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Merseyside's Location within England
Merseyside's Location within England
Merseyside's Coat of Arms

Merseyside's Districts

  1. Liverpool
  2. Sefton
  3. Knowsley
  4. St Helens
  5. Wirral

Merseyside is a metropolitan county, located in the North West of England. Merseyside is named after the River Mersey and comprises the conurbation by the Mersey estuary centred upon Liverpool. The county was created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972.

Merseyside contains the metropolitan boroughs of Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and the Wirral. The county is divided into two parts by the Mersey estuary, the Wirral is located on the west side of the estuary, upon the Wirral Peninsula and the rest of the county is located on the east side of the estuary. The northern part of Merseyside borders onto Lancashire to the north, Greater Manchester to the east, both parts border Cheshire to the south.

The two parts are linked by two road tunnels, a railway tunnel, and the famous Mersey Ferry.

Other districts that are part of the urban area (but not part of Merseyside) are Ellesmere Port and Neston, West Lancashire and Halton, this area is known informally as "Greater Merseyside".

It is traditional to express location within the Merseyside area by the preposition on, thus "on Merseyside" as opposed to "in Merseyside" (after all, one would be "on the side of the Mersey" not "in" it). Current usage seems to be to make a distinction between the geographical "Merseyside" (The "Greater Merseyside" referred to above) for which "on" is appropriate and the county, for which "in" is used.

Status Ceremonial and Metropolitan county (no county council)
Origin 1974
Region North West England
- Total
Ranked 43rd
645 km²
ONS code 2B
- Total (2004 est.)
- Density
Ranked 9th
2,118 / km²
Ethnicity 97.1% White
Members of Parliament Joe Benton, Ben Chapman, Claire Curtis-Thomas, Angela Eagle, Maria Eagle, Louise Ellman, Frank Field, Stephen Hesford, George Howarth, Jane Kennedy, Peter Kilfoyle, Edward O'Hara, John Pugh, Robert Wareing, David Watts, Shaun Woodward

History and Administration

A 'Merseyside' metropolitan area was proposed by the Redcliffe-Maud Report covering south-west Lancashire and north-west Cheshire, extending as far south as Chester and as far north as the River Ribble. This would have included four districts: Southport/Crosby, Liverpool/Bootle, St Helens/Widnes and Wirral/Chester.

The Report was rejected by the incoming Conservative Party government, but the concept of a two-tier metropolitan area based on the Mersey area retained. A White Paper was published in 1971. The Local Government Bill presented to Parliament involved a substantial trimming from the White Paper, excluding the northern and southern fringes of the area, excluding Chester, Ellesmere Port (and, unusually, including Southport, whose council has requested to be included). Further alterations took place in Parliament, with Skelmersdale being removed from the area, and a proposed district including St Helens and Huyton being subdivided into what are now the metropolitan boroughs of St Helens and Knowsley.

Merseyside was created on 1 April 1974 from areas previously part of the administrative counties of Lancashire and Cheshire, along with the county boroughs of Birkenhead, Wallasey, Liverpool, Bootle, and St Helens.

Between 1974 and 1986 the county had a two tier system of local government with the five boroughs sharing power with the Merseyside County Council. However in 1986 the government of Margaret Thatcher abolished the county council along with all other metropolitan county councils, and so its boroughs are now effectively unitary authorities.

Merseyside however still exists legally, and as a ceremonial county.

Despite the abolition of the county council some local services are still run on a county-wide basis, now administered by joint-boards of the five metropolitan boroughs, these include the:

  • Merseyside Police
  • Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service
  • Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive (who are responsible for public transport including Merseyrail)
  • Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority

Places of Interest

  • Gambier Terrace
  • Albert Dock
  • Cavern Club
  • Croxteth Hall
  • Speke Hall - National Trust
  • Mersey Tunnels - Queensway and Kingsway
  • Tate Liverpool, a branch of the Tate Gallery
  • Lady Lever Art Gallery
  • Liverpool Museum
  • Merseyside Maritime Museum
  • HM Customs & Excise National Museum
  • Museum of Liverpool Life
  • Walker Art Gallery
  • Liverpool Cathedral
  • Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King
  • Port Sunlight
  • Leasowe Castle
  • Bidston Windmill
  • Leasowe Lighthouse
  • Hilbre Island
  • North Wirral Coastal Park
  • St Helens' World of Glass

Continued existence

Several organisations are still recognised using the old name of "Merseyside". The court service at Liverpool's Magistrate Court for example, registered the domain on 25th March 2000, more than a decade after the Merseyside Council was abolished.



The above article in gray is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia Article titled:



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