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Urban district

From Academic Kids

In the British Isles an urban district was a type of local government district which covered an urbanised area. Urban districts had an elected council, which shared local government responsibillities with a county council.

England and Wales

In England and Wales, urban districts and rural districts were created in 1894 (by the Local Government Act of 1894) as subdivisions of administrative counties.

They replaced the earlier system of sanitary districts, and poor law unions, the functions of which were taken over by the district councils. The district councils also had wider powers over local matters such as parks, cemetaries and local planning.

Urban areas were considered to have more problems with public health than rural areas, and so urban district councils had more funding, and powers than their corresponding rural districts.

Urban districts usually covered smaller towns, usually with populations of less than 30,000, they often also often covered some rural areas as well, this was especially true in the latter years when many mergers of districts took place.

Larger towns became municipal boroughs which had a slightly higher status, and the right to appoint a mayor.

Urban and rural districts were abolished in 1974, and replaced with a uniform system of larger districts. Many parish councils were created for towns previously covered by urban districts.

Ireland

In the Republic of Ireland they still exist, although are now referred to simply as towns. The corresponding rural districts were abolished long ago.

In Northern Ireland, they were abolished in 1973, and replaced with a system of unitary districts.


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