Borough status in the United Kingdom is granted by royal charter to local government districts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The status is purely honorary, and does not give any additional powers to the council or inhabitants of the district. In Scotland, similarly chartered communities were known as royal burghs, although the status is no longer granted.
A royal charter is a formal grant issued by a monarch under royal prerogative as letters patent. Historically, they have been used to promulgate public laws, the most famous example being the British Magna Carta of 1215, but since the 14th century have only been used in place of private acts to grant a right or power to an individual or a body corporate. They were, and are still, used to establish significant organisations such as boroughs, universities and learned societies.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.
Until the local government reforms of 1973 and 1974, boroughs were towns possessing charters of incorporation conferring considerable powers, and were governed by a municipal corporation headed by a mayor. The corporations had been reformed by legislation beginning in 1835 (1840 in Ireland). By the time of their abolition there were three types:
The Local Government Act 1972 was an Act of the Parliament of Northern Ireland that constituted district councils to administer the twenty-six local government districts created by the Local Government (Boundaries) Act 1971, and abolished the existing local authorities in Northern Ireland.
The Local Government Act 1972 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed local government in England and Wales on 1 April 1974.
A borough is an administrative division in various English-speaking countries. In principle, the term borough designates a self-governing walled town, although in practice, official use of the term varies widely.
County borough is a term introduced in 1889 in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, to refer to a borough or a city independent of county council control. They were abolished by the Local Government Act 1972 in England and Wales, but continue in use for lieutenancy and shrievalty in Northern Ireland. In the Republic of Ireland they remain in existence but have been renamed cities under the provisions of the Local Government Act 2001. The Local Government (Wales) Act 1994 re-introduced the term for certain "principal areas" in Wales. Scotland did not have county boroughs but instead counties of cities. These were abolished on 16 May 1975. All four Scottish cities of the time—Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, and Glasgow—were included in this category. There was an additional category of large burgh in the Scottish system, which were responsible for all services apart from police, education and fire.
Municipal boroughs were a type of local government district which existed in England and Wales between 1835 and 1974, in Northern Ireland from 1840 to 1973 and in the Republic of Ireland from 1840 to 2002. Broadly similar structures existed in Scotland from 1833 to 1975 with the reform of royal burghs and creation of police burghs.
Many of the older boroughs could trace their origin to medieval charters or were boroughs by prescription, with Saxon origins. Most of the boroughs created after 1835 were new industrial, resort or suburban towns that had grown up after the industrial revolution. Borough corporations could also have the status of a city.
The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group who inhabited Great Britain from the 5th century. They comprise people from Germanic tribes who migrated to the island from continental Europe, their descendants, and indigenous British groups who adopted many aspects of Anglo-Saxon culture and language; the cultural foundations laid by the Anglo-Saxons are the foundation of the modern English legal system and of many aspects of English society; the modern English language owes over half its words – including the most common words of everyday speech – to the language of the Anglo-Saxons. Historically, the Anglo-Saxon period denotes the period in Britain between about 450 and 1066, after their initial settlement and up until the Norman conquest. The early Anglo-Saxon period includes the creation of an English nation, with many of the aspects that survive today, including regional government of shires and hundreds. During this period, Christianity was established and there was a flowering of literature and language. Charters and law were also established. The term Anglo-Saxon is popularly used for the language that was spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons in England and eastern Scotland between at least the mid-5th century and the mid-12th century. In scholarly use, it is more commonly called Old English.
City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the monarch of the United Kingdom to a select group of communities: as of 2014, there are 69 cities in the United Kingdom – 51 in England, six in Wales, seven in Scotland and five in Northern Ireland. The holding of city status gives a settlement no special rights. This appellation carries its own prestige and competition for the status is hard-fought.
For pre-1974 boroughs, see Municipal Corporations Act 1835, Boroughs incorporated in England and Wales 1835–1882, Unreformed boroughs in England and Wales 1835–1886, Boroughs incorporated in England and Wales 1882–1974, Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act 1840
The Municipal Corporations Act 1835, sometimes known as the Municipal Reform Act, was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed local government in the incorporated boroughs of England and Wales. The legislation was part of the reform programme of the Whigs and followed the Reform Act 1832, which had abolished most of the rotten boroughs for parliamentary purposes.
The Municipal Corporations Act 1835 reformed 178 existing boroughs. It also allowed for further towns to submit petitions for the grant of a charter of incorporation as a municipal borough. There were 62 such incorporations before the 1835 act was repealed and replaced by the Municipal Corporations Act 1882.
Unreformed boroughs were those corporate towns in England and Wales which had not been reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. A handful of these obtained new charters under the 1835 Act. A royal commission was established in 1876 to inquire into these boroughs, and legislation passed in 1883 finally forced the reform or dissolution of these corporations by 1886.
Borough status no longer implies a town or urban area. Outside Greater London, borough status is granted to metropolitan and non-metropolitan districts under the provisions of section 245 of the Local Government Act 1972. This section allows the council of a district to petition the monarch for a charter granting borough status. The resolution must have the support of at least two-thirds of the councillors. Having received the petition the monarch may, on the advice of the Privy Council, grant a charter whereupon:
Greater London is a ceremonial county of England that makes up the majority of the London region. This region forms the administrative boundaries of London and is organised into 33 local government districts—the 32 London boroughs and the City of London, which is located within the region but is separate from the county. The Greater London Authority, based in Southwark, is responsible for strategic local government across the region and consists of the Mayor of London and the London Assembly. The City of London Corporation is the principal local authority for the City of London, with a similar role to that of the 32 London borough councils.
A metropolitan borough is a type of local government district in England, and is a subdivision of a metropolitan county. Created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972, metropolitan boroughs are defined in English law as metropolitan districts. However, all of them have been granted or regranted royal charters to give them borough status. Metropolitan boroughs have been effectively unitary authority areas since the abolition of the metropolitan county councils by the Local Government Act 1985. However, metropolitan boroughs pool much of their authority in joint boards and other arrangements that cover whole metropolitan counties, such as combined authorities.
Non-metropolitan districts, or colloquially "shire districts", are a type of local government district in England. As created, they are sub-divisions of non-metropolitan counties in a two-tier arrangement.
Charters granted under the 1972 Act may allow the borough council to appoint "local officers of dignity" previously appointed by an abolished borough corporation. Examples include:
There is no obligation on the council to appoint persons to these positions.
In some boroughs the mayor has the additional title as "Admiral of the Port", recalling an historic jurisdiction. The Lord Mayors of Chester and Kingston-upon-Hull are Admirals of the Dee and the Humber respectively, the Mayor of Medway is Admiral of the River Medway, and the Mayors of Poole and Southampton are admirals of those ports.
Privileges or rights belonging to citizens or burgesses of a former borough can be transferred to the inhabitants of the new borough.
Borough councils are permitted to pass a resolution admitting "persons of distinction" and persons who have "rendered eminent service" to be an honorary freeman of the borough. This power has been used to grant freedom not only to individuals, but to units and ships of the armed forces.
Borough charters granted under section 245 of the Local Government Act 1972 to metropolitan and non-metropolitan districts of England
|District||Year of charter||Previous boroughs||Notes|
|Allerdale||4 June 1992||Workington (1883)||Charter trustees for Workington had existed 1974 to 1982|
|Amber Valley||17 May 1989||None|
|Ashford||1 April 1974||Tenterden (reformed 1835)||Tenterden formed a town council in 1974|
|Barnsley||1 April 1974||Barnsley (1869)|
|Barrow-in-Furness||1 April 1974||Barrow-in-Furness (1867)|
|Basildon||26 October 2010||None|
|Basingstoke and Deane||20 January 1978||Basingstoke (reformed 1835)||Basingstoke had charter trustees 1974–1978|
|Bath||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Bath (reformed 1835)||Abolished 1996|
|Bedford||See North Bedfordshire|
|Berwick-upon-Tweed||1 April 1974||Berwick-upon-Tweed (reformed 1835)||Abolished in April 2009. Civic functions transferred to Berwick-upon-Tweed Town Council.|
|Beverley||1 April 1974||Beverley (reformed 1835)||Renamed East Yorkshire Borough of Beverley 1981. Abolished 1996.|
|Birmingham||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Birmingham (1838), Sutton Coldfield (1885)|
|Blackburn||1 April 1974||Blackburn (1851), Darwen (1878)||Renamed Blackburn with Darwen 1997|
|Blackpool||1 April 1974||Blackpool (1876)|
|Blyth Valley||1 April 1974||Blyth (1922)||Abolished in April 2009.|
|Bolton||1 April 1974||Bolton (1838)|
|Boothferry||28 April 1978||Goole (1933)||Goole had charter trustees 1974–1978. Abolished 1996.|
|Boston||1 April 1974||Boston (reformed 1835)|
|Bournemouth||1 April 1974||Bournemouth (1890)||Abolished April 2019|
|Bracknell Forest||27 April 1988||None|
|Bradford||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Bradford (1847)|
|Brentwood||10 March 1993||None|
|Brighton||1 April 1974||Brighton (1854)||Abolished 1997.|
|Brighton & Hove||1 April 1997 (granted city status in 2000)||Formed from Brighton, Hove districts|
|Bristol||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Bristol (reformed 1835)|
|Broxbourne||1 April 1974||None|
|Broxtowe||10 November 1977||None|
|Burnley||1 April 1974||Burnley (1861)|
|Bury||1 April 1974||Bury (1876)|
|Calderdale||1 April 1974||Halifax (1848), Brighouse (1893), Todmorden (1896)|
|Cambridge||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Cambridge (reformed 1835)|
|Canterbury||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Canterbury (reformed 1835)|
|Carlisle||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Carlisle (reformed 1835)|
|Castle Morpeth||1 April 1974||Morpeth (reformed 1835)||Abolished in April 2009.|
|Charnwood||1 April 1974||Loughborough (1888)|
|Chelmsford||10 November 1977||Chelmsford (1888)||Chelmsford had charter trustees 1974–1977 |
Granted city status in 2012
|Cheltenham||1 April 1974||Cheltenham (1876)|
|Cheshire East||2009||Congleton, Crewe and Nantwich, Macclesfield||Created April 2009|
|Cheshire West and Chester||2009||Chester, Ellesmere Port and Neston, Vale Royal||Created April 2009|
|Chester||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Chester (reformed 1835)||Abolished April 2009|
|Chesterfield||1 April 1974||Chesterfield (reformed 1835)|
|Chorley||1 April 1974||Chorley (1881)|
|Christchurch||1 April 1974||Christchurch (reformed 1886)||Abolished April 2019|
|Cleethorpes||11 September 1975||Cleethorpes (1936)||Cleethorpes had charter trustees 1974–1975. Borough abolished 1996|
|Colchester||1 April 1974||Colchester (reformed 1835)|
|Congleton||1 April 1974||Congleton (reformed 1835)||Abolished April 2009|
|Copeland||1 April 1974||Whitehaven (1894)|
|Corby||28 October 1992||None|
|Coventry||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Coventry (reformed 1835)|
|Crawley||1 April 1974||None|
|Crewe and Nantwich||1 April 1974||Crewe (1877)||Abolished April 2009|
|Dacorum||10 October 1984||Hemel Hempstead (1898)||Hemel Hempstead had charter trustees 1974–1984|
|Darlington||1 April 1974||Darlington (1867)|
|Dartford||22 April 1977||Dartford (1933)||Dartford had charter trustees 1974–1977|
|Derby||1 April 1974 (and city status in 1977)||Derby (reformed 1835)|
|Doncaster||1 April 1974||Doncaster (reformed 1835)|
|Dudley||1 April 1974||Dudley (1865), Stourbridge (1914), Halesowen (1936)|
|Durham||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Durham and Framwellgate (reformed 1835)||Abolished April 2009. Charter Trustees established.|
|East Staffordshire||11 May 1992||Burton upon Trent (1878)|| Charter trustees for Burton functioned 1974–1992.|
They were formally abolished in 2003.
|East Yorkshire||See North Wolds|
|East Yorkshire Borough of Beverley||See Beverley|
|Eastbourne||1 April 1974||Eastbourne (1883)|
|Eastleigh||1 April 1974||Eastleigh (1936)|
|Ellesmere Port||1 April 1974||Ellesmere Port (1955)||renamed Ellesmere Port and Neston 1976. Abolished April 2009.|
|Elmbridge||1 April 1974||None|
|Epsom and Ewell||1 April 1974||Epsom and Ewell (1937)|
|Erewash||1975||Ilkeston (1887)||Ilkeston had charter trustees 1974–1975|
|Exeter||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Exeter (reformed 1835)|
|Fareham||1 April 1974||None|
|Fylde||1 April 1974||Lytham St. Annes (1922)|
|Gateshead||1 April 1974||Gateshead (reformed 1835)|
|Gedling||1 April 1974||None|
|Gillingham||1 April 1974||Gillingham (1903)||Abolished 1996|
|Glanford||1 April 1974||None||Abolished 1996|
|Gloucester||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Gloucester (reformed 1835)|
|Gosport||1 April 1974||Gosport (1922)|
|Gravesham||1 April 1974||Gravesend (reformed 1835)|
|Great Yarmouth||1 April 1974||Great Yarmouth (reformed 1835)|
|Grimsby||1 April 1974||Grimsby (reformed 1835)||Renamed Great Grimsby 1979, abolished 1996.|
|Guildford||1 April 1974||Guildford (reformed 1835)|
|Halton||1 April 1974||Widnes (1892)|
|Harrogate||1 April 1974||Harrogate (1884)|
|Hartlepool||1 April 1974||Hartlepool formed 1967 from Hartlepool (1850), West Hartlepool (1887)|
|Hastings||1 April 1974||Hastings (reformed 1835)|
|Havant||1 April 1974||None|
|Hereford||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Hereford (reformed 1835)||Abolished 1998|
|Hertsmere||15 April 1977||None|
|High Peak||1 April 1974||Glossop (1866), Buxton (1917)|
|Hinckley and Bosworth||1 April 1974||None|
|Holderness||21 June 1977||Hedon (1861) (formed a town council in 1974)||Abolished 1996|
|Hove||1 April 1974||Hove (1898)||Abolished 1997|
|Hyndburn||1 April 1974||Accrington (1878)|
|Ipswich||1 April 1974||Ipswich (reformed 1835)|
|Kettering||1 April 1974||Kettering (1938)|
|King's Lynn and West Norfolk||See West Norfolk|
|Kingston upon Hull||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Kingston upon Hull (reformed 1835)|
|Kingswood||20 May 1987||None||Abolished 1996|
|Kirklees||1 April 1974||Dewsbury (1862), |Huddersfield (1868), Batley (1868), Spenborough (1955)|
|Knowsley||1 April 1974||None|
|Lancaster||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Lancaster (reformed 1835)|
|Langbaurgh||1 April 1974||Formed from part of Teesside county borough, created in 1967, and including Redcar (incorporated in 1921)||Renamed Langbaurgh on Tees 1988|
Renamed Redcar and Cleveland 1996
|Leeds||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Leeds (reformed 1835), Pudsey(1889)|
|Leicester||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Leicester (reformed 1835)|
|Lincoln||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Lincoln (reformed 1835)|
|Liverpool||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Liverpool (reformed 1835)|
|Luton||1 April 1974||Luton (1876)|
|Macclesfield||1 April 1974||Macclesfield (reformed 1835)||Abolished April 2009|
|Maidstone||1 April 1974||Maidstone (reformed 1835)|
|Manchester||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Manchester (1838)|
|Medina||1 April 1974||Newport (reformed 1835), Ryde (1868)||Abolished 1995|
|Medway (1)||1 April 1974||Rochester (reformed 1835), Chatham (1890)||Renamed Rochester-upon-Medway 1979, and awarded city status.|
|Medway (2)||1998||From Rochester upon Medway, Gillingham boroughs (q.v.)|
|Melton||1 April 1974||None|
|Middlesbrough||1 April 1974||Formed from part of Teesside county borough, created in 1967, and including Middlesbrough (incorporated in 1853)|
|Milton Keynes||1 April 1974||None|
|Newcastle-under-Lyme||1 April 1974||Newcastle-under-Lyme (reformed 1835)|
|Newcastle upon Tyne||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Newcastle upon Tyne (reformed 1835)|
|Northampton||1 April 1974||Northampton (reformed 1835)|
|North Bedfordshire||1975||Bedford (reformed 1835)||Renamed Bedford 1992|
|North East Lincolnshire||1996||From Cleethorpes, Great Grimsby boroughs (q.v.)||Both former boroughs formed charter trustees|
|North Lincolnshire||1998||Formed from Boothferry, Glanford, and Scunthorpe boroughs (q.v.)||Scunthorpe's mayoralty is continued by charter trustees|
|North Tyneside||1 April 1974||Tynemouth (1849), Wallsend (1901)|
|North Warwickshire||1 April 1974||None|
|North Wolds||1 April 1974||Bridlington (1899)||Renamed East Yorkshire 1981.|
|Norwich||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Norwich (reformed 1835)|
|Nottingham||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Nottingham (reformed 1835)|
|Nuneaton||1 April 1974||Nuneaton (1907)||Renamed Nuneaton and Bedworth 1980|
|Oadby and Wigston||1 April 1974||None|
|Oldham||1 April 1974||Oldham (1849)|
|Oswestry||1 April 1974||Oswestry Rural Borough (reformed 1835)||Abolished in April 2009.|
|Oxford||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Oxford (reformed 1835)|
|Pendle||15 September 1976||Nelson (1890), Colne (1895)|
|Peterborough||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Peterborough (1874)|
|Plymouth||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Plymouth (reformed 1835)|
|Poole||1 April 1974||Poole (reformed 1835)||Abolished April 2019|
|Portsmouth||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Portsmouth (reformed 1835)|
|Preston||1 April 1974 (granted city status in 2002)||Preston (reformed 1835)|
|Reading||1 April 1974||Reading (reformed 1835)|
|Redcar and Cleveland||See Langbaurgh|
|Redditch||15 May 1980||None|
|Reigate and Banstead||1 April 1974||Reigate (reformed (1863)|
|Restormel||1 April 1974||St. Austell with Fowey (formed 1968, including Fowey 1913)||Abolished in April 2009.|
|Ribble Valley||1 April 1974||Clitheroe (reformed 1835)|
|Rochdale||1 April 1974||Rochdale (1856), Heywood (1881), Middleton (1886)|
|Rochester upon Medway||See Medway (1)|
|Rossendale||1 April 1974||Bacup (1882), Haslingden (1891), Rawtenstall (1891)|
|Rotherham||1 April 1974||Rotherham, (1871)|
|Rugby||1 April 1974||Rugby (1932)|
|Runnymede||20 January 1978||None|
|Rushcliffe||1 April 1974||None|
|Rushmoor||1 April 1974||Aldershot (1922)|
|St Albans||1 April 1974 (and city status)||St Albans (reformed 1835)|
|St Edmundsbury||1 April 1974||Bury St Edmunds (reformed 1835)||Abolished April 2019|
|St Helens||1 April 1974||St Helens (1868)|
|Salford||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Salford (1844), Eccles (1892), Swinton and Pendlebury (1934)|
|Sandwell||1 April 1974||West Bromwich (1882), including since 1966 the former boroughs of Tipton (1938) and Wednesbury (1886); Warley (1966), including the former boroughs of Smethwick (1899), Rowley Regis (1933), and Oldbury(1935)|
|Scarborough||1 April 1974||Scarborough (reformed 1835)|
|Scunthorpe||1 April 1974||Scunthorpe (1936)||Abolished 1996|
|Sedgefield||1996||None||Abolished April 2009. Mayoralty continued by Sedgefield Town Council|
|Sefton||1975||Southport (1866), Bootle (1868), Crosby (1937)||All three towns formed charter trustees 1974–1975|
|Sheffield||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Sheffield (1843)|
|Shrewsbury and Atcham||1 April 1974||Shrewsbury (reformed 1835)||Abolished in April 2009.|
|Slough||1 April 1974||Slough (1938)|
|Solihull||1 April 1974||Solihull (1954)|
|Southampton||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Southampton (reformed 1835)|
|Southend-on-Sea||1 April 1974||Southend-on-Sea (1892)|
|South Ribble||1 April 1974||None|
|South Tyneside||1 April 1974||South Shields (1850), Jarrow (1875)|
|South Wight||1974?||None||Abolished 1995|
|Spelthorne||1 April 1974||None|
|Stafford||1 April 1974||Stafford (reformed 1835)|
|Stevenage||1 April 1974||None|
|Stockport||1 April 1974||Stockport (reformed 1835)|
|Stockton-on-Tees||1 April 1974||Formed from part of Teesside county borough, created in 1967, and including Stockton-on-Tees (reformed 1835) and Thornaby-on-Tees (incorporated in 1892)|
|Stoke-on-Trent||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Stoke-on-Trent formed 1910, including boroughs of Hanley (incorporated in 1857), Longton (1865), Burslem (1878), Stoke-upon-Trent (1874).|
|Sunderland||1 April 1974 (granted city status in 1992)||Sunderland (reformed 1835)|
|Surrey Heath||1 April 1974||None|
|Swale||20 January 1978||Faversham (reformed 1835), Queenborough-in-Sheppey (created 1968, including borough of Queenborough, reformed in 1885)||Queenborough-in-Sheppey formed charter trustees 1974–1977|
|Tameside||1 April 1974||Ashton-under-Lyne (1847), Stalybridge (1857), Hyde (1881), Mossley (1885), Dukinfield (1899)|
|Tamworth||1 April 1974||Tamworth (reformed 1835)|
|Taunton Deane||1975||Taunton (1885)||Taunton had charter trustees 1974–1975, Abolished April 2019|
|Telford and Wrekin||2002||None|
|Test Valley||22 October 1976||Andover, Romsey, both reformed 1835||Andover had charter trustees 1974–1976. Romsey formed a town council.|
|Tewkesbury||1 April 1974||Tewkesbury (reformed 1835)|
|Thamesdown||1 April 1974||Swindon (1900)||Renamed Swindon 1997|
|Thurrock||1 April 1974||None|
|Tonbridge and Malling||12 December 1983||None|
|Torbay||1 April 1974||County borough of Torbay – created 1968, and including the borough of Torquay incorporated in 1892|
|Trafford||1 April 1974||Stretford (1933), Sale (1935), Altrincham (1937)|
|Tunbridge Wells||1 April 1974||Royal Tunbridge Wells (1888)||Charter trustees for Royal Tunbridge Wells existed from 1 April to 20 December 1974|
|Vale Royal||5 May 1988||None||Abolished April 2009|
|Wakefield||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Pontefract (reformed 1835), Wakefield (1848), Ossett (1890), Castleford (1955)|
|Walsall||1 April 1974||Walsall (reformed 1835)|
|Warrington||1 April 1974||Warrington (1847)|
|Watford||1 April 1974||Watford (1922)|
|Waverley||21 February 1984||Godalming (reformed 1835)||Godalming formed a town council in 1974|
|Wellingborough||1 April 1974||None|
|West Devon||27 April 1982||Okehampton (reformed 1885)||Okehampton formed a town council in 1974|
|West Norfolk||30 June 1981||King's Lynn (reformed 1835)||Renamed King's Lynn and West Norfolk 14 May 1981|
|Weymouth and Portland||1 April 1974||Weymouth and Melcombe Regis (reformed 1835)||Abolished April 2019|
|Wigan||1 April 1974||Wigan (reformed 1835), Leigh (1899)||Leigh Abolished 1972|
|Winchester||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Winchester (reformed 1835)|
|Windsor and Maidenhead||1 April 1974 (Royal Borough)||Windsor, Maidenhead, both reformed 1835|
|Wirral||1 April 1974||Birkenhead (1877), Wallasey (1910), Bebington (1937)|
|Woking||1 April 1974||none|
|Wokingham||2007||Wokingham (reformed 1883)||Wokingham formed a town council in 1974|
|Wolverhampton||1 April 1974. Granted city status 2000||Wolverhampton (1848). Had absorbed the borough of Bilston in 1967 (incorporated in 1938).|
|Worcester||1 April 1974 (and city status)||Worcester (reformed 1835)|
|Worthing||1 April 1974||Worthing, 1890|
|Wyre||1 April 1974||Fleetwood (1933)|
|York (1)||1 April 1974 (and city status)||York (reformed 1835)||The District was abolished and replaced with a larger unitary authority in 1996|
|York (2)||1996 (and city status)||Created in 1996. Inherited traditions from the smaller York district.|
Greater London is divided into thirty-two London boroughs. Their borough status dates from 1965, although each of them had previously included municipal, county or metropolitan boroughs:
|London borough||Previous boroughs||Notes|
|Barking||Barking (1931), Dagenham (1938)||Renamed Barking and Dagenham 1981|
|Barnet||Hendon (1932), Finchley (1933)|
|Bexley||Bexley (1937), Erith (1938)|
|Brent||Willesden (1933), Wembley (1937)|
|Bromley||Bromley (1903), Beckenham (1935)|
|Camden||Hampstead, Holborn, St Pancras all created 1900|
|Ealing||Ealing (1901), Acton (1921), Southall (1936)|
|Enfield||Southgate (1933), Edmonton (1937), Enfield (1955)|
|Greenwich (Royal Borough)||Greenwich, Woolwich both created 1900|
|Hackney||Hackney, Shoreditch, Stoke Newington all created 1900|
|Hammersmith||Hammersmith, Fulham both created 1900||Renamed Hammersmith and Fulham 1981|
|Haringey||Hornsey (1903), Wood Green (1933), Tottenham (1934)|
|Hounslow||Brentford and Chiswick, Heston and Isleworth both incorporated in 1932|
|Islington||Islington, Finsbury both created 1900|
|Kensington and Chelsea (Royal Borough)||Kensington, Chelsea both created 1900|
|Kingston upon Thames (Royal Borough)||Kingston upon Thames (reformed 1835), Malden and Coombe (1936), Surbiton (1936)|
|Lambeth||Lambeth created 1900|
|Lewisham||Lewisham, Deptford both created 1900|
|Merton||Wimbledon (1905), Mitcham (1934)|
|Newham||West Ham (1886), East Ham (1904)|
|Redbridge||Ilford (1926), Wanstead and Woodford (1937)|
|Richmond upon Thames||Richmond (1890), Twickenham (1926), Barnes (1932)|
|Southwark||Bermondsey, Camberwell, Southwark all created 1900|
|Sutton||Sutton and Cheam (1934), Beddington and Wallington (1937)|
|Tower Hamlets||Bethnal Green, Poplar, Stepney all created 1900|
|Waltham Forest||Leyton (1926), Walthamstow (1929), Chingford (1938)|
|Wandsworth||Battersea, Wandsworth both created 1900|
|Westminster (and city status)||Paddington, St Marylebone, Westminster all created 1900|
Borough charters granted under section 245 of the Local Government Act 1972 to Welsh districts
|District||Year of charter||Previous boroughs||Notes|
|Afan||1974||Port Talbot (formed 1921, including borough of Aberavon, reformed 1861)||Renamed Port Talbot 1986|
|Arfon||1974||Caernarvon (reformed 1835), Bangor (reformed 1883)||Bangor and Caernarfon formed town councils|
|Brecknock||1974||Brecon (reformed 1835)||Brecon formed a town council|
|Cardiff||1974 (and city status)||Cardiff (reformed 1835)|
|Colwyn||1974||Colwyn Bay (1934)|
|Cynon Valley||By November 1974||None|
|Delyn||1974||Flint (reformed 1835)||Flint formed a town council|
|Dinefwr||1974||Llandovery (reformed 1835)||Llandovery formed a town council|
|Llanelli||1974||Kidwelly (reformed 1885), Llanelli (1913)||Kidwelly and Llanelli formed town councils|
|Merthyr Tydfil||1974||Merthyr Tydfil (1905)|
|Monmouth||1988||Monmouth (reformed 1835), Abergavenny (1899)||Abergavenny and Monmouth formed town councils|
|Neath||1974||Neath (reformed 1835)||Neath formed a town council|
|Newport||1974 (granted city |
status in 2002)
|Newport (reformed 1835)|
|Port Talbot||See Afan|
|Swansea||1974 (and city status)||Swansea (reformed 1835)|
|Vale of Glamorgan||1974||Cowbridge (1887), Barry (1938)||Cowbridge and Barry formed town councils|
|Wrexham Maelor||1974||Wrexham (1857)|
|Ynys Mon – Isle of Anglesey||1974||Beaumaris (reformed 1835)||Beaumaris formed a town council|
The districts created in 1974 were abolished in 1996 by the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994. The 1994 Act amended section 245 of the Local Government Act 1972, allowing for the new unitary county councils established by the Act to apply for a charter in a similar manner to the old district councils. On receiving a charter a county became a "county borough".
Welsh unitary authorities granted a charter in 1996 bestowing county borough status
|County borough||Previous boroughs||Notes|
|Aberconwy and Colwyn||Aberconwy, Colwyn||Renamed Conwy 1996|
|Blaenau Gwent||Blaenau Gwent|
|Cardiff||Cardiff has the status of a "city and county" by letters patent|
|Conwy||See Aberconwy and Colwyn|
|Merthyr Tydfil||Merthyr Tydfil|
|Neath and Port Talbot||Neath, Port Talbot||Renamed Neath Port Talbot 1996|
|Newport||Newport||Became "city and county" in 2002|
|Rhondda Cynon Taff||Cynon Valley, Rhondda, Taff-Ely|
|Swansea||Swansea has the status of a "city and county" by letters patent|
|Vale of Glamorgan||Vale of Glamorgan|
The privileges of borough status are that the council chairperson is called "mayor" and up to one quarter of councillors can be called "alderman", and the council can award freedom of the borough.The Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act 1840 extinguished all the boroughs in Ireland except for ten. In what would in 1921 become Northern Ireland, there were two remaining municipal boroughs in 1840: Belfast (made a city in 1888) and Derry (officially Londonderry, and a city since 1604). Five towns with abolished corporations remained parliamentary boroughs until 1885 (Armagh, Carrickfergus, Coleraine, Dungannon, and Enniskillen) as did three (Downpatrick, Lisburn, and Newry) where any corporation was defunct by 1801. Several of the urban districts in Northern Ireland created under the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898 later received charters granting borough status. The Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 replaced the multi-tier local government system with 26 unitary districts whose councils could retain the charter of a borough within the district; other districts later received borough charters in their own right. The 2015 local government reforms replaced the 26 districts with 11 larger districts. The "statutory transition committee" handling each council merger had the right to request transfer of borough status as in 1972, and unionist-majority councils did so, while nationalist-majority councils chose not to apply. There were complications where places had city status; therefore Belfast, Derry and Lisburn's borough charters carried over automatically, without the need for the council to pass a resolution. Although Newry received city status in 2002, Newry and Mourne District Council did not receive borough status. In 2015 its successor Newry, Mourne and Down District Council voted not to request borough status, the required two-thirds majority failing after opposition from Sinn Féin.
|2015 borough||1972–2015 borough||pre-1972 borough||Year of charter||Notes|
|Antrim and Newtownabbey||Antrim||1977||Antrim town's borough status was extinguished in 1840. It was Antrim's borough charter which the merged council opted to preserve in 2015.|
|Antrim and Newtownabbey||Newtownabbey||1977|
|Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon||Armagh||1997||Armagh town already had city status granted by letters patent in 1994. Its previous borough status was extinguished in 1840. It was Armagh's borough charter which the merged council opted to preserve in 2015.|
|Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon||Craigavon||Portadown, Lurgan||1947, 1949|
|Belfast||Belfast||Belfast||1613||Charter reformed 1840. City status by letters patent of 1888.|
|Causeway Coast and Glens||Ballymoney||1977|
|Causeway Coast and Glens||Coleraine||Coleraine||1928||Coleraine's previous borough status was extinguished in 1840. It was Coleraine's borough charter which the merged council opted to preserve in 2015.|
|Causeway Coast and Glens||Limavady||1989|
|Derry and Strabane||Derry||Londonderry||1604||Charter reformed 1840. District and borough renamed Derry 1984; name of city remains Londonderry (see Derry/Londonderry name dispute).|
|Lisburn and Castlereagh||Castlereagh||1977||The new district council is called Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council.|
|Lisburn and Castlereagh||Lisburn||Lisburn||1964.||Lisburn was granted city status by letters patent in 2002.|
|Mid and East Antrim||Ballymena||Ballymena||1937|
|Mid and East Antrim||Carrickfergus||Carrickfergus||1939||Carrickfergus's previous borough status was extinguished in 1840. It was Carrickfergus's borough charter which the merged council opted to preserve in 2015.|
|Mid and East Antrim||Larne||Larne||1938|
|Ards and North Down||Ards||Newtownards||1927||Newtownards' previous borough status was extinguished in 1840. The "North Down and Ards" statutory transition committee voted in 2014 to apply for borough status for the merged district council under the name "East Coast Borough Council", but negative public reaction prompted a rethink, and the name "Ards and North Down" was not finalised until 2016. The charter transfer was delayed until after this.|
|Ards and North Down||North Down||Bangor||1927||Bangor's previous borough status was extinguished in 1840. It was North Down's borough charter which the merged council opted to preserve in 2016.|
|Dungannon and South Tyrone||1999||Borough status was simultaneous with 1999 renaming the district from "Dungannon". Dungannon town's borough status was extinguished in 1840. Now in Mid-Ulster District.|
|Enniskillen||1949||Previous borough status was extinguished in 1840. In 1967, Enniskillen Borough Council lost its administrative functions to Fermanagh County Council, but retained its ceremonial role. The post-1972 Fermanagh District Council did not inherit Enniskillen's borough status. Since 2015 in Fermanagh and Omagh District.|
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Castlereagh was a local government district with the status of borough in Northern Ireland. It merged with Lisburn City Council in May 2015 under local government reorganisation in Northern Ireland to become Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, with a small amount being transferred to Belfast City Council.
A city council, town council, town board, or board of aldermen is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality, or local government area.
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Antrim was a local government district in Northern Ireland. It was one of twenty-six districts created in 1973, and was granted borough status on 9 May 1977. The borough covered an area of some 220 square miles (570 km2) and had a population of 53,428 according to the 2011 census. It was situated about 19 miles (31 km) north-west of Belfast. It bordered the north and east shores of Lough Neagh, the largest fresh water lake in the United Kingdom, and included the towns of Antrim, Toomebridge, Crumlin, Randalstown, Parkgate and Templepatrick. The council headquarters were located on the outskirts of Antrim town. Although the borough was not within the Belfast Metropolitan Area, it housed the city's international airport and many commuter villages.
Ards was a local government district in Northern Ireland with the status of borough. It was one of twenty-six districts formed on 1 October 1973, and had its headquarters in Newtownards. It was merged with neighbouring North Down on May 1, 2015 to form the new Borough of Ards and North Down. Other towns in the defunct Borough included Portaferry, Comber, and Donaghadee, and the population of the area was 78,078 according to the 2011 census.
Ballymoney was a local government district with borough status in Northern Ireland. It was headquartered in Ballymoney. Other towns in the borough included Dervock, Dunloy, Cloughmills and Rasharkin. The borough had a population of 31,224 according to the 2011 census.
Galway City Council is the authority responsible for local government in the city of Galway in Ireland. As a city council, it is governed by the Local Government Act 2001. The council is responsible for housing and community, roads and transportation, urban planning and development, amenity and culture, and environment. The council has 18 elected members. Elections are held every five years and are by single transferable vote. The head of the council has the title of Mayor. The city administration is headed by a Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath. The council meets at City Hall, College Road, Galway.
Belfast City Council is the local authority with responsibility for part of the city of Belfast, the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland. The Council serves an estimated population of 333,871 (2011), the largest of any district council in Northern Ireland, while also being the fourth smallest by area. Belfast City Council is the primary council of the Belfast Metropolitan Area, a grouping of six district councils with commuter towns and overspill from Belfast, containing a total population of 579,276.
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The County Borough of Leeds, and its predecessor, the Municipal Borough of Leeds, was a local government district in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, from 1835 to 1974. Its origin was the ancient borough of Leeds, which was reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. In 1889, when West Riding County Council was formed, Leeds became a county borough outside the administrative county of the West Riding; and in 1893 the borough gained city status. The borough was extended a number of times, expanding from 21,593 acres (8,738 ha) in 1911 to 40,612 acres (16,435 ha) in 1961; adding in stages the former area of Roundhay, Seacroft, Shadwell and Middleton parishes and gaining other parts of adjacent districts. In 1971 Leeds was the fifth largest county borough by population in England. The county borough was abolished in 1974 and replaced with the larger City of Leeds, a metropolitan district of West Yorkshire.
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Ards and North Down Borough Council is a local authority in Northern Ireland that was established on 1 April 2015. It replaced Ards Borough Council and North Down Borough Council. The first elections to the authority were on 22 May 2014 and it acted as a shadow authority, prior to the creation of the Ards and North Down district on 1 April 2015.
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Our difficulty is in relation to the cities. Some of the city statuses that have been awarded in the past refer to the borough, and some refer to the previous town. We are having a little difficulty in sorting out the legal implications of that.
While in some cases it is not going to have a major effect, in the case of, for example, the cities, particularly Lisburn, it could have a major effect on their status.
The 1984 Order made under the 1972 Act had the effect of changing the name of the administrative district from Londonderry to Derry ... the name of the local government district (and the consequential changes to the names of the borough and the council) were affected by the Order in 1984.
In the New Year the Council will formally apply for Borough status and will submit an application to the DoE to change the name to East Coast Borough Council with effect from 1 April 2015; until then the Council will be known as North Down and Ards District Council
The order provides for the transfer on 2nd June, 1967, of the functions, liabilities, property and staff of the borough and rural district councils to a reconstituted county council. ... The rural district councils will, in fact, be abolished. But the borough council, consisting in future of the 12 county councillors representing the area of the borough, will remain to exercise the ceremonial functions of the borough.