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Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county in England established in 1974 which covers an area roughly encompassing the conurbation surrounding the City of Manchester. It is situated in North West England. The metropolitan county consists of ten metropolitan boroughs, including the City of Manchester and the City of Salford.
Manchester is not entirely built-up. Although the City
of Manchester forms a conurbation along with Salford,
Trafford and Stockport, other towns and boroughs, such as Bury
are clearly separate.
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 authorities of Greater Manchester are represented by the Association of Greater Manchester Local Authorities (AGMLA). Which meets to create a co-ordinated county-wide approach to many issues.
The boroughs jointly own the Manchester Airport Group which controls Manchester International 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.
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 Objects 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".
Places of Interest
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