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(i)

The LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972 (c 70) is an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
that reformed local government in England and Wales
England and Wales
on 1 April 1974.

Its pattern of two-tier metropolitan and non-metropolitan county and district councils remains in use today in large parts of England, although the metropolitan county councils were abolished in 1986, and both county and district councils were replaced with unitary authorities in many areas in the 1990s.

In Wales, too, the Act established a similar pattern of counties and districts , but these have since been entirely replaced with a system of unitary authorities .

It was one of the most significant Acts of Parliament to be passed by the Heath Government of 1970-74 and is surpassed only by the European Communities Act 1972 which took the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
into the European Communities .

Elections were held to the new authorities in 1973, and they acted as "shadow authorities" until the handover date. Elections to county councils were held on 12 April, for metropolitan and Welsh districts on 10 May, and for non-metropolitan district councils on 7 June.

CONTENTS

* 1 England
England

* 1.1 Background * 1.2 White Paper and Bill

* 2 Wales
Wales
* 3 The Act

* 4 The new local government areas

* 4.1 England
England

* 4.1.1 Metropolitan counties * 4.1.2 Metropolitan districts * 4.1.3 Non-metropolitan counties * 4.1.4 Non-metropolitan districts * 4.1.5 Isles of Scilly

* 4.2 Wales
Wales
* 4.3 Map

* 5 Elections * 6 Division of functions * 7 Reaction * 8 Amendment and adaptation * 9 See also * 10 External links * 11 References

ENGLAND

BACKGROUND

Elected county councils had been established in England and Wales
England and Wales
for the first time in 1888, covering areas known as administrative counties. Some large towns, known as county boroughs , were politically independent from the counties in which they were physically situated. The county areas were two-tier, with many municipal borough , urban district and rural districts within them, each with its own council.

Apart from the creation of new county boroughs, the most significant change since 1899 (and the establishment of metropolitan boroughs in the County of London ) had been the establishment in 1965 of Greater London and its thirty-two London boroughs , covering a much larger area than the previous county of London . A Local Government Commission for England
England
was set up in 1958 to review local government arrangements throughout the country, and made some changes, such as merging two pairs of small administrative counties to form Huntingdon and Peterborough and Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely , and creating several contiguous county boroughs in the Black Country
Black Country
. However, most of the Commission's recommendations, such as its proposals to abolish Rutland or to reorganise Tyneside , were ignored in favour of the status quo.

It was generally agreed that there were significant problems with the structure of local government. Despite mergers, there was still a proliferation of small district councils in rural areas, and in the major conurbations the borders had been set before the pattern of urban development had become clear. For example, in the area that was to become the seven boroughs of the metropolitan county of West Midlands , local government was split between three administrative counties ( Staffordshire
Staffordshire
, Warwickshire
Warwickshire
, and Worcestershire
Worcestershire
), and eight county boroughs ( Birmingham
Birmingham
, Coventry
Coventry
, Dudley
Dudley
, Solihull
Solihull
, Walsall , Warley , West Bromwich , and Wolverhampton ). Many county boundaries reflected traditions of the Middle Ages or even earlier; industrialisation had created new and very large urban areas like the West Midlands, Liverpool
Liverpool
and Manchester
Manchester
which spanned traditional county boundaries and were now often bigger than and far from their traditional county towns.

The Local Government Commission was wound up in 1966, and replaced with a Royal Commission (known as the Redcliffe-Maud commission ). In 1969 it recommended a system of single-tier unitary authorities for the whole of England, apart from three metropolitan areas of Merseyside , SELNEC (South East Lancashire
Lancashire
and North East Cheshire, now known as Greater Manchester) and West Midlands ( Birmingham
Birmingham
and the Black Country
Black Country
), which were to have both a metropolitan council and district councils.

This report was accepted by the Labour Party government of the time despite considerable opposition, but the Conservative Party won the June 1970 general election on a manifesto that committed it to a two-tier structure. The new government made Peter Walker and Graham Page the ministers, and quickly dropped the Redcliffe-Maud report. They invited comments from interested parties regarding the previous government's proposals. The Association of Municipal Corporations put forward a scheme with 13 provincial councils and 132 main councils, about twice the number proposed by Redcliffe-Maud.

WHITE PAPER AND BILL

The incoming government's proposals for England
England
were presented in a White Paper published in February 1971. The White Paper substantially trimmed the metropolitan areas, and proposed a two-tier structure for the rest of the country. Many of the new boundaries proposed by the Redcliffe-Maud report were retained in the White Paper. The proposals were in large part based on ideas of the County Councils Association, the Urban District Councils Association and the Rural District Councils Association.

The White Paper outlined principles, including an acceptance of the minimum population of 250,000 for education authorities in the Redcliffe-Maud report, and its findings that the division of functions between town and country had been harmful, but that some functions were better performed by smaller units. The White Paper set out the proposed division of functions between districts and counties, and also suggested a minimum population of 40,000 for districts. The government aimed to introduce a Bill in the 1971/72 session of Parliament for elections in 1973, so that the new authorities could start exercising full powers on 1 April 1974. The White Paper made no commitments on regional or provincial government, since the Conservative government preferred to wait for the Crowther Commission to report.

The proposals were substantially changed with the introduction of the Bill into Parliament in November 1971:

* Area 4 (Cleveland) would have had a border with area 2 (Tyne and Wear), cutting area 3 (Durham) off from the coast. Seaham and Easington were to be part of the Sunderland district. * Humberside did not exist in the White Paper. The East Riding was split between area 5 (North Yorkshire) and an area 8 (East Yorkshire). Grimsby
Grimsby
and Northern Lindsey were to be part of area 22 (Lincolnshire) * Harrogate
Harrogate
and Knaresborough had been included in district 6b (Leeds) * Dronfield in Derbyshire
Derbyshire
had been included in district 7c (Sheffield) * Area 9 (Cumbria) did not at this stage include the Sedbergh Rural District from Yorkshire * Area 10 (Lancashire) included more parishes from the West Riding of Yorkshire than were eventually included. * Area 11 (Merseyside) did not include Southport
Southport
, but did include Ellesmere Port and Neston * Area 12 (Greater Manchester) lost New Mills and Whaley Bridge (to be with Stockport), and Glossop (to be in Tameside ) * The Seisdon Rural District , which formed a narrow peninsula of Staffordshire
Staffordshire
running between Shropshire
Shropshire
and the Black Country
Black Country
county boroughs , would originally have been split three ways, between the Wolverhampton district (15a), area 16 (Shropshire) and area 17 (Worcestershire). * Halesowen
Halesowen
would have become part of district 15d (Sandwell) rather than 15c (Dudley) * District 15f (Solihull) would have included part of the Birmingham county borough as well as parishes from Stratford on Avon Rural District * Area 18 (Warwickshire) would have included several parishes from Daventry Rural District in Northamptonshire * Area 20 (Nottinghamshire) would include Long Eaton from Derbyshire * Area 26 (Avon) to have covered a larger area, including Frome
Frome
* Area 31 (Norfolk) to have covered a large area of East Suffolk, including Beccles , Bungay , Halesworth , Lowestoft
Lowestoft
, Southwold , Lothingland Rural District , and Wainford Rural District. * Area 33 (Oxfordshire) to include Brackley and Brackley Rural District from Northamptonshire. * Area 39 (Berkshire) to include Henley-on-Thames and Henley Rural District from Oxfordshire * Area 40 (Surrey) to include Aldershot
Aldershot
, Farnborough , Fleet and area from Hampshire.

The Bill as introduced also included two new major changes based on the concept of unifying estuaries, through the creation of the county of Humberside on the Humber
Humber
Estuary , and the inclusion of Harwich and Colchester
Colchester
in Suffolk
Suffolk
to unify the Stour Estuary . The latter was removed from the Bill before it became law. Proposals from Plymouth for a Tamarside county were rejected. The Bill also provided names for the new counties for the first time.

The main amendments made to the areas during the Bill's passage through Parliament were

* renaming of Malvernshire to Hereford and Worcester (the name "Wyvern" was also suggested) * renaming of Teesside to Cleveland , exclusion of Whitby
Whitby
* renaming of Tyneside to Tyne and Wear
Tyne and Wear
* removal of Seaham from Tyne and Wear, keeping it in County Durham * removal of Skelmersdale and Holland from Merseyside they were to be part of the independent district of Southport
Southport
before Southport
Southport
was included within Merseyside * exclusion of Colchester
Colchester
and area from Suffolk
Suffolk
, kept in Essex
Essex
* exclusion of Newmarket and Haverhill from Cambridgeshire , kept in Suffolk
Suffolk
(despite protests of Newmarket UDC, which was happy to see the town transferred to Cambridgeshire) * keeping the Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight
independent of Hampshire
Hampshire
* adding part of Lothingland Rural District from Suffolk
Suffolk
to Norfolk
Norfolk

In the Bill as published, the Dorset/ Hampshire
Hampshire
border was between Christchurch and Lymington. On 6 July 1972, a government amendment added Lymington to Dorset, which would have had the effect of having the entire Bournemouth conurbation in one county (although the town in Lymington itself does not form part of the built-up area, the borough was large and contained villages which do). The House of Lords reversed this amendment in September, with the government losing the division 81 to 65. In October, the government brought up this issue again, proposing an amendment to put the western part of Lymington borough in Dorset. The amendment was withdrawn.

The government lost divisions in the House of Lords at Report Stage on the exclusion of Wilmslow and Poynton from Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
and their retention in Cheshire, and also on whether Rothwell should form part of the Leeds
Leeds
or Wakefield
Wakefield
districts. (Rothwell had been planned for Wakefield, but an amendment at report stage was proposed by local MP Albert Roberts and accepted by the government. This was overturned by the Lords.) Instead, the Wakefield
Wakefield
district gained the town of Ossett , which was originally placed in the Kirklees district, following an appeal by Ossett Labour Party.

The government barely won a division in the Lords on the inclusion of Weston-super-Mare in Avon, by 42 to 41.

Two more metropolitan districts were created than were originally in the Bill:

* Rochdale
Rochdale
and Bury
Bury
were originally planned to form a single district (dubbed "Botchdale" by local MP Michael Fidler ) Rochdale took Middleton from Oldham
Oldham
in compensation. * Knowsley was not originally planned, and was formed from the western part of the planned St Helens district

As passed, the Act would have included Charlwood and Horley in West Sussex , along with Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport
. This was reversed by the Charlwood and Horley Act 1974 , passed just before the Act came into force. Charlwood was made part of the Mole Valley district and Horley part of Reigate and Banstead . Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport
was still transferred.

Although willing to compromise about exact boundaries, the government stood firm on the existence or abolition of county councils. The Isle of Wight (originally scheduled to be merged back into Hampshire
Hampshire
as a district) was the only local campaign to succeed, and also the only county council in England
England
to violate the 250,000 limit for education authorities. The government bowed to local demand for the island to retain its status in October 1972, moving an amendment in the Lords to remove it from Hampshire. Lord Sanford noting that "nowhere else is faced with problems of communication with its neighbours which are in any way comparable."

Protests from Rutland and Herefordshire failed, although Rutland was able to secure its treatment as a single district despite not even managing to meet the stated minimum population of 40,000 for districts.

Several metropolitan boroughs fell under the 250,000 limit, including three of Tyne and Wear
Tyne and Wear
's five boroughs (North Tyneside , South Tyneside and Gateshead
Gateshead
), and the four metropolitan boroughs that had resulted from the splitting of the proposed Bury
Bury
/ Rochdale
Rochdale
and Knowsley /St Helens boroughs.

WALES

In Wales, the background was substantially different. The Redcliffe-Maud Commission had not considered Wales, which had been the subject of the Welsh Office
Welsh Office
proposals in the 1960s. A White Paper was published in 1967 on the subject of Wales, based on the findings of the 1962 report of the Local Government Commission for Wales . The White Paper proposed five counties, and thirty-six districts. The county boroughs of Swansea
Swansea
, Cardiff
Cardiff
and Newport would be retained, but the small county borough of Merthyr Tydfil
Merthyr Tydfil
would become a district. The proposed counties were as follows

* Dyfed – West Wales
Wales
Cardiganshire , Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire
, Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire
* Glamorgan
Glamorgan
– South Wales * Gwent – South-East Wales
Wales
– Monmouthshire (also including Rhymney
Rhymney
valley from Glamorgan) * Gwynedd
Gwynedd
– North Wales
Wales
Anglesey
Anglesey
, Caernarvonshire , Denbighshire
Denbighshire
, Flintshire
Flintshire
, Merionethshire * Powys
Powys
– Mid Wales
Wales
Montgomeryshire , Radnorshire , Breconshire

Implementation of reform in Wales
Wales
was not immediate, pending decisions on the situation in England, and a new Secretary of State, George Thomas , announced changes to the proposals in November 1968. The large northern county of Gwynedd
Gwynedd
was to be split to form two counties (creating Gwynedd
Gwynedd
in the west and Clwyd in the east) with various alterations to the districts. The Redcliffe-Maud report led to a reconsideration of the plans, especially with respect to Glamorgan and Monmouthshire, and a March 1970 White Paper proposed three unitary authorities for South Wales, based on Cardiff, Swansea
Swansea
and Newport.

After the 1970 general election , the new Conservative government published a Consultative Document in February 1971, at the same time as the English White Paper. The proposals were similar to the Labour proposals of 1968, except that the county boroughs were instead two-tier districts, and that Glamorgan
Glamorgan
was to be subdivided into West Glamorgan
Glamorgan
and East Glamorgan, making 7 counties and 36 districts.

In the Bill as introduced Glamorgan
Glamorgan
had been split into three authorities: with East Glamorgan
Glamorgan
further subdivided into a Mid Glamorgan
Glamorgan
covering the valleys and South Glamorgan. The decision to split East Glamorgan
Glamorgan
further left South Glamorgan
Glamorgan
with only two districts (one of which was the Conservative-controlled Cardiff
Cardiff
, who had requested the split) and Mid Glamorgan
Glamorgan
one of the poorest areas in the country. The Labour-controlled Glamorgan
Glamorgan
County Council strongly opposed this move, placing adverts in newspapers calling for Glamorgan to be saved from a "carve up", and demanding that the east/west split be retained. The resulting South Glamorgan
Glamorgan
was the only Welsh county council the Conservatives ever controlled (from 1977 to 1981).

One of the effects of the Act was to confirm the area of Monmouthshire as part of Wales. Ambiguity as to the status of Monmouthshire had been introduced by legislation in the 16th and 17th centuries, and by the gradual cultural anglicisation of some eastern parts of the county. By the late 19th century the area was treated in legislation as one with Wales, using the terminology " Wales
Wales
and Monmouthshire".

Apart from the new Glamorgan
Glamorgan
authorities, all the names of the new Welsh counties were in the Welsh language , with no English equivalent. With the exception of Clwyd (which was named after the River Clwyd ) the names of the counties were taken from ancient British kingdoms. Welsh names were also used for many of the Welsh districts. There were no metropolitan counties and, unlike in England, the Secretary of State could not create future metropolitan counties there under the Act.

THE ACT

After much comment, the proposals were introduced as the Local Government Bill into Parliament soon after the start of the 1971–1972 session.

In the Commons it passed through Standing Committee D, who debated the Bill in fifty-one sittings from 25 November 1971, to 20 March 1972.

The Act abolished previous existing local government structures, and created a two-tier system of counties and districts everywhere. Some of the new counties were designated metropolitan counties , containing metropolitan boroughs instead. The allocation of functions differed between the metropolitan and the non-metropolitan areas (the so-called 'shire counties ') — for example, education and social services were the responsibility of the shire counties, but in metropolitan areas was given to the districts. The distribution of powers was slightly different in Wales
Wales
than in England, with libraries being a county responsibility in England—but in Wales
Wales
districts could opt to become library authorities themselves. One key principle was that education authorities (non-metropolitan counties and metropolitan districts), were deemed to need a population base of 250,000 in order to be viable.

Although called two-tier, the system was really three-tier, as it retained civil parish councils, although in Wales
Wales
they were renamed community councils .

The Act introduced 'agency', where one local authority (usually a district) could act as an agent for another authority. For example, since road maintenance was split depending upon the type of road, both types of council had to retain engineering departments. A county council could delegate its road maintenance to the district council if it was confident that the district was competent. Some powers were specifically excluded from agency, such as education.

The Act abolished various historic relics such as aldermen . The office previously known as sheriff was retitled high sheriff. Many existing boroughs that were too small to constitute a district, but too large to constitute a civil parish , were given Charter Trustees .

Most provisions of the Act came into force at midnight on 1 April 1974. Elections to the new councils had already been held, in 1973, and the new authorities were already up and running as 'shadow authorities', following the example set by the London Government Act 1963 .

THE NEW LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS

The Act specified the composition and names of the English and Welsh counties, and the composition of the metropolitan and Welsh districts. It did not specify any names of districts, nor indeed the borders of the non-metropolitan districts in England
England
– these were specified by Statutory Instrument after the passing of the Act. A Boundary Commission, provided for in the Act, had already begun work on dividing England
England
into districts whilst the Bill was still going through Parliament.

In England
England
there were 45 counties and 296 districts, in Wales
Wales
there were 8 and 37. Six of the English counties were designated as metropolitan counties. The new English counties were based clearly on the traditional ones, albeit with several substantial changes. The 13 historic counties of Wales
Wales
, however, were abandoned entirely for administrative purposes, and 8 new ones instituted.

The Act substituted the new counties "for counties of any other description" for purposes of law. This realigned the boundaries of ceremonial and judicial counties used for lieutenancy , custodes rotulorum , shrievalty , commissions of the peace and magistrates\' courts to the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties. The Act also extended the rights of the Duchy of Lancaster to appoint Lord-Lieutenants for the shrunken Lancashire
Lancashire
along with all of Greater Manchester
Manchester
and Merseyside .

In England
England
before the passing of the Act there had been 1086 urban and rural districts and 79 county boroughs. The number of districts was reduced about fourfold.

ENGLAND

Metropolitan Counties

METROPOLITAN COUNTY EXISTING GEOGRAPHIC COUNTY OR SUBDIVISION COUNTY BOROUGHS OTHER PARTS

Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
Cheshire
Cheshire
Stockport urban north-east Cheshire

Lancashire
Lancashire
Bury
Bury
, Bolton
Bolton
, Manchester
Manchester
, Oldham
Oldham
, Rochdale
Rochdale
, Salford , Wigan
Wigan
urban south-east Lancashire

Yorkshire, West Riding _none_ Saddleworth urban district

Merseyside Cheshire
Cheshire
Birkenhead
Birkenhead
, Wallasey most of Wirral peninsula

Lancashire
Lancashire
Bootle , Liverpool
Liverpool
, St Helens , Southport
Southport
urban south-west Lancashire

South Yorkshire Yorkshire, West Riding Barnsley
Barnsley
, Doncaster
Doncaster
, Sheffield
Sheffield
, Rotherham southern West Riding

Nottinghamshire _none_ Finningley

Tyne and Wear
Tyne and Wear
Durham Gateshead
Gateshead
, South Shields
South Shields
, Sunderland urban north-east Durham

Northumberland
Northumberland
Tynemouth , Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne
urban south-east Northumberland

West Midlands Staffordshire
Staffordshire
Walsall , West Bromwich , Wolverhampton Aldridge-Brownhills

Warwickshire
Warwickshire
Birmingham
Birmingham
, Coventry
Coventry
, Solihull
Solihull
Sutton Coldfield , Meriden Gap

Worcestershire
Worcestershire
Dudley
Dudley
, Warley Halesowen
Halesowen
and Stourbridge

West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire
Yorkshire, West Riding Bradford
Bradford
, Dewsbury
Dewsbury
, Halifax , Huddersfield , Leeds
Leeds
, Wakefield
Wakefield
western West Riding of Yorkshire

Metropolitan Districts

METROPOLITAN COUNTY METROPOLITAN DISTRICT COUNTY BOROUGHS OTHER COMPONENTS

Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
Bury
Bury
Bury
Bury
Prestwich , Radcliffe , Ramsbottom (part), Tottington , Whitefield (Lancashire)

Bolton
Bolton
Bolton
Bolton
Blackrod , Farnworth , Horwich , Kearsley , Little Lever
Little Lever
, Turton (part), Westhoughton (Lancashire)

Manchester
Manchester
Manchester
Manchester
Ringway from Bucklow Rural District (Cheshire)

Oldham
Oldham
Oldham
Oldham
Chadderton , Shaw and Crompton , Failsworth , Lees and Royton (Lancashire); Saddleworth (West Riding)

Rochdale
Rochdale
Rochdale
Rochdale
Heywood , Littleborough , Middleton , Milnrow and Wardle (Lancashire)

Salford Salford Eccles , Irlam , Swinton and Pendlebury and Worsley (Lancashire)

Stockport Stockport Bredbury and Romiley , Cheadle and Gatley , Hazel Grove and Bramhall and Marple (Cheshire)

Tameside _none_ Dukinfield
Dukinfield
, Hyde , Longdendale , Stalybridge (Cheshire); Ashton-under-Lyne , Audenshaw , Denton , Droylsden , Mossley (Lancashire)

Trafford
Trafford
_none_ Altrincham , Bowdon , Hale , Sale , part of Bucklow Rural District (Cheshire); Stretford , Urmston (Lancashire)

Wigan
Wigan
Wigan
Wigan
Abram , Ashton-in-Makerfield (most), Aspull , Atherton Urban District , Billinge-and-Winstanley (part), Golborne
Golborne
(part), Hindley , Ince-in-Makerfield , Municipal Borough of Leigh , Orrell , Standish-with-Langtree , Tyldesley Urban District , part of Wigan Rural District (Lancashire)

Merseyside Knowsley _none_ Huyton-with-Roby , Kirkby , Prescot , Simonswood , part of Whiston Rural District (Lancashire)

Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool
_none_

St Helens St Helens Ashton-in-Makerfield (part), Billinge-and-Winstanley (part) Haydock , Newton-le-Willows , Rainford , part of Whiston Rural District (Lancashire)

Sefton Bootle , Southport
Southport
Crosby , Formby , Litherland , part of West Lancashire
Lancashire
Rural District (Lancashire)

Wirral Birkenhead
Birkenhead
, Wallasey Bebington
Bebington
, Hoylake , Wirral (Cheshire)

South Yorkshire Barnsley
Barnsley
Barnsley
Barnsley
Cudworth , Darfield , Hoyland Nether , Penistone , Royston , Wombwell , Worsbrough ; Penistone Rural District , part of Hemsworth Rural District ; part of Wortley Rural District (West Riding)

Doncaster
Doncaster
Doncaster
Doncaster
Adwick le Street , Bentley with Arksey , Conisbrough , Mexborough
Mexborough
, Tickhill (West Riding), Finningley (Nottinghamshire)

Sheffield
Sheffield
Sheffield
Sheffield
Stocksbridge , part of Wortley Rural District (West Riding)

Rotherham Rotherham Maltby , Rawmarsh , Swinton , Wath upon Dearne ; Kiveton Park Rural District , Rotherham Rural District (West Riding)

Tyne and Wear
Tyne and Wear
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne
Gosforth , Newburn , part of Castle Ward Rural District (Northumberland)

North Tyneside Tynemouth Wallsend , part of Whitley Bay
Whitley Bay
, Longbenton , part of Seaton Valley (Northumberland)

Gateshead
Gateshead
Gateshead
Gateshead
Blaydon , Felling , Ryton and Whickham , part of Chester-le-Street Rural District (Durham)

South Tyneside South Shields
South Shields
Jarrow , Boldon , Hebburn (Durham)

Sunderland Sunderland Hetton , Houghton-le-Spring , Washington , part of Easington Rural District , part of Chester-le-Street Rural District (Durham)

West Midlands Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham
Sutton Coldfield (Warwickshire)

Coventry
Coventry
Coventry
Coventry
Allesley and Keresley from Meriden Rural District (Warwickshire)

Dudley
Dudley
Dudley
Dudley
Halesowen
Halesowen
and Stourbridge (Worcestershire)

Sandwell Warley and West Bromwich _none_

Solihull
Solihull
Solihull
Solihull
many parishes from Meriden Rural District , and Hockley Heath from Stratford-on-Avon Rural District (Warwickshire)

Walsall Walsall Aldridge-Brownhills (Staffordshire)

Wolverhampton Wolverhampton _none_

West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire
Bradford
Bradford
Bradford
Bradford
Baildon , Bingley
Bingley
, Denholme , Ilkley , Keighley
Keighley
, Queensbury and Shelf (part), Shipley , Silsden ; part of Skipton Rural District (West Riding)

Calderdale Halifax Brighouse , Elland , Hebden Royd , Queensbury and Shelf (part), Ripponden
Ripponden
, Sowerby Bridge , Todmorden , Hepton Rural District (West Riding)

Kirklees Dewsbury
Dewsbury
, Huddersfield Batley , Colne Valley , Denby Dale , Heckmondwike , Holmfirth , Kirkburton , Meltham , Mirfield
Mirfield
, Spenborough (West Riding)

Leeds
Leeds
Leeds
Leeds
Aireborough , Garforth , Horsforth
Horsforth
, Morley , Otley , Pudsey
Pudsey
, Rothwell ; part of Tadcaster Rural District , part of Wetherby Rural District , part of Wharfedale Rural District (West Riding)

Wakefield
Wakefield
Wakefield
Wakefield
Castleford , Featherstone
Featherstone
, Hemsworth
Hemsworth
, Horbury , Knottingley , Normanton , Ossett , Pontefract
Pontefract
, Stanley ; Wakefield
Wakefield
Rural District , part of Hemsworth Rural District , part of Osgoldcross Rural District (West Riding)

Non-metropolitan Counties

NON-METROPOLITAN COUNTY EXISTING GEOGRAPHIC COUNTY OR SUBDIVISION COUNTY BOROUGHS OTHER PARTS

Avon Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
Bristol
Bristol
southern part

Somerset
Somerset
Bath northern part (including Weston-super-Mare )

Bedfordshire Bedfordshire Luton
Luton
all

Berkshire
Berkshire
Berkshire
Berkshire
Reading all except the Vale of White Horse and Didcot
Didcot
, now in Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire

Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire
_none_ southern tip (including Slough
Slough
)

Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire
_none_ all except southern tip (including Slough
Slough
), now in Berkshire

Cambridgeshire Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely _none_ all

Huntingdon and Peterborough _none_ all

Cheshire
Cheshire
Cheshire
Cheshire
Chester
Chester
all except Tintwistle Rural District (to Derbyshire
Derbyshire
), north-eastern urban area (to Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
), Wirral peninsula (to Merseyside )

Lancashire
Lancashire
Warrington mid-southern part, including Widnes

Cleveland Durham Hartlepool Stockton Rural District

Yorkshire, North Riding Teesside urban north

Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall
_none_ all

Cumbria Cumberland
Cumberland
Carlisle all

Westmorland _none_ all

Lancashire
Lancashire
Barrow-in-Furness North Lonsdale

Yorkshire, West Riding _none_ Sedbergh Rural District

Derbyshire
Derbyshire
Derbyshire
Derbyshire
Derby
Derby
all

Cheshire
Cheshire
_none_ Tintwistle Rural District

Devon
Devon
Devon
Devon
Exeter
Exeter
, Plymouth
Plymouth
, Torbay
Torbay
all

Dorset
Dorset
Dorset
Dorset
_none_ all

Hampshire
Hampshire
Bournemouth area around Christchurch

Durham Durham Darlington
Darlington
all except urban north-east (to Tyne and Wear
Tyne and Wear
) and Stockton Rural District (to Cleveland )

Yorkshire, North Riding _none_ Startforth Rural District

East Sussex East Sussex Brighton
Brighton
, Eastbourne
Eastbourne
, Hastings
Hastings
all except Mid Sussex strip (to West Sussex )

Essex
Essex
Essex
Essex
Southend-on-Sea all

Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
Gloucester
Gloucester
all except southern part (to Avon )

Hampshire
Hampshire
Hampshire
Hampshire
Portsmouth
Portsmouth
, Southampton
Southampton
all except part around Christchurch (to Dorset
Dorset
)

Hereford and Worcester Herefordshire _none_ all

Worcestershire
Worcestershire
Worcester
Worcester
all except Stourbridge and Halesowen
Halesowen
(to West Midlands )

Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
_none_ all

Humberside Lincolnshire, Parts of Lindsey Grimsby
Grimsby
northern strip including Scunthorpe and Cleethorpes

Yorkshire, East Riding Kingston upon Hull
Kingston upon Hull
all except northern fringe

Yorkshire, West Riding _none_ Goole and Goole Rural District

Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight
_none_ all

Kent
Kent
Kent
Kent
Canterbury
Canterbury
all

Lancashire
Lancashire
Lancashire
Lancashire
Blackburn
Blackburn
, Blackpool
Blackpool
, Burnley
Burnley
, Preston central part only (south-east to Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
, south-west part to Merseyside , mid-south to Cheshire
Cheshire
, North Lonsdale to Cumbria )

Yorkshire, West Riding _none_ area including Earby and Barnoldswick

Leicestershire
Leicestershire
Leicestershire
Leicestershire
Leicester
Leicester
all

Rutland _none_ all

Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire, Parts of Holland _none_ all

Lincolnshire, Parts of Lindsey Lincoln all but northern strip including Scunthorpe and Cleethorpes

Lincolnshire, Parts of Kesteven
Kesteven
_none_

Norfolk
Norfolk
Norfolk
Norfolk
Norwich
Norwich
_all_

East Suffolk
Suffolk
_none_ part of Lothingland Rural District near Great Yarmouth

North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire
North Riding of Yorkshire York
York
all except urban north (to Cleveland ) and Startforth Rural District (to Durham )

Yorkshire, West Riding northern part including Harrogate
Harrogate
, Knaresborough and Selby but not Sedbergh (to Cumbria)

Yorkshire, East Riding northern part including Filey

Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
Northampton
Northampton
all

Northumberland
Northumberland
Northumberland
Northumberland
_none_ all except urban south-east (to Tyne and Wear
Tyne and Wear
)

Nottinghamshire Nottinghamshire Nottingham
Nottingham
all except Finningley (to South Yorkshire )

Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
Oxford
Oxford
all

Berkshire
Berkshire
none Vale of White Horse and Didcot
Didcot

Salop (Shropshire) Salop _none_ all

Somerset
Somerset
Somerset
Somerset
_none_ all except northern part (including Weston-super-Mare )

Staffordshire
Staffordshire
Staffordshire
Staffordshire
Burton upon Trent
Burton upon Trent
, Stoke-on-Trent all except Aldridge-Brownhills

Suffolk
Suffolk
East Suffolk
Suffolk
Ipswich all, except part of north-east Suffolk
Suffolk
near Great Yarmouth to Norfolk
Norfolk

West Suffolk
Suffolk
_none_ all

Surrey
Surrey
Surrey
Surrey
_none_ all except Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport

Warwickshire
Warwickshire
Warwickshire
Warwickshire
_none_ all except Sutton Coldfield and Meriden Gap (to West Midlands)

West Sussex West Sussex _none_ all

East Sussex _none_ western strip

Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Wiltshire
_none_ all

Non-metropolitan Districts

A list of non-metropolitan districts can be found at List of English districts . The Local Government Boundary Commission originally proposed 278 non-metropolitan districts in April 1972 (still working with the county boundaries found in the Bill). A further eighteen districts were added in the final proposals of November 1972, which were then ordered.

The splits were as follows (in most cases the splits were not exact, and many other changes to the borders of the districts took place at this time)

* Devon: Torridge
Torridge
/North Devon
Devon
* Dorset
Dorset
: Weymouth and Portland /Purbeck , North Dorset
Dorset
/East Dorset
Dorset
* Durham : Wear Valley / Teesdale * Hereford and Worcester : Hereford
Hereford
/South Herefordshire /Leominster

* Humberside: Holderness /North Wolds * Isle of Wight: South Wight /Medina * Lancashire: Hyndburn / Rossendale * Leicestershire
Leicestershire
: Rutland /Melton , Harborough
Harborough
/ Oadby and Wigston
Oadby and Wigston
* Lincolnshire: Boston /South Holland * Northamptonshire: Daventry /South Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
* Northumberland
Northumberland
: Berwick-upon-Tweed /Alnwick * Shropshire
Shropshire
: Oswestry /North Shropshire
Shropshire
, Bridgnorth /South Shropshire
Shropshire
* Somerset: Taunton Deane /West Somerset
Somerset
* Suffolk: Forest Heath

The new district in Suffolk
Suffolk
was necessitated by the decision to keep Newmarket in Suffolk; which would otherwise have become part of the East Cambridgeshire district.

Isles Of Scilly

Section 265 of the Act allowed for the continuation of the local government arrangements for the Isles of Scilly. The Isles of Scilly Rural District Council became the Council of the Isles of Scilly , and certain services were to continue to be provided by Cornwall
Cornwall
County Council as provided by order made by the Secretary of State , although the Isles were not technically in Cornwall
Cornwall
before or after 1974.

WALES

NEW COUNTY EXISTING GEOGRAPHIC COUNTY COUNTY BOROUGHS OTHER PARTS

Clwyd Flintshire
Flintshire
_none_ all

Denbighshire
Denbighshire
_none_ all except Llanrwst and area

Merionethshire _none_ Edeyrnion Rural District

Dyfed Cardiganshire _none_ all

Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire
_none_ all

Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire
_none_ all

Gwent Monmouthshire Newport except parts in Mid Glamorgan
Glamorgan
and South Glamorgan

Breconshire _none_ Brynmawr and Llanelly

Gwynedd
Gwynedd
Anglesey
Anglesey
_none_ all

Caernarvonshire _none_ all

Merionethshire _none_ all except Edeyrnion Rural District

Denbighshire
Denbighshire
_none_ Llanrwst and area

Mid Glamorgan
Glamorgan
Glamorgan
Glamorgan
Merthyr Tydfil
Merthyr Tydfil
Aberdare
Aberdare
, Bridgend
Bridgend
, Caerphilly
Caerphilly
, Pontypridd , Rhondda etc.

Breconshire _none_ Penderyn and Vaynor

Monmouthshire _none_ Bedwas and Machen , Rhymney
Rhymney
, part of Bedwellty
Bedwellty

Powys
Powys
Montgomeryshire _none_ all

Radnorshire _none_ all

Breconshire _none_ all except parts to Gwent and Mid Glamorgan

South Glamorgan
Glamorgan
Glamorgan
Glamorgan
Cardiff
Cardiff
Barry , Cowbridge , Penarth

Monmouthshire _none_ St Mellons

West Glamorgan
Glamorgan
Glamorgan
Glamorgan
Swansea
Swansea
Glyncorrwg , Neath
Neath
, Llwchwr
Llwchwr
, Port Talbot
Port Talbot

MAP

ENGLAND

* Northumberland
Northumberland
* Tyne and Wear
Tyne and Wear
† * County Durham * Cleveland * North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire
* Cumbria * Lancashire
Lancashire
* Merseyside † * Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
† * West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire
† * South Yorkshire † * Humberside * Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire
* Nottinghamshire * Derbyshire
Derbyshire
* Cheshire
Cheshire
* Shropshire
Shropshire
* Staffordshire
Staffordshire
* West Midlands † * Warwickshire
Warwickshire
* Leicestershire
Leicestershire
* Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
* Cambridgeshire * Norfolk
Norfolk
* Suffolk
Suffolk
* Essex
Essex
* Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
* Bedfordshire * Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire
* Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
* Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
* Hereford and Worcester * Avon * Wiltshire
Wiltshire
* Berkshire
Berkshire
* Greater London
Greater London
* * Kent
Kent
* East Sussex * West Sussex * Surrey
Surrey
* Hampshire
Hampshire
* Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight
* Dorset
Dorset
* Somerset
Somerset
* Devon
Devon
* Cornwall
Cornwall

WALES

* Gwent * South Glamorgan
Glamorgan
* Mid Glamorgan
Glamorgan
* West Glamorgan
Glamorgan
* Dyfed * Powys
Powys
* Gwynedd
Gwynedd
* Clwyd

† metropolitan county * 'administrative area' created in earlier legislation

ELECTIONS

Main article: United Kingdom local elections, 1973

Elections to the new authorities were held on three different Thursdays in 1973. Each new county and district was divided into electoral divisions, known as wards in the districts. For county councils, each electoral division elected one member; for metropolitan district councils, each ward elected three members; and wards in non-metropolitan districts could elect a varying number of members. There was not sufficient time to conduct a full warding arrangement so a temporary system was used: in some county councils electoral divisions elected multiple councillors.

County councils were set on a four-year cycle of elections of all members, and the next elections were in 1977. Metropolitan district councils elected one councillor for each seat in the three other years, starting in 1975. Non-metropolitan districts had a general election again in 1976, and could subsequently either conduct elections of the whole council or by-thirds. Schedule 3 provided that for each metropolitan ward, the councillor for who obtained the least votes in the 1973 election would retire in 1975, the next least in 1976, and the others in 1978, setting up the cycle. If equal numbers of votes were obtained, or ward elections in 1973 had been uncontested, the decision would be made by lot.

DIVISION OF FUNCTIONS

Health care and water supply were assigned to new, separate, non-elected authorities, but the remaining functions previously exercised by local authorities were distributed broadly as follows:

LOCAL GOVERNMENT FUNCTION METROPOLITAN COUNTIES NON-METROPOLITAN COUNTIES

Allotments Districts Districts

Arts and recreation Counties and districts Counties and districts

– Libraries Districts Counties

– Museums and galleries Counties and districts Counties and districts

– Tourism Counties and districts Counties and districts

Cemeteries and cremetoria Districts Districts

Consumer protection Counties Counties

Education Districts Counties

Environmental health Districts Districts

– Refuse collection Districts Districts

Fire service Counties Counties

Footpaths (create, protect) Counties and districts Counties and districts

Footpaths (maintain, signs) Counties Counties

Housing Districts Districts

Licence duty Districts Districts

Markets and fairs Districts Districts

Planning Counties and districts Counties and districts

– Local plans Districts Districts

– Structure plans Counties Counties

– National parks Counties Counties

Police Counties and districts Counties and districts

Rate collection Districts Districts

Smallholdings Counties Counties

Social services Districts Counties

Traffic and highways Counties and districts Counties and districts

– Public transport Counties Counties and districts

– Transport planning Counties Counties

In many areas both authorities had some powers, and certain Welsh districts were allowed greater powers by the Secretary of State.

REACTION

The system established by the Act was the object of some criticism. One major controversy was the failure to reform local government finance. Having lost office at the general election of February 1974 , Graham Page , the minister who had piloted the Act through Parliament, condemned the existing system of rates and grants. His successor as Minister for the Environment , Tony Crosland said that he would be re-examining the rates system, while the Association of Metropolitan Authorities sought the establishment of a royal commission to consider the matter.

The two-tier structure established was also seen as problematic. In particular, the division of planning between districts and counties was a source of friction between the new councils. Thamesdown Borough Council called for a further reform and complete abolition of counties as they felt Wiltshire
Wiltshire
County Council was unable to respond to the needs of an expanding urban area. Further complaints surrounded the loss of water supply and sewerage powers to regional water authorities created by the Water Act 1973 . This was felt to reduce the ability of district councils to plan new housing developments. It was also felt that the boundaries of the metropolitan counties were too tightly drawn, leaving out much of the suburban areas of the conurbations. The leading article in _ The Times _ on the day the Act came into effect noted that the _new arrangement is a compromise which seeks to reconcile familiar geography which commands a certain amount of affection and loyalty, with the scale of operations on which modern planning methods can work effectively_.

There was some criticism of county boundary changes. A campaign was mounted to return the Uffington White Horse to Berkshire, and a bonfire was lit at the site by protestors as the Act came into effect. The campaigners claimed 10,000 signatures in favour of diverting the county boundary to include the " Berkshire
Berkshire
White Horse". The calls were rejected by the local MP, Airey Neave , who pointed out that the horse predated county boundaries, and by the chairman of the Vale of White Horse District Council. Professor Anthony Fletcher, of the Department of Medieval History of the University of Sheffield
Sheffield
, suggested that the new councils place signs at the boundaries of ancient counties. The removal of Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport
and the surrounding area from Surrey
Surrey
into West Sussex met some fierce local opposition with the result that the parishes of Horley and Charlwood were subsequently returned to Surrey
Surrey
in the eponymous Charlwood and Horley Act 1974 , leaving the airport to stay in West Sussex.

Some of the reaction against the Act was motivated by opposition to loss of local control. The county borough councils regretted the loss of their independent status. Especially stung was the City and County of Bristol
Bristol
, which had had its own Lord Lieutenant for centuries. Criticism of the Act also centred on the size of the new districts. The new Minister, whose party had opposed the reforms in opposition, hoped that _"it will be more efficient – but it could easily become more remote"_. In order to combat this, Crosland was considering the creation of "neighbourhood councils" in unparished areas of the new districts. The names of some of the new authorities also caused controversy.

AMENDMENT AND ADAPTATION

The system established by the Act was not to last. In England
England
a series of incremental measures amended it. First, the county councils of the metropolitan counties were abolished in 1986 by Margaret Thatcher 's government, effectively re-establishing county borough status for the metropolitan boroughs. Second, a review of local government outside the metropolitan counties was announced in 1989. The local government reform in the 1990s led to the creation of many new unitary authorities , and the complete abolition of Avon , Cleveland , Hereford and Worcester and Humberside . Names such as Herefordshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire reappeared as local government entities, although often with new boundaries. Several former county boroughs such as Derby
Derby
, Leicester
Leicester
and Stoke-on-Trent regained unitary status. Additionally, another wave of unitary authorities were formed in 2009 . In Wales
Wales
there was a more radical change in policy with the two-tier system entirely abolished in 1996, and replaced with the current principal areas of Wales
Wales
. The 1974 counties have been retained as preserved counties for various purposes, notably as ceremonial counties, albeit with substantive border revisions.

SEE ALSO

Wikisource has original text related to this article: LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972

* Local Government Boundary Commission for England
England
(1972) * Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972

EXTERNAL LINKS

* Text of the Act

REFERENCES

* ^

.