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Metropolitan Counties and Districts

In 1974 a new two-tier system of counties and districts was established across England and Wales. Six of the upper-tier units, all in England and representing heavily built-up areas (other than Greater London), were designated 'metropolitan counties' and were subdivided into 'metropolitan districts'. As with non-metropolitan areas the respective authorities covered all areas of local government, but the distribution of responsibilities was different to that of the county/district structure.

In 1986 however the metropolitan county councils were abolished, although the county areas (see map) are still recognised, especially for statistical purposes. The 36 metropolitan district councils were left as single-tier authorities, a status retained to date, and accordingly have more powers than their non-metropolitan district equivalents.

Click on this extract for the map showing
the location of the metropolitan counties in the UK.

Metropolitan districts are built up of electoral wards. The district boundaries are subject to periodic review which can also impact upon the boundaries of the abolished county council areas.

To view the map of UK local authorities, including metropolitan districts, click here.

For names and codes of districts (including London boroughs and both metropolitan and non-metropolitan districts), click here.


This page last revised: Friday, 3 May 2002

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