Shropshire

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Shropshire
Salop
Motto(s):  
Floreat Salopia
("May Shropshire flourish")
Shropshire UK locator map 2010.svg
Coordinates: 52°37′N2°43′W / 52.617°N 2.717°W / 52.617; -2.717 Coordinates: 52°37′N2°43′W / 52.617°N 2.717°W / 52.617; -2.717
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region West Midlands
Established Ancient
Time zone UTC±00:00 (Greenwich Mean Time)
  Summer (DST) UTC+01:00 (British Summer Time)
Members of Parliament List of MPs
Police West Mercia Police
Ceremonial county
Lord Lieutenant Anna Turner JP [1] (from 2019)
High Sheriff Mr Robert Anthony Morris-Eyton (2021/22)
Area3,487 km2 (1,346 sq mi)
  Ranked 13th of 48
Population (mid-2019 est.)498,073
  Ranked 42nd of 48
Density143/km2 (370/sq mi)
EthnicityFigures for Shropshire|Shropshire UA: [2]
93.8% White, British
1.9% White, other
1.5% S. Asian
0.9% Mixed
0.6% White, Irish
0.6% Black
Largest settlements (by population):

Telford (138,241)
Shrewsbury (71,715)
Oswestry (15,613)
Bridgnorth (12,212)
Newport (10,814)
Ludlow (10,500)
Market Drayton (10,407)
Whitchurch (10,500)
Shifnal (7,094)
Bayston Hill (village) (5,079)
Wem (5,142)
Broseley (4,912)
Church Stretton (4,671)
Albrighton (village) (4,157)
Highley (village) (3,605)
Pontesbury (village) (3,500)
Ellesmere (3,223)
Prees (village) (2,688)
Much Wenlock (2,605)
Craven Arms (2,289)
Cleobury Mortimer (1,962)
Bishop's Castle (1,630)
Ruyton-XI-Towns (village) (1,500)
Baschurch (village) (1,475)
Clun (680)

The town of Telford was created by the merger and expansion of older, small towns to the north and east of The Wrekin. These towns now have sizeable populations that now make up the population of Telford: Wellington (20,430), [45] Madeley (17,935), [46] Dawley (11,399) [47] and Oakengates (8,517), [48] but the Telford and Wrekin borough towns incentive aims to make Oakengates into the largest of the towns. [49]

Historically, all or parts of the towns of Halesowen, Smethwick and Oldbury, as well as the Quinton suburb of Birmingham, were in Shropshire. [50]

Politics

ShropshireParliamentaryConstituency2001Results.svg
Election results 2001
ShropshireParliamentaryConstituency2005Results.svg
Election results 2005 & 2010

Parliamentary constituencies

The county has five parliamentary constituencies, four of which returned Conservative MPs at the 2005 general election and one, Telford, returned a Labour MP. This is a marked change from the 2001 general election result, where the county returned only one Conservative, three Labour and a Liberal Democrat MP to the House of Commons (see maps to the right) (Labour = Red, Conservatives = Blue and Liberal Democrats = Orange).

The current MPs of Shropshire are:

Constituency19921997200120052010201520172021
Ludlow  CON   Christopher Gill  LD   Matthew Green CON Philip Dunne
North Shropshire CON  John Biffen CON  Owen Paterson  LD  Helen Morgan
Shrewsbury & Atcham CON  Derek Conway  LAB   Paul Marsden LD  Paul Marsden CON Daniel Kawczynski
Telford LAB  Bruce Grocott* LAB  Bruce Grocott LAB  David Wright CON Lucy Allan
The Wrekin LAB  Peter Bradley CON Mark Pritchard

2021 refers to the by election in North Shropshire only.

Divisions and environs

Shrewsbury is Shropshire's county town and seat of Shropshire Council. Shrewsbury Christmas.jpg
Shrewsbury is Shropshire's county town and seat of Shropshire Council.

Most of the ceremonial county of Shropshire is covered for purposes of local government by Shropshire Council, a unitary authority established in 2009. Telford and Wrekin is a unitary authority, with borough status, which forms part of the county for various functions such as Lord Lieutenant but is a separate local authority from Shropshire Council. However many services are shared across both authorities, such as the fire and rescue service, and the two authorities co-operate on some projects such as mapping flood risk.

The whole county (including Telford and Wrekin) is served by the Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service. Shropshireladder.jpg
The whole county (including Telford and Wrekin) is served by the Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The new unitary authority for Shropshire, Shropshire Council, divides the county into three areas, each with its own area committee: North, Central and South. These area committees deal with town and country planning matters.

With the parishing of the formerly unparished area of Shrewsbury in 2008, the entire ceremonial county is now parished. The sizes of parishes varies enormously in terms of area covered and population resident. Shrewsbury is the most populous parish in the county (and one of the most populous in England) with over 70,000 residents, whilst Boscobel is the smallest parish in Shropshire by geographical area and by population, with just 12 residents according to the 2001 census. [51] The smaller parishes (with populations of less than 200) usually have a joint parish council with one or more neighbouring parishes, or in some instances, have a parish meeting (such as in Sibdon Carwood). The urban area of Telford is divided into many parishes, each covering a particular suburb, some of which are historic villages or towns (such as Madeley). The parish remains an important sub-division and tier of local government in both unitary authority areas of Shropshire.

Local government 1974–2009

The ceremonial county prior to the 2009 local government restructuring, with just Telford & Wrekin as a unitary authority (shown yellow) Shropshire Ceremonial Numbered.png
The ceremonial county prior to the 2009 local government restructuring, with just Telford & Wrekin as a unitary authority (shown yellow)

In 1974 the non-metropolitan county of Shropshire was constituted, covering the entire county. There was a two-tier system of local government, constituting a county council (as the upper tier) and six district councils – Bridgnorth, North Shropshire, Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Atcham, South Shropshire and The Wrekin. In 1998 The Wrekin became a unitary authority, administratively separate from the county council, and became Telford and Wrekin. The two-tier structure remained in the remainder of the county and was the least populated two-tier area in England.

Oswestry and Shrewsbury & Atcham were each granted borough status in 1974. Telford and Wrekin became a borough in 2002.

2009 restructuring

Shropshire's Shirehall is located opposite Lord Hill's Column. Shirehall and Lord Hill Column.JPG
Shropshire's Shirehall is located opposite Lord Hill's Column.

In 2006 a local government white paper supported proposals for new unitary authorities to be set up in England in certain areas. Existing non-metropolitan counties with small populations, such as Cornwall, Northumberland and Shropshire, were favoured by the government to be covered by unitary authorities in one form or another (the county either becoming a single unitary authority, or be broken into a number of unitary authorities). For the counties in the 2009 reorganisation, existing unitary authority areas within the counties' ceremonial boundaries (such as Telford and Wrekin) were not to be affected and no boundary changes were planned.

Shropshire County Council, supported by South Shropshire District Council and Oswestry Borough Council, proposed to the government that the non-metropolitan county of Shropshire become a single unitary authority. This was opposed by the other 3 districts in the county, with Shrewsbury & Atcham Borough Council taking their objection to the High Court in a judicial review.

The proposal to create a Shropshire unitary authority, covering the area of the existing non-metropolitan county, was supported by the DCLG and 1 April 2009 was set as the date for the re-organisation to take place. The first elections to Shropshire Council took place on 4 June 2009, with the former Shropshire County Council being the continuing authority and its councillors became the first members of the new Shropshire Council on 1 April.

Part of the proposals include parishing and establishing a town council for Shrewsbury. The parish was created on 13 May 2008 and is the second most populous civil parish in England (only Weston-super-Mare has a greater population) with a population of over 70,000.

Political control of councils

Shropshire Council has been under Conservative control since the first election held in 2009; Telford and Wrekin Council has been under Labour control since 2011.

Transport

Montgomery Canal at Maesbury Marsh Montgomery Canal at Maesbury Marsh.jpg
Montgomery Canal at Maesbury Marsh
The direct InterCity from Shrewsbury to London Euston with a DVT and mailbags delivering the Royal Mail at a time when British Rail ran the network. 82109 - Shrewsbury (8959190070).jpg
The direct InterCity from Shrewsbury to London Euston with a DVT and mailbags delivering the Royal Mail at a time when British Rail ran the network.

Shropshire is connected to the rest of the United Kingdom via a number of road and rail links. Historically, rivers and later canals in the county were used for transport also, although their use in transport is now significantly reduced. The county's main transport hub is Shrewsbury, through which many significant roads and railways pass and join.

Canals in Britain were originally constructed for the transport of goods, but are now mainly used for leisure. In northern Shropshire three canals with a total navigable length of 41 miles (66 km) are managed by the Canal & River Trust: the Shropshire Union Canal (from north of Adderley to near Knighton), the Llangollen Canal (from Chirk Aqueduct to Grindley Brook) and the Montgomery Canal (from its beginning at Frankton Junction to Llanymynech). In addition, the Shrewsbury and Newport Canal potentially could be restored in the future. [52]

The M54 Motorway runs through the east of the county, as far as Wellington. M54, Westbound to Telford. - geograph.org.uk - 1247312.jpg
The M54 Motorway runs through the east of the county, as far as Wellington.

Major roads in the county include the M54 motorway, which connects Shropshire to the rest of the motorway network, and more specifically to the West Midlands county. The A5 also runs through the county, in an east–west direction. The road formerly ran through Shrewsbury, although a large dual-carriageway bypass has since been built. Other major trunk roads in the county include the north–south A49, the A53 and the A41.

There are a number of major railway lines running through the county, including the Welsh Marches Line, the Heart of Wales Line, the Cambrian Line, the Shrewsbury to Chester Line and the Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury Line, as well as heritage railways including the well established Severn Valley Railway. The Cambrian Heritage Railway exists in Oswestry. The three train operating companies working in the county are West Midlands Trains, Transport for Wales and Avanti West Coast. A new company, Wrexham & Shropshire, commenced services from Shropshire to London Marylebone, in spring 2008 but the service was discontinued on 28 January 2011 leaving Shrewsbury without a direct link to the capital. [53] Virgin Trains (the operator at the time) recommenced services from Shrewsbury to London Euston on 11 December 2014, having withdrawn them in the late 1990s. [54]

Two major water supply aqueducts run across Shropshire; the Elan aqueduct running through South Shropshire carrying water from Elan Valley to Birmingham and the Vyrnwy Aqueduct running through North Shropshire delivering water from Lake Vyrnwy to Liverpool.

Economy

The Royal Air Force's Defence Helicopter Flying School is based at RAF Shawbury Squirrel Helicopter at RAF Shawbury MOD 45151116.jpg
The Royal Air Force's Defence Helicopter Flying School is based at RAF Shawbury
Shrewsbury's town centre contains the Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside shopping centres, as well as more traditional historic retail areas. PridehillCB.jpg
Shrewsbury's town centre contains the Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside shopping centres, as well as more traditional historic retail areas.
Telford Plaza in Telford Town Centre TelfordPlaza.JPG
Telford Plaza in Telford Town Centre

Traditionally, agriculture has dominated the economy of Shropshire . [55] However, in more recent years the area has become more service-oriented. The county town of Shrewsbury, the historic castle-dominated Ludlow, the International Olympic Movement's birthplace Much Wenlock and the industrial birthplace of Ironbridge Gorge are the foremost tourist areas in Shropshire, [56] along with the restored canal-network which provides narrowboat holidays on the Shropshire Union Canal and other canals in the region. The natural beauty of the county draws people to all areas.

Industry is mostly found in Telford, Oswestry, Whitchurch, Market Drayton and Shrewsbury, though small industrial estates have developed in most of the market towns as well as on former airfields in rural areas. In towns such as Whitchurch, much of the high street is predominantly composed of small independent business which specialise in handmade items or antiques. Many of the businesses in Shropshire are family run such as Raven Yard Antiques, a family run antiques shop located in Watergate Street, Whitchurch. [57] Shrewsbury is becoming[ when? ] a centre for distribution and warehousing, as it is located on a nodal point of the regional road-network. [58] [59]

In Telford, a new rail freight facility has been built[ by whom? ] at Donnington with the future goal of extending the line[ which? ] to Stafford. [59]

Telford and Shrewsbury are the county's two main retail centres, with contrasting styles of shopping – Shrewsbury's largely historic streets and Telford's large modern mall, Telford Shopping Centre. [60] Shrewsbury also has two medium-sized shopping centres, the indoor "Pride Hill" and "Darwin" centres (both located on Pride Hill), [61] and a smaller, partially covered, "Riverside Mall". Shrewsbury's location as the nearest substantial town for those in a large area of mid-Wales helps it draw in considerable numbers of shoppers, notably on Saturdays.

Well-known companies in Shropshire include Müller Dairy (UK) Ltd in Market Drayton. [62] The Royal Air Force operates two bases at RAF Cosford and RAF Shawbury, [63] and the charity PDSA has its head office in Priorslee, Telford. [64]

Statistics

Below is the chart of regional gross value added for the non-metropolitan county (that is, excluding Telford & Wrekin) of Shropshire at current basic prices, [65] with figures in millions of British pounds sterling.

YearRegional Gross Value Added [66] Agriculture [67] Industry [68] Services [69]
19952,3882386181,533
20002,9771777392,061
20033,5771978432,538

With the statistics for the borough of Telford and Wrekin included, the following represents the ceremonial county:

YearRegional Gross Value Added [66] Agriculture [67] Industry [68] Services [69]
19954,1512661,4832,403
20005,0491971,5123,340
20035,9472181,6934,038

Education

Shrewsbury School, with its boathouse on the River Severn in the foreground. Shrewsbury School and boathouse.JPG
Shrewsbury School, with its boathouse on the River Severn in the foreground.

The Shropshire Council area has a completely comprehensive education system, whilst in the borough of Telford and Wrekin there are two selective schools, both of which are located in Newport — these are the Adams' Grammar School and Newport Girls' High School (both of which are ranked within the top thirty schools in the country). In Telford itself is the Thomas Telford School, ranked as one of the best comprehensive schools in England. [70]

Some Shropshire children attend schools in Wales, including Llanfyllin High School. [71]

The county has many independent schools, including Ellesmere College, founded in 1884, Shrewsbury School, founded in 1552, and Oswestry School, founded in 1407.

There are three sixth-form colleges located in Shropshire: the New College, Telford, Shrewsbury Sixth Form College and Ludlow College. Adams' Grammar and Newport Girls' High Schools both provide sixth-form education as well as secondary education.

There are also two institutions of higher education in Shropshire, the Telford campus of the University of Wolverhampton and in Edgmond, near Newport, Harper Adams University, which formerly offered mostly agriculture-based degrees but is expanding its range of provision. A third higher education institution is planned to be created in Shrewsbury, which will be a campus of the University of Chester. [72]

In Ironbridge, the University of Birmingham operates the Ironbridge Institute in partnership with the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, which offers postgraduate and professional development courses in heritage.

Shropshire has the highest educational attainment in the West Midlands region. [73]

Places of interest

Notable people

Charles Darwin, 1854 Charles Darwin aged 51.jpg
Charles Darwin, 1854
Clive of India statue in Shrewsbury's Square Clive of india statue in shrewsbury.jpg
Clive of India statue in Shrewsbury's Square
Captain Matthew Webb, 1883 Captain Matthew Webb.jpg
Captain Matthew Webb, 1883
Wilfred Owen, 1920 plate Wilfred Owen plate from Poems (1920).jpg
Wilfred Owen, 1920 plate
William Penny Brookes, 1875 William Penny Brookes 1875.jpg
William Penny Brookes, 1875

Cultural references

A 1984 film adaptation of A Christmas Carol was filmed in Shrewsbury. Scrooge's fictional grave remains in the churchyard of St. Chad's Church. EbenezerScroogeGrave.JPG
A 1984 film adaptation of A Christmas Carol was filmed in Shrewsbury. Scrooge's fictional grave remains in the churchyard of St. Chad's Church.

Sport

The New Meadow football stadium, home to Shrewsbury Town Football Club. STFC - New Meadow (Aerial).jpg
The New Meadow football stadium, home to Shrewsbury Town Football Club.
Hawkstone Motocross Circuit Hawkstone international 2007 hawkstone hill 01 jamie clarke.jpg
Hawkstone Motocross Circuit

There are a significant number of sporting clubs and facilities in Shropshire, many of which are found in Shrewsbury and Telford in addition to a number of clubs found locally throughout the county. Shropshire is home to a variety of established amateur, semi-pro and professional sports clubs.

The county is home to one of five National Sports Centres. Situated at Lilleshall Hall just outside Newport in Lilleshall, this is where the 1966 England National football team trained for two weeks prior to their success in the World Cup of 1966.

Football

The three highest football (and only professional) clubs in the county are Shrewsbury Town (EFL League One), A.F.C. Telford United (National League North) and The New Saints (Welsh Premier League) in Oswestry.

There are numerous semi-professional football clubs in the lower leagues, the highest of which is Market Drayton Town. The governing body in the county is the Shropshire Football Association, who organise a number of county-wide cup competitions, including the Shropshire Senior Cup. In May 2012 the Mercian Regional Football League was created, replacing the Shropshire County Premier Football League and Telford Combination. As of the 2016–17 football season the following Shropshire clubs play in these English leagues (the highest team of each club shown only):

Level LeagueClubs
3 League One Shrewsbury Town
6 National League North Telford United
8 Northern Premier League Division One South Market Drayton Town
9 Midland Football League Premier Division Shawbury United North West Counties Football League

Premier Division

Whitchurch Alport F.C.
10 West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division A.F.C. Bridgnorth, Ellesmere Rangers, FC Oswestry Town, Haughmond,
Shifnal Town, Wellington Amateurs
11West Midlands (Regional) League Division OneNewport Town, St Martins, Wem Town
13 and 14 Mercian Regional Football League

Also, some clubs situated near the Welsh border play in the Welsh league system:

Level LeagueClubs
1 Welsh Premier League The New Saints
5 Mid Wales South League Newcastle
Montgomeryshire Football League Division OneMorda United
6Montgomeryshire Football League Division Two Bishop's Castle Town, Trefonen

Other sports

The county has one American football team, Shropshire Revolution, which was founded in 2006, and is a club in the British American Football League. Former teams in the county have included the Wrekin Giants, which ran from 1985 to 1989 and the Shropshire Giants which ran in 1989. Shropshire has a number of rugby clubs, including Newport (Salop) Rugby Union Football Club, the highest-leveled team in the county, playing in the National League 3 Midlands.

Shropshire Star Newport Nocturne Bike race 2006 Nocturanl barlie.jpg
Shropshire Star Newport Nocturne Bike race 2006

The area also has a rich motorsports heritage, with the Loton Park Hillclimb and Hawkstone Park Motocross Circuit situated near Shrewsbury. Shrewsbury Motocross Club has staged motocross events in the area for over 30 years. There is additionally an ice hockey club in the county, the Telford Tigers.

The county has a number of private and public golf courses, including the Church Stretton Golf Club, situated on the slopes of the Long Mynd. It is the oldest 18-hole golf course in Shropshire, opened in 1898, and one of the highest in the United Kingdom. There is one notable horse racing racecourse in Shropshire, near Ludlow, the Ludlow Racecourse.

One of the biggest one-day events in Shropshire and the biggest one-day cycle race in the UK is the Shropshire Star Newport Nocturne; held every four years, it is Britain's only floodlit cycle race. [77]

The historic Wenlock Olympian Society Annual Games are held annually in Much Wenlock during the second weekend in July. A four-day festival, the Games include cricket, volleyball, tennis, bowls, badminton, triathlon, 10k road race, track and field events, archery, five-a-side football, veteran cycle events, clay pigeon shooting and a golf competition.

See also

Related Research Articles

Telford Town in West Midlands, England

Telford is a large town in the borough of Telford and Wrekin and ceremonial county of Shropshire, England, about 15 miles (24 km) east of Shrewsbury, 21 miles (34 km) south west of Stafford, 19 miles (31 km) north west of Wolverhampton and 28 miles (45 km) from Birmingham in the same direction. With an estimated population of 175,271 in 2017 and around 155,000 in Telford itself, Telford is the largest town in Shropshire and one of the fastest-growing towns in the United Kingdom.

Telford and Wrekin Place in West Midlands, United Kingdom

Telford and Wrekin is a unitary authority in the ceremonial county of Shropshire, England with borough status. The district was created in 1974 as The Wrekin, then a non-metropolitan district of Shropshire. In 1998 the district became a unitary authority and was renamed Telford and Wrekin. It remains part of the Shropshire ceremonial county and shares institutions such as the Fire and Rescue Service and Community Health with the rest of Shropshire.

The Wrekin Hill in Shropshire, England

The Wrekin is a hill in east Shropshire, England. It is located some five miles (8 km) west of Telford, on the border between the unitary authorities of Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin. Rising above the Shropshire Plain to a height of 407 metres above sea level, it is a prominent and well-known landmark, signalling the entrance to Shropshire for travellers westbound on the M54 motorway. The Wrekin is contained within the northern salient of the Shropshire Hills AONB. The hill is popular with walkers and tourists and offers good views of Shropshire. It can be seen well into Staffordshire and the Black Country, and even as far as the Beetham Tower in Manchester, Winter Hill in Lancashire and Cleeve Hill in Gloucestershire.

Ironbridge Gorge Deep river valley in Shropshire, England

The Ironbridge Gorge is a deep gorge, containing the River Severn in Shropshire, England. It was first formed by a glacial overflow from the long drained away Lake Lapworth, at the end of the last ice age. The deep exposure of the rocks cut through by the gorge exposed commercial deposits of coal, iron ore, limestone and fireclay, which enabled the rapid economic development of the area during the early Industrial Revolution.

Shropshire Wildlife Trust

The Shropshire Wildlife Trust is a wildlife trust covering the geographic county of Shropshire, England.

Shropshire was established during the division of Saxon Mercia into shires in the 10th century. It is first mentioned in 1006. After the Norman Conquest it experienced significant development, following the granting of the principal estates of the county to eminent Normans, such as Roger De Montgomery and his son Robert de Bellême.

Railways of Shropshire

The English county of Shropshire has a fairly large railway network, with 19 National Rail stations on various national lines; there are also a small number of heritage and freight lines, including the famous heritage Severn Valley Railway running along its eastern border with Worcestershire.

Ludlow (UK Parliament constituency)

Ludlow is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2005 by Philip Dunne, a Conservative.

The Wrekin (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1918 onwards

The Wrekin is a constituency in the House of Commons of the British Parliament, located in the county of Shropshire in the West Midlands of England. It has existed continuously since its creation by the Representation of the People Act 1918, and is named after a prominent landmark hill in the area, The Wrekin. The constituency has periodically swung back and forth between the Labour and Conservative parties since the 1920s, and has been held since 2005 by a Conservative MP, Mark Pritchard.

Madeley, Shropshire Human settlement in England

Madeley is a town and civil parish in Shropshire, England, now part of Telford. The parish had a population of 17,935 at the 2001 census.

Shropshire's Geology is very diverse and most geological periods of time, and most rock types, can be found within the county. There is also a large amount of mineral wealth in the county, including lead, barytes, limestone, coal and iron, which helped the area develop the industrial revolution west of Clee Hill and, later, in the Ironbridge Gorge area. Quarrying is still active, with limestone for cement manufacture and concrete aggregate, sandstone, greywacke and dolerite for road aggregate, and sand and gravel for aggregate and drainage filters. Groundwater is an equally important economic resource.

Shropshire Archives is located in Shrewsbury, England and is the archives and local studies service for the historic county of Shropshire, which includes the borough of Telford and Wrekin.

Shropshire Council

Shropshire Council is the local authority of Shropshire, in England, comprising the ceremonial county of Shropshire except Telford and Wrekin. It is a unitary authority, having the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined.

Shropshire Council is elected in full every four years.

The Archdeacon of Salop is a senior ecclesiastical officer in the Church of England Diocese of Lichfield. The incumbent is Paul Thomas.

The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership is one of 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships set up by the UK Government to drive economic development in England.

Shropshire (district) district in West Midlands

Shropshire is a district with the status of a unitary authority in the ceremonial county of Shropshire, in the West Midlands region of England. It is named after the historic county of Shropshire. It covers the former districts of Bridgnorth, North Shropshire, Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Atcham and South Shropshire. These were merged into the modern-day unitary authority of Shropshire. The large town of Telford was not affected by this as it has been a unitary authority since 1996 under Telford and Wrekin borough. It contains 188 civil parishes.

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Further reading