The Info List - Subdivisions Of England

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The subdivisions of England
constitute a hierarchy of administrative divisions and non-administrative ceremonial areas. Overall, England
is divided into nine regions and 48 ceremonial counties, although these have only a limited role in public policy. For the purposes of local government, the country is divided into counties, districts and parishes. In some areas, counties and districts form a two-tier administrative structure, while in others they are combined under a unitary authority. Parishes cover only part of England. The current system is the result of incremental reform which has its origins in legislation enacted in 1965 and 1972.[1]


1 Regions 2 Counties and districts

2.1 Two-tier non-metropolitan counties 2.2 Metropolitan counties 2.3 London 2.4 Unitary authorities 2.5 Isles of Scilly

3 Civil parishes 4 Lists of subdivisions

4.1 Regions 4.2 Two-tier non-metropolitan counties 4.3 Metropolitan counties 4.4 London 4.5 Unitary authorities 4.6 Civil parishes 4.7 Hierarchical list of regions, counties and districts

5 See also 6 Notes 7 References 8 External links

Regions[edit] Main article: Regions of England At the highest level, all of England
is divided into nine regions that are each made up of a number of counties and districts. The 'government office regions' were created in 1994[2] and since the 1999 Euro-elections have been used as the European Parliament constituencies in the United Kingdom and in England's European Parliament constituencies. The regions vary greatly in their areas covered, populations and contributions to the national economy.[2] All have the same status, except London which has substantive devolved powers.[3] There was a failed attempt to create elected regional assemblies outside London in 2004 and since then the structures of regional governance (regional assemblies, regional development agencies and local authority leaders' boards) have been subject to review. Following the change of government in 2010, these have been scheduled for abolition by 2012.[needs update] Counties and districts[edit] Main articles: Counties of England
and Districts of England For non-administrative purposes, England
is wholly divided into 48 counties,[4] commonly known, but not named in statute, as ceremonial counties. These counties are used for the purposes of appointing Lords Lieutenant[4] who are historically the Crown's representatives in those areas. Ceremonial counties are often different from the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties used for local government as they include the areas covered by unitary authorities. They are taken into consideration when drawing up Parliamentary constituency boundaries. For local government, England
is divided into areas with a two-tier structure of counties and districts governed by two local authorities, and unitary authority areas where there is one local authority. The arrangement varies in different parts of the country and there are four main configurations: non-metropolitan two-tier 'shire' areas, six metropolitan counties, unitary authorities, and Greater London. Two-tier non-metropolitan counties[edit] Most of the geographical area of England
is within a two-tier non-metropolitan arrangement. In 27 of these areas the county councils provide the majority of services, including education and social services, and the 201 district councils have a more limited role.[1] Non-metropolitan districts can additionally have the status of borough or city, although this has no effect on their powers or functions. All two-tier non-metropolitan counties are also ceremonial counties.C3 Berkshire
is an anomaly in this arrangement whereby its districts are unitary authorities, but the non-metropolitan county was not formally abolished[5] and it is also a ceremonial county.[4] Bedfordshire
and Cheshire
are two former non-metropolitan counties that continue to exist only as ceremonial counties. Metropolitan counties[edit]

  regional boundary   ceremonial county boundary   unitary authority boundary   two-tier non-metropolitan county   metropolitan county    Greater London
Greater London
(including City of London)   unitary authority (non-metropolitan county)

Six large conurbations of England
correspond to metropolitan counties.[1] Each metropolitan county had a county council providing limited strategic services, such as public transport and planning, from 1974 to 1986.[1] Despite no longer having county councils the metropolitan counties still legally exist, and are each a ceremonial county. County-level functions, such as public transport, are exercised by joint-boards and other arrangements organised by the district councils. In the metropolitan counties, the 36 district councils operate effectively as unitary authorities and provide the majority of services, including education and social services.[2] All metropolitan districts additionally have the status of borough, and some are cities, although this has no effect on their powers or functions. From April 2011 there has been a formal upper-tier structure in Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
with the creation of the Greater Manchester
Combined Authority.[6] London[edit] The Greater London
Greater London
administrative area created in 1965 corresponds to the London region. Through incremental change, culminating in 2000, the upper-tier authority is the Greater London
Greater London
Authority, comprising an elected Mayor of London
Mayor of London
and the London Assembly.[7] Greater London is divided into 32 London boroughs, also dating from 1965, each governed by a London borough
London borough
council. The ancient City of London
City of London
forms a 33rd division and is governed by the City of London
City of London
Corporation, a sui generis authority unlike any other in England[7] that has largely avoided any of the reforms of local government in the 19th and 20th centuries.[8] The City of London, and the rest of Greater London, each form a ceremonial county. The London borough
London borough
councils and the City of London Corporation provide the majority of services, for example they are education authorities and co-ordinate waste management, whereas the Greater London
Greater London
Authority is responsible for the key strategic services of public transport, the police, economic development and emergency planning.[7] Unitary authorities[edit] Main article: Unitary authorities of England Outside London and the metropolitan counties, some parts of England are governed by a single council, commonly called (but not named in statute) as a unitary authority.[1] Unitary authorities are a combined non-metropolitan county and non-metropolitan district, undertaking the functions of both.[9] Unitary authorities can additionally have the status of borough or city, although this has no effect on their powers or functions. 46 unitary authorities were created between 1995 and 1998 and nine more were created in 2009. They were formed either by non-metropolitan districts taking on county-level functions, or by counties taking on district-level functions. In some cases, borders were altered or districts were combined during this reorganisation. Berkshire
is an anomaly in this arrangement whereby its districts became unitary authorities, but the non-metropolitan county was not formally abolished.[5] For ceremonial purposes, unitary authorities are considered to be part of the county to which they formerly belonged. Politically, however, they are fully independent entities, unaffiliated with the council of their former county. For instance, the unitary authority of Plymouth is traditionally considered part of Devon, though politically it is not part of the county. In the case of Berkshire, there is no county council, as all of its former territory is now covered by six unitary authorities, unaffiliated with each other politically. Although there is no county council in Berkshire, these six unitary authorities comprise the ceremonial county of Berkshire. Isles of Scilly[edit] The Isles of Scilly
Isles of Scilly
are governed by a sui generis local authority called the Council of the Isles of Scilly. The authority was established in 1890 as the Isles of Scilly
Isles of Scilly
Rural District Council. It was renamed but otherwise unreformed by the changes in local government that occurred in 1974 in the rest of England
outside Greater London.[10] Although effectively a unitary authority, for example it is an education authority,[11] the Isles of Scilly
Isles of Scilly
are part of the Cornwall
ceremonial county and combine with Cornwall
Council for services such as health[12] and economic development.[13] Civil parishes[edit] Main article: Civil parishes in England The civil parish is the most local unit of government in England.[1] A parish is governed by a parish council or parish meeting, which exercises a limited number of functions that would otherwise be delivered by the local authority. There is one civil parish in Greater London (Queen's Park, in the City of Westminster),[14] and not all of the rest of England
is parished. The number of parishes and total area parished is growing. Lists of subdivisions[edit] Regions[edit]

Type Created Number Units

Region 1994 9

East of England East Midlands London North East North West South East South West West Midlands Yorkshire and the Humber

Two-tier non-metropolitan counties[edit]

Type Created Number Units

Non-metropolitan county 1974 27

Buckinghamshire Cambridgeshire Cumbria Derbyshire Devon Dorset East Sussex Essex Gloucestershire Hampshire Hertfordshire Kent Lancashire Leicestershire Lincolnshire Norfolk Northamptonshire North Yorkshire Nottinghamshire Oxfordshire Somerset Staffordshire Suffolk Surrey Warwickshire West Sussex Worcestershire

Non-metropolitan district 1974 201 List of districts

Metropolitan counties[edit]

Type Created Number Units

Metropolitan county 1974 6 Greater Manchester Merseyside South Yorkshire Tyne and Wear West Midlands West Yorkshire

Metropolitan district 1974 36

Bolton Bury Manchester Oldham Rochdale Salford Stockport Tameside Trafford Wigan

Knowsley Liverpool Sefton St Helens Wirral

Barnsley Doncaster Rotherham Sheffield

Gateshead Newcastle upon Tyne North Tyneside South Tyneside Sunderland

Birmingham Coventry Dudley Sandwell Solihull Walsall Wolverhampton

Bradford Calderdale Kirklees Leeds Wakefield


Type Created Number Units

London borough 1965 32

Barking and Dagenham Barnet Bexley Brent Bromley Camden City of Westminster Croydon Ealing Enfield Greenwich Hackney Hammersmith and Fulham Haringey Harrow Havering Hillingdon Hounslow Islington Kensington and Chelsea Kingston upon Thames Lambeth Lewisham Merton Newham Redbridge Richmond upon Thames Southwark Sutton Tower Hamlets Waltham Forest Wandsworth

Sui generis in antiquity 1

City of London

Total 33

Unitary authorities[edit]

Type Created Number Units

County gained district functions 2009 5

CornwallC2 DurhamC2 NorthumberlandC1 ShropshireC2 WiltshireC2

District(s) gained county functions 2009 4

Bedford Central Bedfordshire Cheshire
East Cheshire
West and Chester

District(s) gained county functions 1998 21

Blackburn with Darwen Blackpool Bracknell Forest Halton HerefordshireC1 Medway Nottingham Peterborough Plymouth Reading Slough Southend-on-Sea Stoke-on-Trent Swindon Telford and Wrekin Thurrock Torbay Warrington West Berkshire Windsor and Maidenhead Wokingham

District(s) gained county functions 1997 11

Bournemouth Brighton and Hove Derby Darlington Leicester Luton Milton Keynes Poole Portsmouth RutlandC1 Southampton

District gained county functions 1996 13

Bath and North East Somerset BristolC1 East Riding of YorkshireC2 Hartlepool Kingston upon Hull Middlesbrough North East Lincolnshire North Lincolnshire North Somerset Redcar and Cleveland South Gloucestershire Stockton-on-Tees York

County gained district functions 1995 1

Isle of WightC1

Sui generis 1890 1

Isles of Scilly

Total 56

Civil parishes[edit]

List of civil parishes in England

Hierarchical list of regions, counties and districts[edit]

Region Ceremonial county Metropolitan or non-metropolitan county Districts, boroughs and cities

East of England

Essex 1.  Thurrock

2.  Southend-on-Sea

3. Essex † a) Harlow, b) Epping Forest, c) Brentwood, d) Basildon, e) Castle Point, f) Rochford, g) Maldon, h) Chelmsford, i) Uttlesford, j) Braintree, k) Colchester, l) Tendring

4. Hertfordshire † a) Three Rivers, b) Watford, c) Hertsmere, d) Welwyn Hatfield, e) Broxbourne, f) East Hertfordshire, g) Stevenage, h) North Hertfordshire, i) St Albans, j) Dacorum

Bedfordshire 5.  Luton

6. Bedford U.A.

7. Central Bedfordshire

Cambridgeshire 8. Cambridgeshire † a) Cambridge, b) South Cambridgeshire, c) Huntingdonshire, d) Fenland, e) East Cambridgeshire

9.  Peterborough

10. Norfolk † a) Norwich, b) South Norfolk, c) Great Yarmouth, d) Broadland, e) North Norfolk, f) Breckland, g) King's Lynn and West Norfolk

11. Suffolk † a) Ipswich, b)  Suffolk
Coastal, c) Waveney, d) Mid Suffolk, e) Babergh, f) St. Edmundsbury, g) Forest Heath

East Midlands

Derbyshire 1. Derbyshire † a) High Peak, b)  Derbyshire
Dales, c) South Derbyshire, d) Erewash, e) Amber Valley, f)  North East Derbyshire, g) Chesterfield, h) Bolsover

2.  Derby

Nottinghamshire 3. Nottinghamshire † a) Rushcliffe, b) Broxtowe, c) Ashfield, d) Gedling, e) Newark and Sherwood, f) Mansfield, g) Bassetlaw

4.  Nottingham

Lincolnshire (part only) 5. Lincolnshire † a) Lincoln, b) North Kesteven, c) South Kesteven, d) South Holland, e) Boston, f) East Lindsey, g) West Lindsey

Leicestershire 6. Leicestershire † a) Charnwood, b) Melton, c) Harborough, d) Oadby and Wigston, e) Blaby, f) Hinckley and Bosworth, g) North West Leicestershire

7.  Leicester

8.  Rutland

9. Northamptonshire † a) South Northamptonshire, b) Northampton, c) Daventry, d) Wellingborough, e) Kettering, f) Corby, g) East Northamptonshire

London (Greater London)

1. Greater London

a) City of Westminster, b) Kensington and Chelsea, c) Hammersmith and Fulham, d) Wandsworth, e) Lambeth, f) Southwark, g) Tower Hamlets, h) Hackney, i) Islington, j) Camden, k) Brent, l) Ealing, m) Hounslow, n) Richmond, o) Kingston upon Thames, p) Merton, q) Sutton, r) Croydon, s) Bromley, t) Lewisham, u) Greenwich, v) Bexley, w) Havering, x) Barking and Dagenham, y) Redbridge, z) Newham, aa) Waltham Forest, ab) Haringey, ac) Enfield, ad) Barnet, ae) Harrow, af) Hillingdon

2. City of London a) City of London

North East England

1.  Northumberland

2.  Tyne and Wear
Tyne and Wear
* a) Newcastle upon Tyne, b) Gateshead, c) North Tyneside, d) South Tyneside, e) Sunderland

Durham 3. Durham U.A.

4. Darlington U.A.

5. Hartlepool U.A.

6. Stockton-on-Tees U.A.

North Yorkshire (part only)

7.  Redcar and Cleveland
Redcar and Cleveland

8. Middlesbrough U.A.

North West England

Cheshire 1.  Cheshire
East U.A.

2.  Cheshire
West and Chester U.A.

3. Halton U.A.

4.  Warrington

5. Cumbria † a) Barrow-in-Furness, b) South Lakeland, c) Copeland, d) Allerdale, e) Eden, f) Carlisle

6.  Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
* a) Bolton, b) Bury, c) Manchester, d) Oldham, e) Rochdale, f) Salford, g) Stockport, h) Tameside, i) Trafford, j) Wigan

Lancashire 7. Lancashire † a) West Lancashire, b) Chorley, c) South Ribble, d) Fylde, e) Preston, f) Wyre, g) Lancaster, h) Ribble Valley, i) Pendle, j) Burnley, k) Rossendale, l) Hyndburn

8.  Blackpool

9.  Blackburn with Darwen
Blackburn with Darwen

10. Merseyside * a) Knowsley, b) Liverpool, c) St. Helens, d) Sefton, e) Wirral

South East England

1. Berkshire † a) West Berkshire U.A., b) Reading U.A., c) Wokingham U.A., d) Bracknell Forest U.A., e) Windsor and Maidenhead U.A., f) Slough U.A.

Buckinghamshire 2. Buckinghamshire † a) South Bucks, b) Chiltern, c) Wycombe, d) Aylesbury Vale

3. Milton Keynes U.A.

East Sussex 4. East Sussex † a) Hastings, b) Rother, c) Wealden, d) Eastbourne, e) Lewes

5. Brighton & Hove U.A.

Hampshire 6. Hampshire † a) Fareham, b) Gosport, c) Winchester, d) Havant, e) East Hampshire, f) Hart, g) Rushmoor, h) Basingstoke and Deane, i) Test Valley, j) Eastleigh, k) New Forest

7.  Southampton

8.  Portsmouth

9.  Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight

Kent 10. Kent † a) Dartford, b) Gravesham, c) Sevenoaks, d) Tonbridge and Malling, e) Tunbridge Wells, f) Maidstone, g) Swale, h) Ashford, i) Folkestone and Hythe, j) Canterbury, k) Dover, l) Thanet

11.  Medway

12. Oxfordshire † a) Oxford, b) Cherwell, c) South Oxfordshire, d) Vale of White Horse, e) West Oxfordshire

13. Surrey † a) Spelthorne, b) Runnymede, c)  Surrey
Heath, d) Woking, e) Elmbridge, f) Guildford, g) Waverley, h) Mole Valley, i) Epsom and Ewell, j) Reigate and Banstead, k) Tandridge

14. West Sussex † a) Worthing, b) Arun, c) Chichester, d) Horsham, e) Crawley, f) Mid Sussex, g) Adur

South West England

Somerset 1. Bath and North East Somerset

2. North Somerset

11. Somerset † a) South Somerset, b) Taunton Deane, c) West Somerset, d) Sedgemoor, e) Mendip

3.  Bristol

Gloucestershire 4. South Gloucestershire

5. Gloucestershire † a) Gloucester, b) Tewkesbury, c) Cheltenham, d) Cotswold, e) Stroud, f) Forest of Dean

Wiltshire 6. Swindon U.A.

7.  Wiltshire

Dorset 8. Dorset † a) Weymouth and Portland, b) West Dorset, c) North Dorset, d) Purbeck, e) East Dorset, f) Christchurch

9.  Poole

10. Bournemouth U.A.

Devon 12. Devon † a) Exeter, b) East Devon, c) Mid Devon, d) North Devon, e) Torridge, f) West Devon, g) South Hams, h) Teignbridge

13.  Torbay

14.  Plymouth

Cornwall 15.  Isles of Scilly
Isles of Scilly
sui generis U.A.

16.  Cornwall

West Midlands

1.  Herefordshire

Shropshire 2.  Shropshire

3.  Telford and Wrekin
Telford and Wrekin

Staffordshire 4. Staffordshire † a) Cannock Chase, b) East Staffordshire, c) Lichfield, d) Newcastle-under-Lyme, e) South Staffordshire, f) Stafford, g)  Staffordshire
Moorlands, h) Tamworth

5.  Stoke-on-Trent

6. Warwickshire † a) North Warwickshire, b) Nuneaton and Bedworth, c) Rugby, d) Stratford-on-Avon, e) Warwick

7. West Midlands * a) Birmingham, b) Coventry, c) Dudley, d) Sandwell, e) Solihull, f) Walsall, g) Wolverhampton

8. Worcestershire † a) Bromsgrove, b) Malvern Hills, c) Redditch, d) Worcester, e) Wychavon, f)  Wyre

Yorkshire and the Humber

1. South Yorkshire * a) Sheffield, b) Rotherham, c) Barnsley, d) Doncaster

2. West Yorkshire * a) Wakefield, b) Kirklees, c) Calderdale, d) Bradford, e) Leeds

North Yorkshire (part only) 3. North Yorkshire † a) Selby, b) Harrogate, c) Craven, d) Richmondshire, e) Hambleton, f) Ryedale, g) Scarborough

4.  York

East Riding of Yorkshire 5.  East Riding of Yorkshire
East Riding of Yorkshire

6.  Kingston upon Hull
Kingston upon Hull

Lincolnshire (part only) 7. North Lincolnshire

8. North East Lincolnshire

  † non-metropolitan county        (all two-tier except for Berkshire)

  non-metropolitan district

  U.A. unitary authority (non-metropolitan county and district)        (except for Berkshire districts which are not counties)

  * metropolitan county

  metropolitan district

  Local government district in London (the London boroughs and City of London)

See also[edit]

Combined authority List of English counties leaders


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


^ a b c d e f Jones, B., Kavanagh, D., Moran, M. & Norton, P., Politics UK, (2004), Pearson Longman. ^ a b c Atkinson, H. & Wilks-Heeg, S. (2000). Local Government from Thatcher to Blair. Polity.  ^ Collins, S., Colville, I & Pengelly, S., A Guide to the Greater London Authority, (2000), Sweet and Maxwell ^ a b c "Lieutenancies Act 1997". Office of Public Sector Information. 1997. Retrieved 8 August 2010.  ^ a b "The Berkshire
(Structural Change) Order 1996". National Archives(legislation.gov.uk). 1996. Retrieved 13 September 2012.  ^ Association of Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
Authorities (March 2010). "Greater Manchester
Combined Authority Final Scheme" (PDF). agma.gov.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2010.  ^ a b c Travers, T., The Politics of London, (2004), Palgrave ^ Hebbert, Michael (1998). London: More by fortune than design. John Wiley & Sons.  ^ "Local Government Act 1992". Office of Public Sector Information. 1992. Retrieved 8 August 2010.  ^ "Local Government Act 1972". Office of Public Sector Information. 1972. Retrieved 9 August 2010.  ^ "Education and Learning". Council of the Isles of Scilly. Retrieved 9 August 2010.  ^ "About Us". Cornwall
and Isles of Scilly
Isles of Scilly
Primary Care Trust. Retrieved 9 August 2010.  ^ "The Cornwall
and Isles of Scilly
Isles of Scilly
Enterprise Partnership". Cornwall Council. 30 July 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2010.  ^ "Queen's Park parish council gets go-ahead". BBC News London. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 

External links[edit]

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Map of the UK counties and unitary administrations Map of all UK local authorities

v t e

Subdivisions of England


Regions NUTS 1 statistical regions of England

Ceremonial County

Ceremonial County

Administrative County

Metropolitan County Non-Metropolitan County Greater London


Metropolitan Borough Non-Metropolitan District London Borough

Unitary Authority

Unitary Authority


City of London Isles of Scilly

Civil Parish

Civil Parish

v t e

Administrative geography of the United Kingdom

United Kingdom local government

History Subdivisions: Shrievalties Lieutenancy areas Counties (list)

local government

History Subdivisions: Regions Ceremonial counties


Metropolitan and Non-metropolitan counties Unitary authorities (list) Districts (list) Civil parishes (list)

Northern Ireland local government

History Subdivisions: Counties Districts

Scotland local government

History Subdivisions: Sheriffdoms Lieutenancy areas Council areas Community council areas Civil parishes

Wales local government

History Subdivisions: Preserved counties Principal areas Communities (list)