- Local government in Wales
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Politics and government of
For local government purposes, Wales is (since 1996) divided into 22 single-tier principal areas, which are responsible for the provision of all local government services, including education, social work, environment and roads services. Below these in some areas there are community councils, which cover specific areas within a council area.
The Queen appoints a Lord Lieutenant to represent her in the eight preserved counties of Wales — which are combinations of council areas. However other subdivisions occur when dividing Wales into separate regions in the provisions of fire, and police services. For example there is a South Wales Police force, rather than the Glamorgan Police Force.
St. Asaph, as the seat of a bishopric, was historically referred to as a city, and was described as such in the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica. The status was never officially recognised, however. When city status was restored to St David's in 1994, St Asaph community council submitted a petition for the same purpose. The petition was refused as, unlike St David's, there was no evidence of any charter or letters patent in the past conferring the status. Applications for city status in competitions in 2000 and 2002 were unsuccessful.
Principal areas of Wales
There are 22 principal areas in Wales, they came into being on 1 April 1996 by virtue of the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994 (1994 c. 19). Eleven are named as counties, including the Cities and Counties of Cardiff and Swansea (marked *), and eleven are named as county boroughs (marked †). In 2002 Newport was granted city status, and the county borough is now styled as the "City of Newport". Welsh language forms are given in parentheses, except where there is no English equivalent.
Locations of each county/county borough headquarters are indicated by yellow markers.
- Blaenau Gwent †
- Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr) †
- Caerphilly (Caerffili) †
- Cardiff (Caerdydd) *
- Carmarthenshire (Sir Gaerfyrddin)
- Conwy †
- Denbighshire (Sir Ddinbych)
- Flintshire (Sir y Fflint)
- Isle of Anglesey (Ynys Môn)
- Merthyr Tydfil (Merthyr Tudful) †
- Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)
- Neath Port Talbot (Castell-nedd Port Talbot) †
- Newport (Casnewydd) †
- Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)
- Rhondda Cynon Taf †
- Swansea (Abertawe) *
- Torfaen (Tor-faen) †
- Vale of Glamorgan (Bro Morgannwg) †
- Wrexham (Wrecsam) †
Principal areas of Wales
The current names of certain unitary authority areas are different from those specified in the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994. The following changes took place, all with effect from 2 April 1996 :
- Conwy from Aberconwy and Colwyn
- Isle of Anglesey from Anglesey
- Gwynedd from Caernarfonshire and Merionethshire
- Ceredigion from Cardiganshire
- Neath Port Talbot from Neath and Port Talbot
Preserved counties of Wales
For ceremonial purposes of Lieutenancy and Shrievalty, Wales is divided into 8 preserved counties which are based on the counties created by the Local Government Act 1972 and used for local government and other purposes between 1974 and abolished in 1996.
Historic counties of Wales
The historic counties of Wales are ancient subdivisions of Wales, used for various functions for several hundred years. The first counties were created in 1282 and another tranche created in 1535, and were the main subdivisions of Wales until 1974 when the subdivisions were changed following the Local Government Act 1972.
The lowest level of subdivision below unitary authority areas in Wales are Communities. Each area is subdivided into communities. They may have elected community councils (CCs) which perform a number of roles, such as providing local facilities, and representing their communities to larger local government bodies. Community councils are the equivalent of English parish councils. A community council may call itself a 'town council' if it wishes to do so. Two Welsh communities Bangor and St David's have city status and are therefore called 'City Councils'. Communities which are too small to have a council may have a community meeting instead, an example of direct democracy.
Police and fire services
There are four police forces in Wales. These are:
Fire and rescue services
There are three fire and rescue services in Wales. The present Welsh fire services date from 1996. Each covers a number of unitary authority areas. These are:
- List of Welsh principal areas by population
- List of Welsh principal areas by area
- List of Welsh principal areas by percentage Welsh language
- Welsh Assembly Government
- Geography of Wales
- List of communities in Wales
- ISO 3166-2:GB, subdivision codes for the United Kingdom
- Local government in England
- Local government in Northern Ireland
- Local government in Scotland
- Political make-up of local councils in the United Kingdom#Welsh Unitary authorities
- LocalGov.co.uk - News updates on UK local government, including reorganisation
- ^ Local Government (Wales) Act 1994
- ^ BBC Wales A listing of "each of the 22 Welsh counties". 23.12.05
- ^ BBC Wales North West: Conwy County
- ^ Beckett, J V (2005). City Status in the British isles, 1830 - 2002. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing. pp. 133–135. ISBN 0754650677.
- ^ Local Government (Wales) Act 1994, Schedule 1
- ^ London Gazette: . 21 May 2002. Retrieved 5 March 2010.
- ^ "Newport City Council". Newport City Council. 4 December 2010. http://www.newport.gov.uk/_dc/index.cfm?fuseaction=council.homepage. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
- ^ The Residuary Body for Wales (Levies) Regulations 1996
- CIA World Factbook 2002
Administrative geography of the United Kingdom United Kingdom • Local government • History England • Local government • History Northern Ireland • Local government • HistorySubdivisions: Counties • Districts Scotland • Local government • History Wales • Local government • History Local government in Europe Sovereign
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Czech Republic
- San Marino
- United Kingdom
- Northern Ireland
States with limited
- Northern Cyprus
- South Ossetia
and other territories
- Faroe Islands
- Jan Mayen
- Isle of Man
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