Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester
Status:Ceremonial and Administrative County (no county council)
Region:North West England
- Total
Ranked 39th
1,276 km²
ONS code:2A
- Total (2003 est.)
- Density
Ranked 3rd
Ethnicity:91.1% White
5.6% S.Asian
1.2% Afro-Carib.
Members of Parliament

Hazel Blears, Graham Brady, Andrew Burnham, Patsy Calton, David Chaytor, Ann Coffey, David Crausby, Jim Dobbin, Paul Goggins, Andrew Gwynne, David Heyes, Beverley Hughes, Brian Iddon, Gerald Kaufman, Barbara Keeley, Ruth Kelly, John Leech, Ivan Lewis, Tony Lloyd, Ian McCartney, Michael Meacher, James Purnell, Paul Rowen, Ian Stewart, Graham Stringer, Andrew Stunell, Neil Turner, Phil Woolas

Missing image

  1. Manchester
  2. Stockport
  3. Tameside
  4. Oldham
  5. Rochdale
  6. Bury
  7. Bolton
  8. Wigan
  9. Salford
  10. Trafford

Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county in England established in 1974 which covers an area roughly encompassing the conurbation of Manchester. It is situated in North West England.

It has borders with the ceremonial counties of Cheshire (inc. Warrington), Derbyshire, West Yorkshire, Lancashire (inc. Blackburn with Darwen) and Merseyside.

As well as Manchester, the county includes major centres such as Salford, Bury, Bolton, Stockport and Wigan.

Greater Manchester is not entirely built-up. Although Manchester forms a conurbation along with Salford, Trafford and Stockport, other boroughs, such as Wigan and Bury are clearly separate.


Local government

Greater Manchester is divided into ten metropolitan boroughs, these are, Bolton, Bury, Manchester proper, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.

For the first twelve years after the county was created in 1974, the county had a two-tier system of local government, and the boroughs shared power with the Greater Manchester County Council.

However in 1986, along with five other metropolitan county councils and the Greater London Council, the Greater Manchester County Council was abolished, and most of its powers were devolved to the boroughs, which became effective unitary authorities.

Despite the abolition of the county council, the boroughs jointly administer some services on a county-wide basis. Including:

These are administered by joint-boards which are made up of councillors appointed from each of the ten boroughs.

The boroughs jointly own the Manchester Airport Group which controls Manchester Airport and several other UK airports. Other services are directly funded and managed by the local councils.

Greater Manchester is still a Ceremonial County with a Lord-Lieutenant. And is still recognised for statistical purposes.


Main article: History of Manchester.

Before 1974 the area of Greater Manchester was split between Cheshire and Lancashire with numerous parts being independent county boroughs. The area was informally known as 'SELNEC', for 'South East Lancashire North East Cheshire'. Also small parts of the West Riding of Yorkshire (around Saddleworth) and Derbyshire were covered.

SELNEC had been proposed by the Redcliffe-Maud Report of 1969 as a 'metropolitan area'. This had roughly the same northern boundary as today's Greater Manchester, but covered much more territory in north-east Cheshire - including Macclesfield and Warrington. It also covered Glossop in Derbyshire.

In 1969 a SELNEC Passenger Transport Authority was set up, which covered an area smaller than the proposed SELNEC, but different to the eventual Greater Manchester.

Although the Redcliffe-Maud report was rejected by the Conservative Party government after it won the 1970 general election, it was committed to local government reform, and accepted the need for a county based on Manchester. Its original proposal was much smaller than the Redcliffe-Maud Report's SELNEC, but further fringe areas such as Wilmslow, Warrington and Glossop were trimmed from the edges and included instead in the shire counties. Greater Manchester was eventually established in 1974.

Rejected options for change

On May 25, 2004 the Boundary Committee for England published recommendations for systems of Unitary Authorities to be put to referendum as described under Subdivisions of England, but on Thursday 4 November 2004 the referendum for the North East decided by a margin of 78% to 22% against an elected regional assembly. On 8 November the Deputy Prime Minister announced "I will not therefore be bringing forward orders for referendums in either the North West, or Yorkshire and the Humber".

If the 2004 referendum on devolution had produced a "yes" vote for the North-West, and a vote for option 2 in Cumbria and Lancashire, then part of the West Lancashire district would have been annexed to the metropolitan borough of Wigan.

Towns and villages

See the list of places in Greater Manchester.

Places of interest

External Links

  • Manchester @ ( A web site dedicated to the city of Manchester (under construction)

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de:Greater Manchester

es:Gran Manchester nl:Greater Manchester no:Stor-Manchester


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