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Merseyside
EnglandMerseyside
Shown within England
Geography
Status Metropolitan county &
Ceremonial county
Origin 1974</br>(Local Government Act 1972)
Region North West England
Area
- Total
Ranked 43rd
645 km2 (249 sq mi)
ONS code 2B
NUTS 2 UKD5
Demography
Population
- Total (2004)
- Density
Ranked 9th
1,365,900
2,118 /km2 (5,490 /sq mi)
Ethnicity 97.1% White British 2.9% Black British, British Asian, British Chinese, British Mixed
Politics
No county council
Members of Parliament

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

Merseyside is a metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 1,365,900. Taking its name from the River Mersey, the title "Merseyside" came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974, after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972, and the county consists of five metropolitan boroughs adjoining the Mersey estuary, including the City of Liverpool.

Merseyside County Council was abolished in 1986, and so its districts (the metropolitan boroughs) are now effectively unitary authorities. However, the metropolitan county continues to exist in law and as a geographic frame of reference.[1][2][3]

Merseyside is divided into two parts by the Mersey estuary: the Wirral is located on the west side of the estuary upon the Wirral Peninsula; the rest of the county is located on the east side. The northern part of Merseyside borders onto Lancashire to the north, Greater Manchester to the east, both parts border Cheshire to the south.

The territory comprising the county of Merseyside previously formed the county boroughs of Birkenhead, Wallasey, Liverpool, Bootle, and St Helens and part of the administrative counties of Lancashire (north of the River Mersey) and Cheshire (south of the River Mersey).

HistoryEdit

Merseyside was designated as a "Special Review" area in the Local Government Act 1958, and the Local Government Commission for England started a review of this area in 1962, based around the core county boroughs of Liverpool/Bootle/Birkenhead/Wallasey. Further areas, including Widnes and Runcorn, were added to the Special Review Area by Order in 1965. Draft proposals were published in 1965, but the commission never completed its final proposals as it was abolished in 1966.

Instead, a Royal Commission was set up to review English local government entirely, and its report (known as the Redcliffe-Maud Report) proposed a much wider Merseyside metropolitan area covering southwest Lancashire and northwest 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.

In 1970 the Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive (which operates under the Merseytravel brand) was set up, covering the Liverpool and Wirral conurbations, but excluding St. Helens.

The Redcliffe-Maud Report was rejected by the incoming Conservative Party government, but the concept of a two-tier metropolitan area based on the Mersey area was 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 had 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 April 1 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. Following the creation of Merseyside, Merseytravel expanded to take in St. Helens and Southport.

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, both as a metropolitan and ceremonial county.[4][5][6]

IdentityEdit

To express location within the Merseyside area by the preposition on - thus "on Merseyside" as opposed to "in Merseyside" - was traditionally the more usual. However, the logic of suggestions in support of this from some quarters (that, after all, one would always be "on” the side of the Mersey, not "in" it) falls down; since it is, in fact, entirely possible to be situated [both] "in" or "on" [either] “side” of the river Mersey and area(s) thus designated. Therefore, more recent usage tends to draw distinctions between the geographical "Merseyside" - for which "on" is considered appropriate - and the Metropolitan county of "Merseyside", for which "in" is used.

Some prefer to use the historic counties of Lancashire and Cheshire in preference to the newer county of Merseyside as a geographic frame of reference.[7]. MORI polls in the boroughs of Sefton and Wirral in the 2000s showed that more residents in these boroughs identified strongly to Merseyside than to Lancashire or Cheshire respectively (but was less likely to be "very strong" as opposed to "fairly strong"). [8]

Local governmentEdit

Arms-merseyside

Arms of the Merseyside County Council.

Metropolitan boroughsEdit

Merseyside contains the metropolitan boroughs of Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and the Wirral.

County level functionsEdit

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:

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

EconomyEdit

This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Merseyside at current basic prices published (pp.240-253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.

Year Regional Gross Value Added[9] Agriculture[10] Industry[11] Services[12]
1995 10,931 50 3,265 7,616
2000 13,850 29 3,489 10,330
2003 16,173 39 3,432 12,701

SettlementsEdit

See the list of places in Merseyside. Merseyside 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 territory comprising the county of Merseyside previously formed part of the administrative counties of Lancashire (north of the River Mersey) and Cheshire (south of the River Mersey).

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 and Halton. The designation "Greater Merseyside" has been adopted for the area comprising Merseyside and Halton, whilst the term "Liverpool City-Region" is less well-defined.

On September 10, 2007, a 1,000-year-old Viking transport longship (Nordic clinker design) was discovered under a pub car park on Merseyside (beneath 6 - 10 feet of clay by the Railway Inn in Meols, Wirral, well known settling place of Vikings). Professor Stephen Harding, University of Nottingham used ground penetrating radar (GPR) equipment to detect the vessel. The ship was first uncovered in 1938.[13]

Places of interestEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Office of National Statistics - Gazetteer of the old and new geographies of the United Kingdom, p48. URL accessed March 11, 2007.
  2. ^ Metropolitan Counties and Districts, Beginners' Guide to UK Geography, Office for National Statistics, September 17, 2004. URL accessed March 11, 2007.
  3. ^ North West England Counties, The Boundary Commission for England. URL accessed March 11, 2007.
  4. ^ Office of National Statistics - Gazetteer of the old and new geographies of the United Kingdom, p48. URL accessed March 11, 2007.
  5. ^ Metropolitan Counties and Districts, Beginners' Guide to UK Geography, Office for National Statistics, September 17, 2004. URL accessed March 11, 2007.
  6. ^ North West England Counties, The Boundary Commission for England. URL accessed March 11, 2007.
  7. ^ Local Government Commission Draft Recommendations 1994: 'We have received large numbers of representations from people living in Merseyside and Greater Manchester who still consider themselves Lancastrians and who would like to see the reinstatement of the historic county.'
  8. ^ Sefton poll, where 51% residents belonged strongly to Merseyside, and compared to 35% to Lancshire; Wirral poll, where 45% of residents belonged strongly to Merseyside; compared to 30% to Cheshire. In both boroughs, "very strongly" ratings for the historic county were larger than that for Merseyside, but "fairly strongly" was lower.
  9. ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  10. ^ includes hunting and forestry
  11. ^ includes energy and construction
  12. ^ includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
  13. ^ BBC NEWS, Viking ship 'buried beneath pub'

External linksEdit



This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Merseyside. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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