Counties (English: counties , singular: county ) are territorial units in England , the roots of which go back to the 12th century. Not only are they administrative units, but over time they have also become geographical names.
A number of reforms, the first of which took place in 1888, have made the term county in England ambiguous. This means today the administrative counties (today's administrative units ) as well as the traditional and the ceremonial counties (which are nowadays administratively irrelevant).
The system of 39 traditional counties arose between the 12th and 16th centuries; some are even older. These traditional counties were administrative units of England until 1888 . Although the administrative division has known its own administrative counties since then, which can be differentiated from the traditional counties and are not congruent with these in terms of the division of territory, many English still use the names of the traditional counties.
In 1888, county councils were established in England and were elected. These councils performed a number of administrative tasks. Not (Engl. To the newly created administrative counties Administrative counties ) included the County Boroughs , independent administrative units . The division of England made at that time did not agree with that of the traditional counties; several were divided into two administrative counties.
Greater London was formed in 1965, replacing the previous County of London as an administrative unit. Also Middlesex was dissolved as an administrative county. In addition, Huntingdonshire and the Soke of Peterborough were combined to form the new administrative county of Huntingdon and Peterborough ; likewise Cambridgeshire was united with Isle of Ely to Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely .
In 1974 the structure of local government was fundamentally reformed. A number of new counties were created, e.g. B. Avon , Cleveland , Cumbria and Humberside . Metropolitan areas became Metropolitan Counties ( Greater Manchester , Merseyside , South Yorkshire , Tyne and Wear , West Midlands, and West Yorkshire ). The counties of Cumberland , Herefordshire , Rutland , Westmorland and Worcestershire were dissolved. The county boroughs were also abolished. After this reform, there were 39 so-called non-metropolitan counties in England in addition to the six metropolitan counties , all of which were subdivided into districts for the purpose of two-tier administration . The term Administrative County has not been used in England since then.
Since 1996 the administrative structure has been changed several times. A number of the counties created in 1974 were dissolved in 1996; then disbanded such as Herefordshire , Rutland and Worcestershire were restored. In addition, densely populated areas were spun off from the areas of the counties and made administratively independent unit authorities . Most of the new Unitary Authorities were given formal county status . In Berkshire 1998, the County Council (was County Council ) abolished. The six existing districts in Berkshire were raised to Unitary Authorities, but were not given the status of a county .
Today in England exist on the middle administrative level
- 57 unit authorities, including
- 50 unitary authorities with county status
- 6 Unitary Authorities in Berkshire with no county status
- the particular Unitary Authority Isles of Scilly with no county status
- 25 non-metropolitan counties that have a county council and are divided into 188 districts (also called shire-counties )
- 6 Metropolitan Counties, which are subdivided into a total of 36 Metropolitan Boroughs
For the current administrative structure see also the article Administrative structure of England .
Traditionally, the British monarch has a personal representative in each area of the United Kingdom, the Lord Lieutenant . Each of the Lord Lieutenant is allocated to an area (engl. As ceremonial county ceremonial county ) is referred to. These used to be essentially the same as the traditional counties. The later changes in the system of administrative counties were mostly taken over for the ceremonial counties.
Since the local government reform of 1974, the ceremonial counties initially coincided with the administrative counties. Since 1996 so-called unit authorities have been separated from the administrative counties or they have replaced them. In the Lieutenancies Act 1997 , the assignment of the Unitary Authorities to the 48 ceremonial counties was regulated.
- United Kingdom: Counties and Unitary Authorities. (PDF; 3.5 MB) Office for National Statistics, 2011, accessed January 1, 2013 (overview map).
- Local Government Law. (No longer available online.) Law on the web, 2012, archived from the original on February 16, 2013 ; accessed on January 1, 2013 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Lieutenancies Act 1997