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County borough

From Academic Kids

County borough was a term introduced in 1889 in the United Kingdom to refer to a borough or a city independent of county administration.

Contents

History

When the first county councils were created, it was decided that to let them have authority over the large towns in them would be impractical, and so any large incorporated place would have the right to be a county borough, and thus politically independent from the administrative county it would otherwise come under. Initially, a town had to have a population of over 50,000 to apply for county borough status, but this threshold was raised to 75,000 in 1926, and 100,000 later on.

After the Second World War, the creation of new county boroughs in England and Wales was effectively suspended, pending a local government review. In the 1960s, with no sign of this review being ready - Luton, Torbay and Solihull were allowed to be made county boroughs, Teesside formed from the merger of Middlesbrough and Stockton-on-Tees, and West Hartlepool expanded into Hartlepool, making a total of 80 in England.

The county boroughs of East Ham, West Ham and Croydon were abolished in 1965 with the creation of Greater London. The remaining county boroughs were abolished in 1974, and replaced with non-metropolitan districts and metropolitan districts, all in a two-tier structure with county councils.

This situation did not persist and many of the old county boroughs that were annexed, have now regained independence as unitary authorities - essentially the same as county boroughs, but renamed. In Wales some of the unitary authorities are called county boroughs.

Of the former English county boroughs, most are now either unitary authorities, or in unitary authorities. Barrow-in-Furness, Burnley, Canterbury, Carlisle, Chester, Eastbourne, Exeter, Gloucester, Hastings, Lincoln, Northampton, Oxford, Preston, Worcester and Yarmouth have given their names to local government districts (in some cases coterminous with the old county borough - in other cases much larger). One, Burton-upon-Trent, is now an unparished area in the East Staffordshire borough.

All of the former county boroughs in Wales are now unitary authorities.

In the Republic of Ireland, the relevant legislation remained still in force (although amended), and county boroughs on the original model existed prior to 2001. Under the Local Government Act 2001 (which replaced most existing local government legislation in Ireland), the term "County Borough" was abolished and replaced with "City" (and hence, "Corporation" with "City Council"). However Kilkenny, while a city, is instead regarded as a town (and part of the county council area) for local government purposes. It is allowed to use the title "Borough Council" instead of "Town Council" however.

In Northern Ireland, local government has not used them since 1973, but the county boroughs remain in use for Lieutenancy.

In Scotland, they were not called "county boroughs" but instead "counties of cities". These were abolished in on May 16, 1975. All four Scottish cities of the time were included in this category - Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. There was an additional category of "large burgh" in the Scottish system, these covered everything apart from police, education and fire.

Current county boroughs

Republic of Ireland

  • Cork - Cork City Council (formerly Corporation)
  • Dublin - Dublin City Council (formerly Corporation)
  • Galway (since 1986)
  • Limerick - Limerick City Council (formerly Limerick Corporation)
  • Waterford

Northern Ireland

Wales

(Newport was a made a county borough again in 1996. In 2002 it acquired city status.)

For all practical purposes, county boroughs are exactly the same as the other principal areas of Wales called `counties' or `cities' as all these areas are run by unitary authorities (i.e.: have the functions of both boroughs and counties).

Historical county boroughs

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EnglandCountyBoroughs.png


This table shows those county boroughs that existed in England and Wales between the Local Government Acts of 1888 (that created them) and 1974 (that abolished them). It also shows which of those places has become a unitary authority again since, either as-is or as part of a larger unitary authority.


County borough From (1888) Until Unitary since
Barrow-in-Furness (10) 1974, to borough of Barrow, Cumbria
Barnsley (36) 1974, to borough of Barnsley, South Yorkshire 1986
Bath (68) 1974, to Avon 1996, as Bath and North East Somerset
Birkenhead (28) 1974, to Wirral, Merseyside 1986, as Wirral
Birmingham (55) 1974, to West Midlands 1986
Blackburn (13) 1974, to borough of Blackburn, Lancashire 1998, as Blackburn with Darwen
Blackpool (11) 1904 1974, to Lancashire 1998
Bolton (19) 1974, to borough of Bolton, Greater Manchester 1986
Bootle (16) 1974, to borough of Sefton, Merseyside 1986, as Sefton
Bournemouth (73) 1900 1974, to Dorset 1997
Bradford (31) 1974, to borough of Bradford, West Yorkshire 1986
Brighton (77) 1974, to East Sussex 1998, as Brighton and Hove
Bristol (67) 1974, to Avon 1996
Burnley (14) 1974, to borough of Barnley, Lancashire
Burton-upon-Trent (49) 1974, to East Staffordshire, Staffordshire
Bury (20) 1974, to borough of Bury, Greater Manchester 1986
Canterbury (80) 1974, to borough of Canterbury, Kent
Cardiff 1974, to South Glamorgan 1996
Carlisle (9) 1974, to borough of Carlisle, Cumbria
Chester (43) 1974, to borough of Chester, Cheshire
Coventry (57) 1974, to West Midlands 1986
Croydon 1965, to borough of Croydon, Greater London 1986
Darlington (8) 1915 1974, to County Durham 1997
Derby (45) 1974, to Derbyshire 1997
Devonport 1914, to Plymouth 1998, as Plymouth
Dewsbury (34) 1974, to Kirklees, West Yorkshire 1986, as Kirklees
Doncaster (37) 1927 1974, to borough of Doncaster, South Yorkshire 1986
Dudley (52) 1974, to borough of Dudley, West Midlands 1986
East Ham 1915 1965, to Newham, Greater London 1986, as Newham
Eastbourne (78) 1911 1974, to East Sussex
Exeter (69) 1974, to Devon
Gateshead (3) 1974, to borough of Gateshead, Tyne and Wear 1986
Gloucester (65) 1974, to Gloucestershire
Grimsby (42) 1974, to borough of Great Grimsby, Humberside 1996, as North East Lincolnshire
Halifax (31) 1974, to Calderdale, West Yorkshire 1986, as Calderdale
Hanley 1910, to Stoke-on-Trent 1997, as Stoke-on-Trent
Hartlepool (6) 1967 1974, to Cleveland 1996
Hastings (79) 1974, to East Sussex
Huddersfield (33) 1974, to borough of Kirklees, West Yorkshire 1986, as Kirklees
Ipswich (61) 1974, to Suffolk
Kingston-upon-Hull (41) 1974, to Humberside 1996
Leeds (32) 1974, to borough of Leeds, West Yorkshire 1986
Leicester (46) 1974, to Leicestershire 1997
Lincoln (47) 1974, to Lincolnshire
Liverpool (27) 1974, to Merseyside 1986
Luton (63) 1964 1974, to Bedfordshire 1997
Manchester (25) 1974, to Greater Manchester 1986
Merthyr Tydfil 1908 1974, to Mid Glamorgan 1996
Middlesbrough 1968, to Teesside 1996
Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1) 1974, to Tyne and Wear 1986
Newport 1974, to Gwent 1996
Northampton (58) 1974, to Northamptonshire
Nottingham (46) 1974, to Nottinghamshire 1998
Norwich (59) 1974, to Norfolk
Oldham (22) 1974, to borough of Oldham, Greater Manchester 1986
Oxford (64) 1974, to Oxfordshire
Plymouth (70) 1974, to Devon 1998
Poole (72) 1974, to Dorset 1997
Portsmouth (75) 1974, to Hampshire 1997
Preston (12) 1974, to Lancashire
Reading (76) 1974, to Berkshire 1998
Rochdale (21) 1974, to borough of Rochdale, Greater Manchester 1986
Rotherham (38) 1902 1974, to borough of Rotherham, South Yorkshire 1986
Salford (24) 1974, to borough of Salford, Greater Manchester 1986
Sheffield (39) 1974, to borough of Sheffield, South Yorkshire 1986
Smethwick 1907 1966, to Warley 1986, as Sandwell
Solihull (56) 1963 1974, to borough of Solihull, West Midlands 1986
Southampton (74) 1974, to Hampshire 1997
Southend-on-Sea (62) 1914 1974, to Essex 1998
Southport (15) 1905 1974, to Sefton, Merseyside 1986, as Sefton
South Shields (4) 1974, to South Tyneside, Tyne and Wear 1986, as South Tyneside
St Helens (17) 1974, to borough of St Helens, Merseyside 1986
Stockport (26) 1974, to Greater Manchester 1986
Stoke-on-Trent (44) 1910 1974, to Staffordshire 1997
Sunderland (5) 1974, to borough of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear 1986
Swansea 1974, to West Glamorgan 1996
Teesside (7) 1968 1974, to Cleveland as Middlesbrough and Stockton 1996, as Middlesbrough and Stockton
Torbay (71) 1968 1974, to Devon 1998
Tynemouth (2) 1904 1974, to North Tyneside, Tyne and Wear 1986, as North Tyneside
Wakefield (35) 1915 1974, to borough of Wakefield, West Yorkshire 1986
Walsall (50) 1974, to borough of Walsall, West Midlands 1986
Wallasey (29) 1974, to Wirral, Merseyside 1986, as Wirral
Warley (54) 1966 1974, to Sandwell, West Midlands 1986, as Sandwell
Warrington (23) 1900 1974, to Cheshire 1998
West Bromwich (53) 1974, to Sandwell, West Midlands 1986, as Sandwell
West Ham 1965, to Newham, Greater London 1986, as Newham
West Hartlepool 1967, to Hartlepool 1996, as Hartlepool
Wigan (18) 1974, to borough of Wigan, Greater Manchester 1986
Wolverhampton (51) 1974, to West Midlands 1986
Worcester (66) 1974, to Hereford and Worcester
Yarmouth (60) 1974, to Norfolk
York (40) 1974, to North Yorkshire 1996

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