Local Government Act 1972

A graphic representation of the legislative procedure in the United Kingdom.

The '''Local Government Act 1972 (c.

- Local Government Act 1972

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Districts of Wales

Re-divided for local government purposes into thirty-seven districts.

Districts were the second tier of local government introduced by the Local Government Act 1972, being subdivisions of the eight counties introduced at the same time.

Urban district (Great Britain and Ireland)

Urban district was a type of local government district that covered an urbanised area.

Map of England and Wales, two of the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom.

All urban districts in England and Wales were abolished in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972, and replaced with a uniform system of larger districts – see Districts of England and Districts of Wales – which often covered both urban and rural areas.

West Midlands (county)

Metropolitan county in the West Midlands Region, England with a 2020 estimated population of 2,939,927, making it the second most populous county in England after Greater London.

The arms of the West Midlands County Council, depicted here, became redundant with the abolition of the council in 1986 (though similar arms are used by the West Midlands Fire Service).
Map of West Midlands, showing urban areas in grey and metropolitan district boundaries
Population density map
Population density in the 2011 census in the West Midlands.
The arms of the West Midlands County Council, depicted here, became redundant with the abolition of the council in 1986 (though similar arms are used by the West Midlands Fire Service).

It appeared as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972, to cover parts of Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

1973 United Kingdom local elections

The first elections to the new local authorities established by the Local Government Act 1972 in England and Wales and the new Northern Ireland district councils created by the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 took place in 1973.

Local government in Wales

Since 1 April 1996, Wales has been divided into 22 single-tier principal areas (Awdurdodau unedol), styled as counties or county boroughs (sir or bwrdeistref sirol) for local government purposes.

Map of the 22 principal areas of Wales
Proposed 8 local authorities model
Proposed 9 local authorities model
Proposed 10 authority model

These 13 counties were the main administrative subdivisions of Wales from 1536 until the implementation in 1974 of the Local Government Act 1972, although the definition and role of the smaller county boroughs within the counties during that period saw considerable change, as it did across the United Kingdom.

Rural district

Rural districts were a type of local government area – now superseded – established at the end of the 19th century in England, Wales, and Ireland for the administration of predominantly rural areas at a level lower than that of the administrative counties.

Meeting of Jyväskylä's city council in 1925

All rural districts in England and Wales were abolished in 1974 (by the Local Government Act 1972) and were typically merged with nearby urban districts or boroughs to form "districts", which included both urban and rural areas.


County in the West Midlands region of England.

Warwick Castle
Chesterton Windmill
Warwickshire in 1832
Kenilworth Castle
Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick from Church Street
The West Coast Main Line at Rugby
The Oxford Canal at Napton-on-the-Hill

The current county boundaries were set in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972.


Metropolitan and ceremonial county in North West England, with a population of 1.38 million.

Port of Liverpool docks, at Seaforth. Merseyside lies at the Mersey Estuary
An aerial photograph of Merseyside
Coat of arms of the former Merseyside County Council.

Merseyside, which was created on 1 April 1974 as a result of the Local Government Act 1972, takes its name from the River Mersey and sits within the historic counties of Lancashire and Cheshire.

Greater Manchester

Metropolitan county and combined authority area in North West England, with a population of 2.8 million; comprising ten metropolitan boroughs: Manchester, Salford, Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.

Former weavers' cottages in Wardle. The development of Greater Manchester is attributed to a shared tradition of domestic cloth production, and textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution.
Greater Manchester lies at the conjunction of the ancient county boundaries of Cheshire, Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire.
The Greater Manchester Exhibition Centre (better known as the G-Mex centre and now rebranded as Manchester Central) was the converted former Manchester Central railway station in Manchester city centre used for hosting the county's cultural events.
Stockport Bus Station in 1988. Greater Manchester Transport (later GM Buses) operated bus services throughout the county, from 1974 to 1993.
GMC County Hall (now known as Westminster House) in Manchester housed the Greater Manchester County Council until its abolition in 1986.
An aerial photograph of Greater Manchester, looking west
The Greater Manchester Urban Area, as defined in 2001, highlighted in red against the boundaries of the Metropolitan County
A view over the borough of Tameside, towards Manchester city centre circa 2008.
Common cottongrass (Eriophorum angustifolium), seen here at Light Hazzles Reservoir near Littleborough, was voted the county flower of Greater Manchester in 2002
Andy Burnham has served as the inaugural Mayor of Greater Manchester since May 2017.
A bus stop in Denton bearing the logo of Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM). TfGM is a functional executive body of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and has responsibilities for public transport in Greater Manchester.
The population of Greater Manchester increased from around 328 thousand in 1801, to 2.68M in 2011, peaking in 1971 at 2.7M.
Much of Greater Manchester's housing stock consists of terraced houses constructed as low-cost dwellings for the populations of local factory towns.
Population density map
Oldham, painted during the Industrial Revolution by J. H. Carse. Many towns in Greater Manchester were built around the mills.
The Trafford Centre in Trafford is one of the largest shopping centres in the United Kingdom.
The M60 motorway, seen here at Failsworth, is an orbital motorway in Greater Manchester.
A Metrolink tram in Radcliffe, part of Greater Manchester's light rail network.
First Greater Manchester operate bus services in northern-Greater Manchester.
Old Trafford, home to Manchester United F.C.
Bolton Wanderers F.C. are based at the University of Bolton Stadium, in Horwich
The main entrance of Old Trafford Cricket Ground
The City of Manchester Stadium, the main venue of the 2002 Commonwealth Games and home to Manchester City F.C.
Eccles cake is a small round flaky pastry cake filled with currants, sugar and spice. It is native to Eccles.
The Imperial War Museum North in Trafford Park was designed by Daniel Libeskind, and is one of the Imperial War Museum's five branches.
The Lowry is a combined theatre and exhibition centre at Salford Quays, and is Greater Manchester's most visited tourist attraction.

The county was created on 1 April 1974, as a result of the Local Government Act 1972, and designated a functional city region on 1 April 2011.

County council

Elected administrative body governing an area known as a county.

Changhua County Council building

The Local Government Act 1972 completely reorganised local authorities in England and Wales.