive any recognition by the state until the nineteenth century. At that time, a revival of grants of city status took place, first in England, where the grants were accompanied by the establishment of new cathedrals, and later in Scotland and Ireland. In the twentieth century, it was explicitly recognised that the status of city would no longer be bound to the presence of a cathedral, and grants made since have been awarded to communities on a variety of criteria, including population size, and on a variety of occasions.
Because of a series of local-government reforms in the late twentieth century, letters patent have been issued for most of the affected cities in order to ensure the continuation of their status. Failure to do so has led, in some cases, to loss of city status; however, most of these communities have later regained their title, leaving Rochester as the only former city in the United Kingdom.

What do you think? Waltham, The Duke of 04:06, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

It's mostly fine, except I don't like the resulting clumsiness in the last sentence of the second paragraph. Also, local government reorganizations took place as early as the nineteenth century, not just in the late twentieth. I've also reworded the third paragraph. Here's a revised version:
City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the British monarch to a select group of communities. The status does not apply automatically on the basis of any particular criteria, although in England and Wales it was traditionally given to towns with diocesan cathedrals. This association between having a cathedral and being called a city was established in the early 1540s when King Henry VIII founded dioceses (and therefore cathedrals) in six English towns and also granted them all city status by issuing letters patent.
City status in Ireland was granted to far fewer communities than in England and Wales, and there are only two pre-nineteenth-century cities in present-day Northern Ireland. In Scotland, city status did not explicitly receive any recognition by the state until the nineteenth century. At that time, a revival of grants of city status took place, first in England, where the grants were accompanied by the establishment of new cathedrals, and later in Scotland and Ireland. In the twentieth century, it was explicitly recognised that the status of city would no longer be bound to the presence of a cathedral, and grants made since have been awarded to communities on a variety of criteria, including population size.
The abolition of some corporate bodies as part of local government reforms, beginning in the nineteenth century, has deprived some ancient cities of their status, however letters patent have been issued for most of the affected cities in order to ensure the continuation or restoration of their status. At present Rochester is the only former city in the United Kingdom.GSTQ (talk) 06:04, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

I suppose on a variety of occasions was rather redundant. Concerning the third paragraph, I only remembered the later reforms, mostly the 1974 one. I still like the late x century comment, though; it introduces some variation and precision, and it is accurate because the first reform was, it turns out, in 1888. Generally speaking, although I am satisfied with the lead, I should have preferred it if there could be less repetitions of nineteenth century. But there isn't anything we could do about that, is there?

The abolition of some corporate bodies as part of local-government reforms, beginning in the late nineteenth century, has deprived some ancient cities of their status; however, letters patent have been issued for most of the affected cities in order to ensure the continuation or restoration of their status. At present, Rochester is the only former city in the United Kingdom.

Waltham, The Duke of 23:55, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Well, the nineteenth century was a pretty momentous time as far as cities in the U.K. are concerned. And, unfortunately, the only way of saying "nineteenth century" is "nineteenth century", unless it's reduced to "it", which we can't really do. As for "late nineteenth century" or "nineteenth century", I'm not really fussed, but the repetition of the cumbersome "nineteenth century" suggests to me that we should try to avoid making the phrase even more cumbersome by adding yet another word to it. Besides, if we were after accuracy, why not just say "1888"? It is only a leader, if the reader's interested, he can read further.GSTQ (talk) 00:17, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

I was mostly aiming at variety... I don't think late makes it more cumbersome. In any case, although we could say beginning in 1888, it is neither specific nor general enough, and I should instead suggest beginning with the Local Government Act 1888, which ties is nicely with as part of local-government reforms, as this is indeed the first of these reforms. (Adopting the idea would also leave us with only two nineteenth centurys in the intro.) This might be a lead, but it doesn't mean we should be general at all costs; tidbits like this one help spice the introduction up a little. Waltham, The Duke of 02:30, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Oh dear, Your Grace, I can put up with slips like "ties is nicely", and even "less repetitions" (it should be "fewer repetitions", of course), but "tidbits"? It's so American. I've altered the leader as per Your Grace's suggestion, by the way.GSTQ (talk) 03:11, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

I haven't slept yet, and it probably shows. If it weren't for this, I shouldn't have forgiven myself. :-D I have just made a few style corrections to the third paragraph; I had noted them above, but you probably failed to notice them in time. Successive was a nice touch, by the way. I've also noticed the section re-ordering, which certainly constitutes an improvement.

Now that we have got the lead out of the way... Can you do anything about the small number of in-line references? Unfortunately, I can be of no use there. Waltham, The Duke of 03:30, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Settlements or cities[edit]

Regarding this, the article makes clear the wider districts have the city status in some cases. The articles linked describe districts, not councils. The original change was applied only to those cities where the wider district holds the status and is therefore consistent. MRSCTalk 05:55, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Stroke City commentary[edit]

The following message was left on my user talk page, which I've moved here as it's the more appropriate forum for discussing this edit and others like it:

So I'm not sure what your involvement in the article is but out of courtesy I'll leave you a message seeing as you addressed me in your last edit. The name of a city is entirely relevant to the article because otherwise people won't know what the article is referring to. It would be like insisting on calling say Swansea exclusively Abertawe— I'd know what was being referring to but most people wouldn't. Judging by your user page you no doubt have some "unionist" sentiment(or whatever you want to call it), but bear in mind neutrality is key to wikipedia. Thanks.ʄ!¿talk? 18:15, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

In response:

1. I don't have to justify my edits to this article by meeting some threshold of "involvement", but since you mention it I have made a significant number of contributions to it for at least a year, perhaps more, I can't remember. Check the page history.

2. The name of a city is of course relevant to the article, and the two names are mentioned where this is relevant. For instance, the sentence "There are only two pre-ninenteenth century cities in modern-day Northern Ireland, Armagh and Derry, which was renamed 'Londonderry' by its city charter." The comparison with Swansea and Abertawe is spurious. Both "Londonderry" and "Derry" are English-language names. Both are widely understood, whether or not there are some who refuse to use either one or the other themselves. No confusion could possibly occur in this sentence anyway, because both names are mentioned.

3. This is not a neutrality dispute, this article doesn't fail that test as it stands. This is a dispute about relevance. To say the naming controversy is relevant to this article is tantamount to saying every article which mentions the city should have a sentence after the first mention, saying "warning: controversy about name: see here". The whole point of the Wikipedia policy of using Derry for the city and Londonderry for the county was to avoid the necessity of doing this. There are fascinating topics about every city mentioned in this article, but unless they are relevant to city status (and Londonderry's seventeenth-century city charter is relevant) they have no place in this article, but rather in the articles concerning the cities themselves. My unionist sympathies have nothing to do with my reverts of these edits. Rather, I am concerned that the edits would interfere with the article's being considered to be written interestingly and brilliantly.GSTQ (talk) 00:00, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Golden Jubilee in 18??[edit]

"on the occasion of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1897." Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the Golden Jubilee in 1887? Calle Widmann (talk) 11:55, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Good point, probably should be Diamond Jubilee. David Underdown (talk) 13:14, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Local government reorganisation 2009 & 2011[edit]

There will be some local government reorganisation in 2009 in England and complete reorganisation in Northern Ireland in 2011. Could someone look into what is being done to preserve city statuses in the parts of the country affected?

2009 structural changes to local government in England

In England the cities affected which immediately spring to mind are Exeter, Norwich, Chester and Durham. Maybe some more are affected. I assume charter trustees will be set up in most, if not all, of these cities to carry on the city status. However I did hear that Chester's status may be taken on by the new Cheshire West and Chester unitary?

Some cities in the areas affected won't need to change their city status "grantee" - Truro (civil parish) and New Sarum (Charter Trustees) for example.

Northern Ireland - check the Northern Ireland local government articles regarding the 11 new districts being set up to replace the existing districts there. Affecting the cities of Derry, Lisburn..?

Help researching and updating articles as necessary much appreciated!! David (talk) 14:53, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

I looked into this last year and somewhere made some notes.... AFAIK there is no decision on Exeter and Norwich as of yet. Anyway, I believe Durham are hoping to establish charter trustees [3], Salisbury Charter Trustees are likely to be replaced by a parish council [4], while Chester are setting up trustees [5]: although the article states Chester’s city status might one day apply to the whole of Cheshire West and Chester. I think the NI changes are quite a way off with no legislation as yet, so its a bit early to say. Perhaps they will address the dreaded Derry/Londonderry name dispute. Lozleader (talk) 19:16, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Three Former Cities, or Six, or ...?[edit]

The article says that “At present, Rochester, Perth and Elgin are the only former cities in the United Kingdom.” This seems to contradict the page “Category: Former cities in Scotland”, which lists five such (Brechin, Dunblane, Elgin, Perth and St Andrews) - making, together with Rochester, a total of six for the whole UK, not three. Is this a real inconsistency, or a problem about definitions of “city”, or what? I hope that someone can find out and sort it out. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:02, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

As explained in the article, Brechin, Dunblane and St Andrews were never officially recognised as cities, although they used the term unofficially, as did Dunfermline and Kirkwall. Lozleader (talk) 15:03, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
Then should those that were "unofficial" cities (e.g. Brechin) really be in that category? --RFBailey (talk) 15:15, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
I have removed them. Lozleader (talk) 15:37, 15 August 2008 (UTC)


I tried reading this page and now my brain wants to die. Is it just me or are most English bureaucratic conventions horrifically abstruse? Is there any cogent reason why, say, Reading is not a city? Who makes up this shit, the Illuminati? And what's in a title that has no definition? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:12, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

It's pretty simple if only you read the article. Reading isn't a city because it has never been given city status by the monarchy. End of story. Jeez. David (talk) 08:30, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Lord Mayor of Bristol[edit]

It appears that the Lord Mayor of Bristol has the prefix of Right Honourable, something which has so far been overlooked on Wikipedia.

Council webpage

The Lord Mayor of Britsol does NOT have the right to the prefix of Right Honourable.
In an enquiry about the issue to Linda Henshaw at the Department for Constitutional Affairs, she responded in an email of 28 September 2005 as follows:-
Thank you for your email of 6 September 2005 enquiring about which cities Lord Mayors or Lord Provosts are entitled to be addressed as "Right Honourable".
Debrett's "Correct Form" (ISBN 07472 2330 0) advises that:
  • Lord Mayors of London, Westminster, and York, have been styled "the Right Honourable" since time immemorial; while other Lord Mayors are so styled only when granted the privilege by the Sovereign - these are Belfast and Cardiff; and,
  • Lord Provosts of Edinburgh and Glasgow are styled "the Right Honourable".''
I have previously contacted Sheila Lang, an Archivist at Bristol Record Office, and in an email of 2 April 2001 she explains how the mis-understanding occurred as follows:-
Thank you for your e-mail of 29 March. I have made enquiries of the Lord Mayor's Secretary, who tells me that a mistake was made by Queen Victoria's secretary at some point in her reign giving Bristol's Mayor or Lord Mayor the title of Right Honourable, as opposed to Right Worshipful, which is the usual title. This has been claimed by Bristol ever since.
I do not know, but the occasion could have been when Queen Victoria visited Bristol in 1899, as the Mayor, Herbert Ashman, was at that time created Lord Mayor, and also received a knighthood from the Queen.
The Lord Mayor's Secretary says that there is a footnote in Debrett to this effect, should you wish to check it. We do not have a copy here, so I am unable to look it up for you.
I hope this will be helpful''
--Statsfan (talk) 09:35, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Various pages on Wikipedia need editing (I have done those which I can find). Research into when the use of the style was granted also needs doing. David (talk) 17:36, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I seem to remember removing the assertion that Bristol has the dignity from the right honourable article and the List of lord mayoralties and lord provostships in the United Kingdom as it had no foundation/referencing and all the reliable evidence stated the opposite. Not sure about Westminster, it could hardly br "right hon" since time immemorial as the mayoralty only dates from the creation of the metropiltan borough in 1900, and the lord mayoralty from the creation of the London borough, AFAIK. Lozleader (talk) 11:32, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Have just checked the 1966 London Gazette entry which did not confer "Rt Hon" on the Lord Mayor of Westminster, and the city council's own website [6] and Rt Hon is not used, but "right worshipful", which is, I believe used by all mayors (even town mayors).Lozleader (talk) 11:45, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Your're right Lozleader, but I've been on the Ministry of Justtice website and they are saying only the Lord Mayor of Westminster can be called The Worshipful. I've got no idea when that was decided. --Statsfan (talk) 12:50, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Huh. That implies that only the Lord Mayor of Westminster can be addressed as "worshipful". A quick google of "mayor" and "worshipful" shows that it is in wide use at district and town level. Not sure who makes the rules or how enforceable they are! Lozleader (talk) 13:06, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Elsewhere in Wikipedia it is stated that "Right Worshipful" is used by mayors of cities and of the original cinque ports, and "Worshipful" by all others. No sources, but it does seem to be broadly in line with actual usage. Lozleader (talk) 13:22, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
OK, after an extensive googling exercise, I can confirm that:
  • Right Worshipful is used by lord mayors/mayors of cities (including those that are just civil parishes) - except for the ones who are "rt. hon"
  • Right Worshipful is used in the original Cinque Ports
  • For some reason the mayors of the boroughs of Reading, Sandwell and Shrewsbury & Atcham also use the Rt Worshipful style. this may be in error?
  • All other mayors seem to use "worshipful"
Lozleader (talk) 13:42, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Did some research on the Rt Hon business, material added to List of lord mayoralties and lord provostships in the United Kingdom. Basically it appears that the new lord mayors created in the 1890s thought they were entiltled to be rt hon, and they wwere supported in this by Garter King of Arms in 1893. However by 1903 his successor had decided this was not so, and after that the Home Office had to politely point this out to places like Liverpool and Manchester not to use the title. Bristol seems to have carried on regardles..Lozleader (talk) 21:42, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Comparison to U.S.[edit]

I deleted the following bit:

... where the primary meaning of the word city is any area contained within city limits, completely disregarding whether or not that area is recognisable as a traditional "city".

I can't see how that's right. The primary meaning of 'city' is just 'a large urban area'. There's a definite distinction between cities and towns, but it's an informal one and it's meaningless to ask what the smallest city is. There is an alternate, more general sense, so it's not wrong to talk about the city limits of a small town, but it would be odd to say "I'm going into the city" if one were heading down town in a town of 5000. Mark Foskey (talk) 02:38, 23 February 2009 (UTC)


GATESHEAD TO APPLY FOR CITY STATUS this is not my article so i'm not going to add information about this myself. But can gateshead making it clear they will be applying for city status in 2012 be mentioned? how about the fact there are expectations a new city will be named in 2012? maybe with a list of candidates? i have the following source —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:11, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

It's interesting, but then again it is pure speculation as to when city status might next be awarded. There's no certainity that the present monarch will survive until 2012, after all. We should also bear in mind that Wikipedia is not a crystal ball. Specifically:

Individual scheduled or expected future events should only be included if the event is notable and almost certain to take place. If preparation for the event is not already in progress, speculation about it must be well documented.

That said some of our would be city fathers seem to banking on it: Perth [7], Chelmsford [8] Milton Keynes [9] but not Dunfermline as they say they already have the status, apparently relying on a private act to do with drainage for the defunct burgh. Lozleader (talk) 22:09, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Westminster/ Prejudices against the Metropolitan boroughs?[edit]

I redid the section about the metropolitan boroughs after Lozleaders erudite new section on Westminster. However, I still think the point that the entirely 'discretionary' nature of conferring City status is proven by the reluctance to award it to any metropolitan borough no matter how well qualified. As to Croydon's lack of sucess in 1951 - it was not in the County of London in that period but a County Borough within Surrey. Indeed when it was subsumed into the the GLC, the new/presnt LB borough of Croydon still insists on 'Surrey' connections. Tony S (talk) 13:06, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Hello. New talk topics go to the *bottom*of the talk page, not the top. But no matter. Anyway as far as the issues you raised... well, there was opposition in 1899 to Westminster being designated a city, even from within the government. It only really got through on historic grounds. I think what has counted against metroplitan/london boroughs is the "local metropolitan character" criteria set in 1907: needing to have a "distinct identity of its own and centre of a wider area". Which of course was ignored in the case of Salford in the teeth of resistance by the Home Office. Croydon, as a county borough, would have made its claims on the basis of population and progressive-ness (quite a pioneering local authority in its early days). What did for them was the fact that they were really just a London suburb, whatever their own perception was. Southwark made an attempt on the basis of having a Church of England diocese established there in 1905 (like other similar cases they actually believed it happened automatically).
The text you added has no citations, so is liable to be removed. Particularly when there are words like "apparent" and "seems". Not sure if we can actually substantiate claims of "prejudice"? I will have a look in Beckett and see if I can tighten it up... Lozleader (talk) 13:47, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Found something on pp.103-104, so will have a go... Lozleader (talk) 14:05, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Seems quite balanced now.Lozleader (talk) 14:52, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Dear Lozleader - yes, very good. Looking at the citations you make it certainly does show a clear prejudice against historic London boroughs - the criteria of being just part of a larger conurbation doesn't hold water when you look at some of the provincial/Scots/ Welsh/Ulster awards which would fail by that same criteria. Also, Margaret Thatcher's abolition of the GLC (1986-2000) and the development of effective unitary status for the London Boroughs meant surely that this argument did not hold true. Tony S (talk) 15:06, 28 July 2009 (UTC) Dear Lozleader: if you could add the phrase "[and other proposed claims as qualifying criteria] " "The Home Office had a policy of resisting any attempt by metropolitan boroughs to become cities even when their populations [and other proposed claims as qualifying criteria] might otherwise have made them eligible." or something it would make the point I was attempting to make?? Tony S (talk) 15:14, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

You should of course feel free to add that yourself! I think this has turned into quite a useful addition to the article. I suppose in all areas of life there are "exceptions that prove the rule" mainly because "it's not what you know but who you know" or ather "it's not how big/old/well governed/distinctive you are it's who you know". The elevation of Southampton appears to have a lot to do with the general election of 1964 and not much else. Bolton and Stockport were refused because they were not distinct from Manchester, but Salford was allowed (because the Home Secretary was from an adjoing constituency). I'm sure Westminster is and was so much part of the establishment that it has many advocates, but Southwark or Croydon hardly so. Southwark was historically administered by the City of London, which probably stopped it from developing a very high profile which might have made it more of a contender. Lozleader (talk) 15:35, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Dear Lozleader, thanks, OK done. Actually I am a Southwark 'loyalist' and (see Guildable Manor' and 'Southwark' entries) and although it was a bailiwick of the City it has had a distinct status throughout the centuries. On city status of its most recent application included its antiquity (Alfred burh), three cathedrals, the oldest and newest art galleries (Dulwich and Tate Modern), the Shakespeare connections/ Tudor theatre (Globe), museums of local, national and international importance (Design M, Globe, IWM), higher education and medicine (Guy's) as well as its metropolitan role. So we were pretty cheesed off to be regarded as a mere suburb. Tony S (talk) 20:04, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Local government reform Northern Ireland: implications?[edit]

I notice that the article says that, in the case of Lisburn, the status extends to the entire local-government district. So what will happen when Lisburn City Council ceases to exist upon local government reform in 2011 and merges with Castlereagh Borough Council? Will the whole of "Lisburn and Castlereagh" become a city? Mooretwin (talk) 10:43, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Good question. I see Lisburn City Council are worried about losing their status, partly because part of the existing city is due to become part of Belfast. [10] [11] It all seems a bit vague: the proposals are to put the word "city" in the names of five councils:[12]The Commissioner indicated that, as regards the names of the new councils, he was recommending that the city status of five towns in Northern Ireland should be recognised along with existing council names where the new configuration comprised 2 existing councils. The proposed name is "Lisburn City and Castlereagh District Council" which suggests that only Lisburn will be a city. I suspect that it will be a fudge and the exact boundaries of the cities (other than Belfast, perhaps) will not be defined.Lozleader (talk) 12:50, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Hi - on this business of City status being extinguished through mergers. The problem is the new local government districts (don't use the word "Council" it just leads to further confusion)try to extedn the status and it is this which is regarded as improper eg Rochester and Medway. The mechanism to safeguard the original area's City status within a new amalgamated District is for the relevant District to appoint 'Charter Trustees' its the Letters Patent and/or Charter of City Status that they are holding in Trust. Tony S (talk) 10:14, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks: but that only applies in England. As far as the Northern Ireland reforms are concerned they seem to have been put on the long finger in any case.Lozleader (talk) 10:36, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Any further clarity on this as the creation of the new districts approaches in 2015. Mooretwin (talk) 22:57, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
Apparently still a talking point "Draft Local Government (Transitional, Incidental, Consequential and Supplemental Provisions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014 Charters and Status Consultation Documents" (PDF).  line feed character in |title= at position 149 (help) with observations to be made by 12 December 2014 (This Friday or two days after I'm typing this). According to the proposed regulations:


22. The Regulations propose to continue the three charters to which city status is linked, without the new councils in possession of those charters having to take any action. Regulation 3(1) makes provision for the preservation of these charters. This course of action is proposed in relation to the existing charters of Belfast, Derry/Londonderry and Lisburn. This would follow the approach taken in the last round of local government reorganisation in the early 1970’s, when the charters of Belfast and Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland’s only two cities at that time, were automatically continued in legislation. As the city status of Newry and Armagh is not linked to a charter, the Regulations do not need to make provision in relation to them.

Lozleader (talk) 23:39, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
So what does this mean? That "Lisburn and Castlereagh" becomes a city? Mooretwin (talk) 22:46, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
That's the way I read the proposed legislation, yes. But we shall have to wait and see if any changes are made I suppose. Lozleader (talk) 11:10, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

Key statistics for urban areas[edit]

At present (in the section describing the wider rural area enclosed in 'City of' districts) the article says

At each census the government produces a report called "Key Statistics for Urban Areas",[1] which separates the population of the actual town or city from the population of the area controlled by the council bearing its name.

This is questionable. The KSUA gives the urban area and urban sub-area stats; it does not give the populations of the rural settlements in the district. The boundary of each urban sub-area remains fixed in all subsequent censuses from its initial delineation, but the number of sub-areas in the urban area does not. Thus if a city expands, the expansion areas are given new USA names. This does not mean that they are not part of the city: they are just not part of the city as it was when delineated for the first census. The notes to the spreadsheet explain all this. Now I know that some editors like to idolise an arbitrary moment in the past and pickle it in aspic. But cities are organic things that grow, shrink, rot etc. We should respect the ONS definition: to do otherwise is WP:OR. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 12:00, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

I think what the author of that line was probably trying to say is that the statistics for urban areas & subdivisions, as listed here and here, are different to statistics for local authority areas that may have town or city status, as listed here, here and here. Many people are confused about these differences - just see the talk pages for those articles.--Pondle (talk) 12:14, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
The assertion that "The boundary of each urban sub-area remains fixed in all subsequent censuses from its initial delineation, but the number of sub-areas in the urban area does not." is false. What is true is that the subdivision boundaries within each conurbation (or subdivision-subdivision boundaries) are generally (but not always) fixed, but the boundaries at the edges of urban areas moves with the urban area. If your assertion is true, then why do the areas of each Urban Area and Urban Subdivision (excepting those in the middle of a conurbation) change at every census? Where an urban area expands into a former rural area, then the "new" urban area is considered to be part of the relevant Urban Area/Urban Subdivision. As an example, Perton was not considered to be part of Wolverhampton in the 1981 census, but it was in the 1991. Key Statistics for Urban Areas only gives statistics for those settlements and conurbations with populations of over 1,500 residents. Statistics are seperately available for settlements with between 100 and 1,500 residents. Rural settlements within districts are irrelevant anyway with the statistics demonstrating the different definitions of urban settlement and local government districts.Fingerpuppet (talk) 17:00, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

I've just quickly put together this table from the 1991 and 2001 census data for the West Midlands Urban Area to demonstrate beyond all doubt that Urban Areas and Urban Subdivisions are NOT fixed for all eternity, as claimed. As can be seen, some areas do indeed stay constant but the vast majority change, some by a small amount, others by larger amounts - exactly as would be expected. Fingerpuppet (talk) 18:19, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Settlement 1991 Area (ha)


2001 Area (ha)


West Midlands Urban Area 60,229 59,972
Aldridge 537 549
Birmingham 22,334 22,296
Brownhills 470 509
Cheswick Green 48 48
Coleshill 449 381
Dudley 5,303 5,345
Hagley 208 209
Halesowen 1,531 1,528
Knowle 590 650
Oldbury/Smethwick 3,890 3,903
Pelsall 192 195
Rushall 122 119
Shelfield 131 131
Solihull 2,888 2,934
Stourbridge 1,455 1,472
Sutton Coldfield 4,236 4,343
Walsall 4,342 4,450
Water Orton 81 78
West Bromwich 4,514 3,739
Wolverhampton 6,776 6,807
In the face of that citation, I concede. I went from the particular (Milton Keynes urban area, where the ONS has added new US-As) to the general. A logic 101 fail. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 21:49, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
If it's specifically rural area data you're after, then there are reports from the Key Statistics for Urban Area that split local authorities into rural and urban data. Urban data, of couse, includes other towns within the local government district, so, for example, the urban figure for Stafford borough would not only include the town of Stafford itself, but also other towns such as Stone. Fingerpuppet (talk) 11:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

British overseas territories[edit]

I know of one place in the remaining British overseas territories that has city status — Jamestown on Saint Helena — which was granted city status in a similar way to many UK cities (letters patent) by Queen Victoria in 1859. There may be other places in the UK's remaining overseas territories with city status... could they be given a mention somehow in this article? I know they're not in the UK, but they are British territory and are cities in the same way as the British cities are. David (talk) 11:29, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

RfC: Should this article use the name "Derry" or "Londonderry"?[edit]

Should this article use the name "Derry" or "Londonderry" to refer to the city? GSTQ (talk) 22:38, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Fine to refer to it as Derry in most articles, but here it is more sensible to call it Londonderry, as this is its official name and this article is about the official statuses of cities... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:34, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

I agree. Use Londonderry here as the Royal charter in which it was granted city status used the official name of Londonderry. The C of E. God Save The Queen! (talk) 09:48, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
It is known as Derry on Wikipedia. See Wikipedia:Manual of Style (Ireland-related articles). The official name per the charter is already included in the article anyway. O Fenian (talk) 10:01, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I thought you were insistent on "official names" always being used? Or is that not a consistent position? Mooretwin (talk) 12:52, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I am the first IP, now at home. I have just looked at the manual of style and it seems to me that the so called consensus (see [13]) is no such thing. So I've removed that from manual of style until you can all come to an agreement. I don't want to get involved myself as I think it's a question for the Northern Irish to decide, not me. My sole interest is in this page. And because of it no longer being in the manual of style, I'm going to revert back. (talk) 18:39, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Ok, it's since been reverted. Do people think this article has to follow the manual of style? And if so, do you think the manual of style is correct? Does your answer to one of those questions affect your answer to the other one? (talk) 19:12, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

IMHO, its should be called Londonderry on Wikipedia, since Northern Ireland is within the UK. In the meantime, it should be shown as such here. GoodDay (talk) 19:29, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for your help at the "other" discussion - I'll be sticking here now, I think going around in circles there would drive me nuts.
On the assumption that it will drive everyone else nuts too, let's assume that the current manual of style sticks with keeping it as Derry in general. How do people feel about calling it Londonderry in this article, given it's all about the official status of the city. (talk) 21:22, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree. The C of E. God Save The Queen! (talk) 21:26, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Agreed.Afterlife10 (talk) 21:26, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Seems reasonable. Mooretwin (talk) 09:34, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Unanimous so far - how long should I wait? I'm thinking a week, or longer if there's a serious disagreement. (talk) 18:58, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Actually, since no one has said anything for 24 hours, I'm just going to put it to Londonderry now and see what happens. (talk) 20:53, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
Ah, looks like someone already has. Well in that case I'll rewrite the paragraph someone was complaining about before and then we're all happy :) (talk) 20:54, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

I'll simply wait for the guideline discussion to conclude, since there doesn't seem to be consensus here other than "I like Londonderry" by the usual suspects. O Fenian (talk) 21:10, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

I've been advised that the results of that guideline don't matter for non-Irish articles. Are you now saying that they do again? (talk) 21:15, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
IMOS is only a guideline not a law, but in any sense it only applies to Ireland related articles so there is no issue here. work away IP.Afterlife10 (talk) 21:17, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
Exactly, but then you bring up the suggestion that Northern Ireland is part of the UK, so IMOS shouldn't apply to it anyway as it's a British country. The C of E. God Save The Queen! (talk) 21:26, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

As a unionist, I've really got to say I'm embarrassed by the attitudes being expressed here. I would prefer that the Wikipedia policy were different too myself, but it exists for a reason and that reason is to prevent the sort of edit wars that have been happening on this page recently. The argument that "it's a British country" is applicable wherever Derry appears mentioned, so that is hardly a justification for a specific exception here. The Manual of Style policy presently remains despite recent attempts to change it. The revision as it was until recently followed the Manual of Style, and also mentioned the charter under the name Londonderry. The only addition of substance is the statement that the city was destroyed in 1608, before being refounded, which is relevant. The remainder of the commentary is irrelevant to this article, and until the Manual of Style changes there is no reason to make a specific exception for this article. Arguments about official names belong on the Manual of Style discussion page, not here.GSTQ (talk) 23:05, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

No one cares (or ought to. Actually a whole load of buggers here do but that amuses me as fortunately I find both sides pathetic) whether you're a unionist. I for one would like to get rid of all of Ireland and ideally split Cornwall, Wales, Scotland off from England (and I'm not ncessarily saying i'd want to stay in England either!) and I always call it Derry in the very few times I would ever talk about it but none of that is relevant.
It is supremely relevant that for the time being this article reflect the official nature of the city as this article is about official city status. There is also no obligation to follow Irish manual of style as this article isn't about Ireland. But I haven't reverted for time now as hopefully we can sort this in talk. Let's only discuss whether IMOS is applicable or not. Why should it be? Please convince me!
As a show of good faith I'm going to de-London a Derry you missed :) Egg Centric (talk) 23:56, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
Exactly as you say, this is a British article therefore IMOS doesn't apply and as this is about the official cities of the UK so official names should be used which thanks to the Royal Charter means that the city is officially named Londonderry and should be put in the list as such. The consensus in the discussion above shows that the consensus is for Londonderry in here. The C of E. God Save The Queen! (talk) 09:07, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Fine by me - your revert didn't catch everything (in fact it only caught the Derry I'd had to catch as the original one didn't!) so have done the job. If that's reverted I'm going to refrain from further reversions as I will take that to mean that consensus is not, in fact, established. Egg Centric (talk) 11:54, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
"since there doesn't seem to be consensus here other than "I like Londonderry" by the usual suspects." - that coming from the same old anti-Londonderry suspect. Mabuska (talk) 12:01, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

As I've said previously, the argument that this is a "British" article applies wherever Londonderry/Derry is mentioned, so it is a spurious argument insofar as it attempts to give a reason for the exclusion of the Irish Manual of Style. The city is located on the island of Ireland. Part of the island of Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, so "British" and "Ireland" are not mutually exclusive. I am repeating platitudes for those familiar with the geographical and political reality. It is deliberate blindness to this reality to allege that the Irish Manual of Style doesn't apply to this article because it is an article on a "British" subject. In any event, the Derry City Council is a British government institution, so to allege that "Londonderry" is the universal British nomenclature is false. I should not, as Egg Centric suggests, need to justify the application of the Irish Manual of Style to this article. That Manual of Style applies to Derry, because it is located in Ireland. A reference to a French city in an article about an English city (for example, because they are twinned cities) should follow any applicable Manual of Style relating to France. And this article is partly about an Irish subject anyway! Why should the Irish Manual of style not apply? There has been no argument advanced above specific to this article that could not be advanced on the talk page of the Manual of Style, which is where this discussion belongs.GSTQ (talk) 22:26, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

It should use Londonderry, as this article concerns UK cities & the name of city itself is Londonderry. Last time I checked, the city-in-question was within the borders of the United Kingdom. GoodDay (talk) 03:14, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Whichever name is eventually agreed, the following should be removed: "The issue is still controversial, especially in Ulster but with elsewhere due to the very strong feelings by a small minority." Firstly, there is no issue of whether it is a city; secondly, the name issue has no place in this article; and finally, "strong feelings" and "small minority" are emotive terms that have no place here. Likewise, the link to the "naming dispute" article should be removed. I would also like to see a citation for the "destroyed in 1608" statement. Scolaire (talk) 09:05, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Would this suffice? The C of E. God Save The Queen! (talk) 09:10, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Does it say that the town of Derry was destroyed, i.e. that nothing remained of it? I can't see anything of that nature. The paragraph in this article as it currently stands suggests that the city of Londonderry was built from scratch in four years 1609-13 at a greenfield site where a town had once stood. If that is not accurate then it should either be re-written for clarity, with cited sources that provide clarity, or be left out. If it is accurate it should still be re-written for clarity, with better sources than that newspaper article. Scolaire (talk) 10:47, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
This is all explained in History of Derry, particularly at "Plantation of Ulster". --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 17:01, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
But it's not referenced there either! Scolaire (talk) 23:20, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
The name of the city-in-question is Londonderry, let's use that name. If/when the city changes it's name to Derry, then we'll do the same here (this goes for the city article aswell). GoodDay (talk) 14:41, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, you said that already. Nevertheless, in the City Status article, since the award of the 'city charter' was concurrent with the prefixing of the "London" and the wording of the charter uses the form 'Londonderry', it seems sensible to use the name in the charter in this context, while explaining the historical reasons for the name. I have revised the City Status article in that light. I hope that people will find it a fair middle way. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 17:01, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
As the original author of that, I strongly endorse John's edit, far better written. Bravo! Egg Centric (talk) 20:41, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

I think the final sentence, beginning "The name is controversial..." is awkward, and should be removed. If you use that comment here, you might as well use it in any article referring to the city, which it is the whole point of the Manual of Style policy to avoid! The use of "Londonderry" as the name of the city, instead of "Derry", is in conflict with the Manual of Style, for no apparent reason than that the city charter was granted under the name Londonderry. This is not sufficient reason, this edit was sufficient to explain the situation with the charter whilst preserving the Manual of Style. Arguments such as "The name of the city-in-question is Londonderry" are irrelevant to whether this is the name which should be used in this article. There has still been no persuasive reason advanced why the Manual of Style should not apply here, as it does to the city article.GSTQ (talk) 22:14, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

The argument is clear: (1) The manual of style does not apply and (2) even if it did, it can and should be ignored. The page is about official statuses of cities; it's therefore sensible for consistency to use the official status, which is that is it's Londonderry. Egg Centric (talk) 03:55, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
The substance of the argument may be clear, but its basis is not, especially as regards your argument number (1).
(1) The Irish manual of style is applicable. Derry is in Ireland, therefore the article concerns an Irish subject whenever it mentions Derry.
(2) This article is about official status of cities. It is relevant to mention that the name given on the charter is Londonderry. This edit managed to do this. It does not follow that wherever the city is mentioned, it should use the name on the charter, as is being contended.GSTQ (talk) 09:02, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
The IMoS is only a guideline not a law. The instance of using Londonderry here for the city is not unreasonable. Mabuska (talk) 11:32, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

I will have to go with the current version but without the note on the controversy over the naming which is not relevant to this article. Derry is only incidental to the use in this article so the name used should be Londonderry, Derry should only be mentioned once. Keith D (talk) 12:04, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

...And even then, Derry should only be mentioned as a slang name that has found favour with some opposed to using Londonderry. The C of E. God Save The Queen! (talk) 12:34, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
That is simply wrong, it is quite commonly used amongst unionists and was even more so before the troubles when it became a partisan issue. You're not going to tell me for instance the Apprentice Boys are nationalists are you? However in this instance the article is clearly talking about the charter and the official name is the appropriate one and I'd just leave out referencing the name dispute except perhaps in the see also section. Dmcq (talk) 13:11, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
The original Apprentice Boys where technically anti-monarchists if you consider they shut the "gates of Derry" to the then rightful king. Mabuska (talk) 22:58, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Per what I said above, I have rewritten the paragraph for clarity and added citations. Given what we have learned, i.e. that the first charter was given to Derry as Derry, I think it's hard to justify the use of "Londonderry" in this article as a "special case". I am not going to change it, but I would support the change if somebody else made it. Scolaire (talk) 10:11, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

But the current charter wasn't. So it isn't a special case. Egg Centric (talk) 13:28, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Nevertheless, I have changed to Derry for you, except when it is first mentioned, and then explained that it will be referred to as Derry. I think that should satisfy everyone - the official status is clear (thanks to your rewrite) and there is now not a conflict with MOS (if that does apply, which I am dubious about). Egg Centric (talk) 13:32, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
  • This has come up many times before, please see WP:DERRY. --Redrose64 (talk) 15:24, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Have you read anything of this discussion? What a useless comment - you can do better! Egg Centric (talk) 20:27, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
I have read some, not all admittedly, but it does drag on. One thing that is clear is that it is re-arguing what was supposedly decided years ago. Wikipedia is a compromise and will never satisfy anybody, but if we can at least be consistent across the project then we will cause less confusion to those who encounter different terms in different places. This article deals with cities in general: we should use the Wikipedia-agreed term for the city as a general case. If the city charter uses a different term, that can be dealt with in the article for the specific city. --Redrose64 (talk) 21:02, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

I agree with Redrose64 and think the article reads much better now. I have deleted the "or by convention" circumlocution. What convention? It sounds like a high-school essay by someone who doesn't really know what he's talking about. I'm not suggesting that the editor doesn't know what he's talking about, but that is the effect of the wording. If someone must change the first occurrence, then do it. But don't use an awkward construction that interferes with the flow of the article.GSTQ (talk) 02:31, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

I meant the article would use that name as convention. This clearer? I disagree that previous didn't flow well but when I wrote it I knew what I meant, which is quite possibly part of the difficulty I evidently had getting my meaning across. Egg Centric (talk) 02:59, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
This still reads badly. It is unencyclopaedic. Either use one or the other, unless the context demands otherwise. There is no call to use the word "Londonderry" at the start if "Derry" is going to be used. And the same if "Londonderry" is going to be used there is no call to say "we'll refer to this as Derry from now on". The only historic city in present-day Northern Ireland with a historic city charter is "pick a name". That is all that is needed, and all that should be there in the sentence.GSTQ (talk) 05:11, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. The paragraph should be about the status of the city only. Discussion of how it is or should be named should be confined to this talk page, and not intrude on the article in any way. Needless to say, I prefer the way it is worded now, with "Derry" linked to Derry, the following sentence beginning with "Derry", and the "official" name "Londonderry" stated in the appropriate place. Scolaire (talk) 08:52, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
The City of Londonderry as we know it dates from the second charter granted by King Charles II i think. You see there will never be any scope to allow a convention that isn't law be bended just for one instance. Mabuska (talk) 12:58, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Well if only one is to be used, then it has to be Londonderry as that is the official name and this article is about official status. It is fine to allow the article to be mostly Derry in my view but we can't ignore the official name, and as the official name it should be the one that is used first. Egg Centric (talk) 15:46, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
If only one is to be used, then WP:DERRY is quite clear which should be chosen: "Use Derry for the city". --Redrose64 (talk) 16:18, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
That's only if we accept that applies here, and no one has convinced me or others that it does - it's argued that it applies either because this article mentions Derry, or because Northern Ireland is part of both Ireland and the UK. But I still don't see that this article is an Irish one. In any case I am pretty dubious about that policy. The BBC policy seems more sensible. Egg Centric (talk) 17:53, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
I refer you to the lead section of the page which bears WP:DERRY: "These guidelines cover the style of language and writing to be used in Ireland-related articles. This includes both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland." --Redrose64 (talk) 18:09, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
The predominant focus of this article is the UK, of which Northern Ireland is an incidental part Egg Centric (talk) 18:12, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
It's hardly incidental to those who live there. --Redrose64 (talk) 18:15, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
And my flat isn't incidental to me, but were there a manual of style about flats one wouldn't apply it to the London article merely because my flat (and a few million others) happens to be part of it. It is incidental to London, even with the nice views! Egg Centric (talk) 18:39, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Good heavens, it doesn't matter what the predominant focus of the article is. Insofar as this article refers to Derry, it is an Ireland-related article. Therefore, that small part of the article that refers to Derry follows the Irish Manual of Style. This article could be a list of cities in the world, and the Irish Manual of Style would still apply. It is not a question of superimposing some over-reaching irrelevant rule on an article related mainly to other things. The article is affected in only a small part by the Irish Manual of Style. But that part of the article that the Manual of Style affects, the Manual is very clearly applicable to.GSTQ (talk) 23:48, 23 January 2011 (UTC)


"After its unsuccessful attempts to gain city status, the town of Reading, Berkshire, started using the phrase "City Centre" on its buses and car-park signs. Reading's immediate urban area has in excess of 230,000 inhabitants, making it one of the 20 largest settlements in the UK and larger than many sizeable cities including Southampton, Portsmouth and Derby. However, the population figures for the Reading Borough Council area by the Office of National Statistics was estimated as 142,800 in 2006."

This paragraph states reading should be a city because its urban population is larger than the city populations of Southampton and Portsmouth. Surely it should compare urban area to urban area where you'd find both the latter two cities are much larger than reading, making that point moot? GunnertheGooner (talk) 18:36, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Does it matter?[edit]

Does it make any difference at all when a town is made a city (apart from prestige perhaps)? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:43, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

See the 2nd and 3rd sentence of the article! -- Dr Greg  talk  14:40, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Applications for 2012[edit]

The "six month application period opened on 1 December 2010", well, six months is 1 June, i.e. three days time. Despite this, some BBC news pages are already announcing applications, some stating that the "deadline for applications is Friday", presume 27 May 2011. Towns mentioned in these articles include:

Some articles mention other competitors; the Bournemouth article gives the longest list - "Luton, Milton Keynes, Middlesbrough, Medway, Reading, Bolton, Swindon, Chelmsford, Stockport, Perth, Gateshead, Ballymena, Guildford, Southend-on-sea, Ipswich, Wrexham, Croydon and St Austell". Of these, it seems that Swindon is not applying. Where can we find a definitive list? --Redrose64 (talk) 14:32, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

There is also Goole 27 May 2011. Keith D (talk) 01:02, 2 June 2011 (UTC


How on earth can Tower Hamlets try to call itself a city? This is madness. Egg Centric 14:29, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

It's a pet project of Boris. --Redrose64 (talk) 17:03, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Really?? David (talk) 08:08, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Stratford City[edit]

Does anyone have any information about the Stratford City development, which seems to be using the designation "City" but without any formal city status? (ExLibre (talk) 15:22, 27 September 2011 (UTC))

Which Stratford? If this is the portion of east London where the Olympic Games are to be held in 2012, this falls within the London Borough of Newham and any application for city status would have to have been submitted by Newham, not Stratford; and if granted, would be in the name of Newham. On the other hand, if it were Stratford-upon-Avon, that is both a town and a district council, so could apply for city status if it wished - but I am not aware of any pending application. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:28, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
This is Stratford in Newham, East London. There is a Wiki page for "Stratford City", which is part of the Olympic development, and the name is used as the address of the Westfield shopping centre. Can they simply append the word "City"? And if so, why not the other towns applying for city status? (ExLibre (talk) 08:44, 28 September 2011 (UTC))
Ah, Stratford City. Checking the references in that article, it seems that the most of those which actually refer to "Stratford City" (in some cases "Westfield Stratford City") are the developer's own website. I therefore believe that it's a term dreamed up for marketing purposes by the developer, and has no legal standing. After all, there is a shoe retailer called "Shoe City", and again, that's merely advertising hype. --Redrose64 (talk) 18:16, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

You may be right, it may be "dreamed up for marketing purposes" - to me it is an echo of White City in West London (where there is also a branch of Westfield!). I don't think "Shoe City" is a useful comparison, since that is not an area, but if places/areas are allowed to call themselves XXXXX City for marketing purposes, should the City status entry not distinguish between terms like City of Reading, which require legal acknowledgment, and areas like White City and Stratford City which are seemingly allowed to adopt the name? And if the latter is the case, presumably Reading could rename itself Reading City "for marketing purposes" regardless of its actual status? (ExLibre (talk) 13:28, 29 September 2011 (UTC))

This needs fixing[edit]


"At present, Rochester and Elgin are the only former cities in the United Kingdom: despite the lack of formal status the first three places are commonly referred to as "cities", at least by their inhabitants."

First three? Only two are named at all. (talk) 19:18, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

I think Perth was in there until earlier today!Lozleader (talk) 20:37, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Both Perth, Scotland and St Asaph were in there until earlier today. It's now been fixed. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:48, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Local Government Districts section, specifically Wolverhampton.[edit]

I quote from the current version of the article:

"Since local government reorganisation in 1974 city status has been awarded to a number of local government districts which are not themselves towns. Each includes a number of towns and villages outside the urban area from which the district takes its name. These districts include..."

In this list, includes Wolverhampton. I removed it on the following grounds, which set it apart from the others on the list.

  • "which are not themselves towns". In the case of Wolverhampton, (almost uniquely outside London) the local government boundaries were not altered in 1974, and so the date is irrelevant. In addition, it clearly is (or was) a town in itself - unlike Brighton & Hove or (historically) Stoke-on-Trent.
  • "includes a number of towns and villages outside the urban area". No, it doesn't. Unlike the others on the list (bar Salford), the district is covered within a single urban area - no part of it is "outside the urban area". Indeed, whilst appreciating the fact the data can be controversial with some editors, unlike all the others, the ONS Urban Subdivision extends beyond the local government boundary rather than being just a part of it. On top of that, Bilston, Wednesfield and Willenhall (and beyond) were all part of the lands granted to Lady Wulfruna for her original monastery back in 985 - so have been associated with Wolverhampton for over 1,000 years! The entirety of Coseley and Sedgley were part of the Wolverhampton Parliamentary Borough from the 1832 Reform Act, so that ticks those for historical sources.

All of this firmly puts the historical boundaries beyond the modern local government district, which means that it fits far better in the second list than the first. Of course, the fact that the city council renamed the district as "City of Wolverhampton" doesn't help - and neither does the "old chestnut" of what exactly is meant by the difference in the Charter between "the town of" and "the borough of" - which incidentally is in the wording of the city charter - it isn't mentioned in the text so doesn't need to be sourced! Fingerpuppet (talk) 13:27, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Smallest cities list - needs update[edit]

Would be great if we could get List of smallest cities in the United Kingdom updated with 2011 (or more recent even) populations. Argovian (talk) 12:50, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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  1. ^ Key Statistics for Urban Areas 2001
  2. ^ "2001 census: Key Statistics for Urban Areas". ONS. Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  3. ^ "1991 Census: West Midlands Urban Area". ONS. Retrieved 2008-12-04.