Non-metropolitan county

Last updated

Non-metropolitan county
Also known as:
Shire county
English non-metropolitan counties 2009.svg
Non-metropolitan counties (red)
Category Counties
Location England
Found in Regions
Created by Local Government Act 1972
Created1 April 1974
Number76 (as of 1 April 2019)
Possible statusMultiple districts with no county council (1)
Multiple districts with county council (25)
Single district with unitary authority (50)
Populations300,000–1.4 million
Subdivisions Non-metropolitan district

A non-metropolitan county, or colloquially, shire county, is a county-level entity in England that is not a metropolitan county. The counties typically have populations of 300,000 to 1.4 million. [1] The term shire county is, however, an unofficial usage. Many of the non-metropolitan counties bear historic names and most, such as Wiltshire and Staffordshire, end in the suffix "-shire". Of the remainder, some counties had the "-shire" ending but have lost it over time, such as Devon and Somerset.

Contents

Origins

Prior to 1974 local government had been divided between single-tier county boroughs (the largest towns and cities) and two-tier administrative counties which were subdivided into municipal boroughs and urban and rural districts. The Local Government Act 1972, which came into effect on 1 April 1974, divided England outside Greater London and the six largest conurbations into thirty-nine non-metropolitan counties. Each county was divided into anywhere between two and fourteen non-metropolitan districts. There was a uniform two-tier system of local government with county councils dealing with "wide-area" services such as education, fire services and the police, and district councils exercising more local powers over areas such as planning, housing and refuse collection.

Service Non-metropolitan county Non-metropolitan district Unitary authority
EducationYes check.svgYYes check.svgY
HousingYes check.svgYYes check.svgY
Planning applicationsYes check.svgYYes check.svgY
Strategic planningYes check.svgYYes check.svgY
Transport planningYes check.svgYYes check.svgY
Passenger transportYes check.svgYYes check.svgY
HighwaysYes check.svgYYes check.svgY
FireYes check.svgYYes check.svgY
Social servicesYes check.svgYYes check.svgY
LibrariesYes check.svgYYes check.svgY
Leisure and recreationYes check.svgYYes check.svgY
Waste collectionYes check.svgYYes check.svgY
Waste disposalYes check.svgYYes check.svgY
Environmental healthYes check.svgYYes check.svgY
Revenue collectionYes check.svgYYes check.svgY

As originally constituted, the non-metropolitan counties were largely based on existing counties, although they did include a number of innovations. Some counties were based on areas surrounding large county boroughs or were formed by the mergers of smaller counties. Examples of the first category are Avon (based on Bath and Bristol) and Cleveland (based on Teesside). Examples of the second category are Hereford and Worcester and Cumbria. The counties were adopted for all statutory purposes: a lord-lieutenant and high sheriff was appointed to each county, and they were also used for judicial administration, and definition of police force areas. The Royal Mail adopted the counties for postal purposes in most areas.

Changes

1995–1998

A Local Government Commission was appointed in 1992 to review the administrative structure of the non-metropolitan counties. It was anticipated that a system of unitary authorities would entirely replace the two-tier system. The Commission faced competing claims from former county boroughs wishing to regain unitary status and advocates for the restoration of such small counties as Herefordshire and Rutland. [2] The review led to the introduction of unitary local government in some areas but not in others. In the majority of unitary authorities an existing district council took over powers from the county council. The 1972 Act required that all areas outside Greater London form part of a non-metropolitan county, and that all such counties should contain at least one district. [3] Accordingly, the statutory instruments that effected the reorganisation separated the unitary districts from the county in which they were situated and constituted them as counties. The orders also provided that the provisions of the 1972 Act that every county should have a county council should not apply in the new counties, with the district council exercising the powers of the county council.

An exception was made in the case of Berkshire, which was retained with its existing boundaries in spite of the abolition of its county council and the creation of six unitary authorities. This was done in order to preserve its status as a royal county. [4]

With the creation of numerous new non-metropolitan counties, the areas used for lieutenancy and shrievalty began to diverge from local government areas. This led to the development of ceremonial counties for these purposes, a fact recognised by the Lieutenancies Act 1997.

2009

A further wave of unitary authorities were created in 2009 under the terms of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007. While a number of new counties were created, several of the new authorities (such as Cornwall or Northumberland) continued to have the boundaries set in 1974.

2019–2021

The 2019–2021 structural changes to local government in England have involved, and will involve, changes to the non-metropolitan counties of Dorset (2019) and Northamptonshire (2020).

List of non-metropolitan counties

The following list shows the original thirty-nine counties formed in 1974, subsequent changes in the 1990s, and further changes since then.

Non-metropolitan county 1974 [5] Changes 1995–1998Changes 2009Changes 2019-2020
Avon (6 districts)‡1996: North West Somerset [6] (unitary)

2005: renamed North Somerset

NoneNone
1996: Bath and North East Somerset [6] (unitary)NoneNone
1996: South Gloucestershire [6] (unitary)NoneNone
1996: City of Bristol [6] (unitary)NoneNone
Bedfordshire (4 districts)1997: Bedfordshire [7] (3 districts) Bedford [8] (unitary)None
Central Bedfordshire [8] (unitary)None
1997: Luton [7] (unitary)NoneNone
Berkshire (Royal County) [9]
(6 districts)
1998: The county council was abolished,
with each of the six district councils in the county becoming unitary authorities.

The Royal County of Berkshire was not abolished. [10]

NoneNone
Buckinghamshire (5 districts)1997: Buckinghamshire [11] (4 districts)NoneBuckinghamshire (unitary)
1997: Milton Keynes [11] (unitary)NoneNone
Cambridgeshire (6 districts)1998: Cambridgeshire [12] (5 districts)NoneNone
1998: Peterborough [12] (unitary)None
Cheshire (8 districts)1998: Cheshire [13] (6 districts) Cheshire East [14] (unitary)None
Cheshire West and Chester [14] (unitary)None
1998: Halton [13] (unitary)NoneNone
1998: Warrington [13] (unitary)NoneNone
Cleveland (4 districts)1996: Hartlepool [15] (unitary)NoneNone
1996: Middlesbrough [15] (unitary)NoneNone
1996: Redcar and Cleveland [15] (unitary)NoneNone
1996: Stockton-on-Tees [15] (unitary)NoneNone
Cornwall (6 districts)NoneBecame unitary [16] None
Cumbria (6 districts)NoneNoneNone
Derbyshire (9 districts)1997: Derby [17] (unitary)NoneNone
1997: Derbyshire [17] (8 districts)NoneNone
Devon (10 districts)1998: Devon [18] (8 districts)NoneNone
1998: Torbay [18] (unitary)NoneNone
1998: Plymouth [18] (unitary)NoneNone
Dorset (8 districts)1997: Dorset [19] (6 districts)None Dorset (unitary) (except Christchurch district) [20]
1997: Bournemouth [19] (unitary)None Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (unitary) [20]
1997: Poole [19] (unitary)None
Durham (8 districts)1997: Darlington [21] (unitary)NoneNone
1997: Durham [21] (7 districts)Became unitary [22] None
East Sussex (7 districts)1997: East Sussex [23] (5 districts)NoneNone
1997: Brighton and Hove [23] (unitary)NoneNone
Essex (14 districts)1998: Essex [24] (12 districts)NoneNone
1998: Southend-on-Sea [24] (unitary)NoneNone
1998: Thurrock [24] (unitary)NoneNone
Gloucestershire (6 districts)NoneNoneNone
Hampshire (13 districts)1997: Hampshire [25] (11 districts)NoneNone
1997: Portsmouth [25] (unitary)NoneNone
1997: Southampton [25] (unitary)NoneNone
Hereford and Worcester (9 districts)1998: Herefordshire [26] (unitary)NoneNone
1998: Worcestershire [26] (6 districts)NoneNone
Hertfordshire (10 districts)NoneNoneNone
Humberside (9 districts)1996: East Riding of Yorkshire [27] (unitary)NoneNone
1996: City of Kingston upon Hull [27] (unitary)NoneNone
1996: North Lincolnshire [27] (unitary)NoneNone
1996: North East Lincolnshire [27] (unitary)NoneNone
Isle of Wight (2 districts)1995: Became unitary [28] NoneNone
Kent (14 districts)1998: Kent [29] (12 districts)NoneNone
1998: The Medway Towns [29] (unitary)

1998: renamed Medway

NoneNone
Lancashire (14 districts)1998: Lancashire [30] (12 districts)NoneNone
1998: Blackburn with Darwen [30] (unitary)NoneNone
1998: Blackpool [30] (unitary)NoneNone
Leicestershire (9 districts)1997: Leicestershire [31] (7 districts)NoneNone
1997: Leicester [31] (unitary)NoneNone
1997: Rutland [31] (unitary)NoneNone
Lincolnshire (7 districts)NoneNoneNone
Norfolk (7 districts)NoneNoneNone
North Yorkshire (8 districts)1996: North Yorkshire [32] (7 districts)NoneNone
1996: York [32] (unitary)NoneNone
Northamptonshire (7 districts)NoneNoneNone
Northumberland (6 districts)NoneBecame unitary [33] None
Nottinghamshire (8 districts)1998: Nottinghamshire [34] (7 districts)NoneNone
1998: Nottingham [34] (unitary)NoneNone
Oxfordshire (5 districts)NoneNoneNone
Salop (6 districts)

1980: renamed Shropshire

1998: Shropshire (5 districts) [35] Became unitary [36] None
1998: The Wrekin [35] (unitary)

1998: Renamed Telford and Wrekin

NoneNone
Somerset (5 districts)NoneNoneReduced to 4 districts through merger [37]
Staffordshire (9 districts)1997: Staffordshire [38] (8 districts)NoneNone
1997: Stoke-on-Trent [38] (unitary)NoneNone
Suffolk (7 districts)NoneNoneReduced to 5 districts through mergers [39] [40]
Surrey (11 districts)NoneNoneNone
Warwickshire (5 districts)NoneNoneNone
West Sussex (7 districts)NoneNoneNone
Wiltshire (5 districts)1997: Wiltshire [41] (4 districts)Became unitary [42] None
1997: Thamesdown [41] (unitary)

1997: renamed Swindon

NoneNone

The name of the non-metropolitan district and district council was changed to "North Somerset" by resolution of the council 11 July 1995. However this did not change the name of the county which had the same area. The Local Government Changes for England (Miscellaneous Provision) Regulations 1995 gave district councils in a "county for which there is no county council and in which there is not more than one district" the additional power to change the name of the county. This was, however, not done until 2005. [43]

Avon, as a non-metropolitan county, was abolished in 1996, in accordance with Avon (Structural Change) Order 1995. [44]

Wales

In Wales there was not a distinction between metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties, with all upper tier areas designated "counties". [45] The Local Government (Wales) Act 1994 amended the 1972 Act, abolishing the Welsh counties and creating instead new Welsh principal areas, some of which are also designated "counties". For the purposes of lieutenancy the counties constituted in 1974 were preserved.

See also

Related Research Articles

Subdivisions of England

The subdivisions of England constitute a hierarchy of administrative divisions and non-administrative ceremonial areas.

Counties of England Englands administrative, geographical and political demarcation

The counties of England are areas used for different purposes, which include administrative, geographical, cultural and political demarcation. The term 'county' is defined in several ways and can apply to similar or the same areas used by each of these demarcation structures. These different types of county each have a more formal name but are commonly referred to just as 'counties'. The current arrangement is the result of incremental reform.

Ceremonial counties of England Collective name for areas, in England, to which a Lord Lieutenant is appointed

The counties and areas for the purposes of the lieutenancies, also referred to as the lieutenancy areas of England and informally known as ceremonial counties, are areas of England to which lords-lieutenant are appointed. Legally, the areas in England, as well as in Wales and Scotland, are defined by the Lieutenancies Act 1997 as "counties and areas for the purposes of the lieutenancies in Great Britain", in contrast to the areas used for local government. They are also informally known as "geographic counties", to distinguish them from other types of counties of England.

Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England Subdivisions of England

Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties are one of the four levels of subdivisions of England used for the purposes of local government outside Greater London and the Isles of Scilly. As originally constituted, the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties each consisted of multiple districts, had a county council and were also the counties for the purposes of Lieutenancies. Later changes in legislation during the 1980s and 1990s have allowed counties without county councils and 'unitary authority' counties of a single district. Counties for the purposes of Lieutenancies are now defined separately, based on the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties.

Darlington is a unitary authority in County Durham, England. Until 1 April 1997 it was a non-metropolitan district.

Bath and North East Somerset Council English local government council

Bath and North East Somerset Council is the local council for the district of Bath and North East Somerset in Somerset, England.

Slough is a unitary authority in Berkshire, England. Until 1 April 1998 it was a non-metropolitan district.

North Somerset Council is a unitary authority in Somerset, England. Until 1 April 1996 it was a non-metropolitan district in Avon.

Unitary authorities of England Local government in some parts of England

Unitary authorities of England are local authorities that are responsible for the provision of all local government services within a district. They are constituted under the Local Government Act 1992, which amended the Local Government Act 1972 to allow the existence of counties that do not have multiple districts. They typically allow large towns to have separate local authorities from the less urbanised parts of their counties and provide a single authority for small counties where division into districts would be impractical. Unitary authorities do not cover all of England. Most were established during the 1990s, though further tranches were created in 2009 and 2019–20. Unitary authorities have the powers and functions that are elsewhere separately administered by councils of non-metropolitan counties and the non-metropolitan districts within them.

Local Government Commission for England (1992)

The Local Government Commission for England was the body responsible for reviewing the structure of local government in England from 1992 to 2002. It was established under the Local Government Act 1992, replacing the Local Government Boundary Commission for England. The Commission could be ordered by the Secretary of State to undertake "structural reviews" in specified areas and recommend the creation of unitary authorities in the two-tier shire counties of England. The Commission, chaired by John Banham, conducted a review of all the non-metropolitan counties of England from 1993 to 1994, making various recommendations on their future.

Nottinghamshire County Council

Nottinghamshire County Council is the upper-tier local authority for the non-metropolitan county of Nottinghamshire in England. It consists of 66 county councillors, elected from 56 electoral divisions every four years. The most recent election was held in 2017.

Local government in Northampton

Northampton Borough Council is the borough council and non-metropolitan district responsible for local government in the large town of Northampton in England. The leader and cabinet model of decision-making has been adopted by the council. It consists of 45 councillors, representing 33 wards in the town, overseen by a mayor, leader and cabinet. It is currently controlled by the Conservative Party and is currently led by Jonathan Nunn. The main council building is Northampton Guildhall.

References

  1. Jones, B. et al., Politics UK, (2004)
  2. Davis, Howard (1997) 'Reviewing the review', Local Government Studies, 23:3, 5 - 17
  3. Local Government Act 1972 (c.70), S.1(1)
  4. Hansard, Written Answers, 31 March 1995, col.830
  5. Local Government Act 1972 (c.70), Schedule I, Part II
  6. 1 2 3 4 "The Avon (Structural Change) Order 1995". Legislation.gov.uk. 21 April 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  7. 1 2 "The Bedfordshire (Borough of Luton) (Structural Change) Order 1995". Legislation.gov.uk. 21 April 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  8. 1 2 "The Bedfordshire (Structural Changes) Order 2008". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  9. Non-metropolitan county of Berkshire was granted royal status by letters patent in 1974
  10. "The Berkshire (Structural Change) Order 1996". Legislation.gov.uk. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  11. 1 2 The Buckinghamshire (Borough of Milton Keynes) (Structural Changes) Order 1995
  12. 1 2 "The Cambridgeshire (City of Peterborough) (Structural, Boundary and Electoral Changes) Order 1996". Legislation.gov.uk. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  13. 1 2 3 "The Cheshire (Boroughs of Halton and Warrington) (Structural Change) Order 1996". Legislation.gov.uk. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  14. 1 2 "The Cheshire (Structural Changes) Order 2008". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  15. 1 2 3 4 "The Cleveland Further (Provision Order) 1995". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  16. "The Cornwall (Structural Change) Order 2008". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  17. 1 2 "The Derbyshire (City of Derby) (Structural Change) Order 1995". Legislation.gov.uk. 6 March 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  18. 1 2 3 The Devon (City of Plymouth and Borough of Torbay) (Structural Change) Order 1996
  19. 1 2 3 "The Dorset (Boroughs of Poole and Bournemouth) (Structural Change) Order 1995". Legislation.gov.uk. 21 April 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  20. 1 2 "The Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole (Structural Changes) Order 2018". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  21. 1 2 "The Durham (Borough of Darlington) (Structural Change) Order 1995". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  22. "The County Durham (Structural Change) Order 2008". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  23. 1 2 "The East Sussex (Boroughs of Brighton and Hove) (Structural Change) Order 1995". Legislation.gov.uk. 21 April 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  24. 1 2 3 "The Essex (Boroughs of Colchester, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock and District of Tendring) (Structural, Boundary and Electoral Changes) Order 1996". Legislation.gov.uk. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  25. 1 2 3 "The Hampshire (Cities of Portsmouth and Southampton) (Structural Change) Order 1995". Legislation.gov.uk. 21 April 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  26. 1 2 "The Hereford and Worcester (Structural, Boundary and Electoral Changes) Order 1996". Legislation.gov.uk. 26 September 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  27. 1 2 3 4 "The Humberside (Structural Change) Order 1995". Legislation.gov.uk. 5 March 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  28. "The Isle of Wight (Structural Change) Order 1994". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  29. 1 2 "The Kent (Borough of Gillingham and City of Rochester upon Medway) (Structural Change) Order 1996". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  30. 1 2 3 "The Lancashire (Boroughs of Blackburn and Blackpool) (Structural Change) Order 1996". Legislation.gov.uk. 26 September 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  31. 1 2 3 "The Leicestershire (City of Leicester and District of Rutland) (Structural Change) Order 1996 (legislation.gov.uk website), accessed 2012-09-13".
  32. 1 2 "The North Yorkshire (District of York) (Structural and Boundary Changes) Order 1995". Legislation.gov.uk. 21 April 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  33. "The Northumberland (Structural Change) Order 2008". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  34. 1 2 "The Nottinghamshire (City of Nottingham) (Structural Change) Order 1996 (legislation.gov.uk website), accessed 2012-09-13". Legislation.gov.uk. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  35. 1 2 "The Shropshire (District of The Wrekin) (Structural Change) Order 1996". Legislation.gov.uk. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  36. "The Shropshire (Structural Change) Order 2008". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  37. "The Somerset West and Taunton (Local Government Changes) Order 2018". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  38. 1 2 "The Staffordshire (City of Stoke-on-Trent) (Structural and Boundary Changes) Order 1995". Legislation.gov.uk. 21 April 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  39. "The West Suffolk (Local Government Changes) Order 2018". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  40. "The East Suffolk (Local Government Changes) Order 2018". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  41. 1 2 "The Wiltshire (Borough of Thamesdown) (Structural Change) Order 1995". Legislation.gov.uk. 21 April 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  42. "The Wiltshire (Structural Change) Order 2008". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  43. "Agendas, Minutes and Reports". 1 August 2009. Archived from the original on 1 August 2009.
  44. "Avon (Structural Change) Order 1995". Legislation.gov.uk. 21 April 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  45. Arnold-Baker, C., Local Government Act 1972, (1973)