Greater Manchester County Council

Greater Manchester County Council

Infobox UK local authority
name = Greater Manchester Council
hq = GMC County Hall
area = Greater Manchester

start = 1974
end = 1986
lawstart = Local Government Act 1972
lawend = Local Government Act 1985

GMC County Hall (now Westminster House)
type = County council

The Greater Manchester County Council (also known as Greater Manchester Council and GMC) was, from 1974 to 1986, the upper-tier administrative body for Greater Manchester, a metropolitan county in North West England. It comprised 106 members drawn from the ten metropolitan boroughs of Greater Manchester.

GMC existed for twelve years; It was established on 1 April 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972. However, along with five other metropolitan county councils and the Greater London Council it was abolished on 31 March 1986 by the Local Government Act 1985.

GMC was a strategic authority running regional services such as transport, strategic planning, emergency services and waste disposal. It also served to provided a strategic regional framework within which the differing plans of its ten metropolitan borough councils could be harmonised.cite book |author=Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council |date= |title=Metropolitan Rochdale Official Guide|publisher=Ed. J. Burrow & Co. Limited|location=London |isbn=|page= p. 65] Elections were held to the council in 1973, 1977 and 1981. Elections were due to be held in 1985 but these were cancelled due to the council's abolition.

The council built a County Hall on Portland Street in Manchester City Centre at the cost of £4.5 million, which served as its headquarters. [cite news|title=Greater Manchester|work=The Times|date=7 November 1975] The building is now known as Westminster House.

Upon its abolition, most of the functions of the council were devolved to the ten Greater Manchester metropolitan borough councils, and some of its functions such as emergency services and public transport were taken over by joint boards and continued to be run on a county-wide basis. Its assets were split between the Greater Manchester Residuary Body and the boroughs councils of Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan. After the GMC's abolition, the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities was established to continue much of the county-wide services of the county council.

Although the metropolitan county council was abolished, the county area continues to exist, for Parliamentary representation, in mapping, and especially for statistical purposes. The county continues to exist today as both a legal and geographic entity,cite web|url=|author=Office for National Statistics|title=Gazetteer of the old and new geographies of the United Kingdom|page48|format=PDF|date= |accessdate=2008-03-06|
Cite web|url= |title=Beginners' Guide to UK Geography: Metropolitan Counties and Districts|author=Office for National Statistics||date=17 September 2004|accessdate=2008-03-06
cite web|url=|title=North West England Counties|author=Boundary Commission|accessdate=2008-03-06|] and has its own Lord Lieutenant (the Monarch's representative in a county) and High Sheriff.

Coat of arms

The coat of arms granted by the College of Arms to the Greater Manchester Council are described as the following: [Frangopulo (1977).]

Shield: The shield bears ten turrets in gold, representing the ten districts of the County, on a red ground.

Supporters: The shield is supported on each side by a lion rampant in gold. Each lion bears on its shoulder a badge in red, the lion on the right of the shield bearing a badge with a French horn, representing music and culture, and the lion on the left of the shield bearing a badge with an open book, representing learning and academic life of the County.

Crest: The helm is surmounted by a demi-lion carrying a banner bearing ten small turrets in gold on a red ground.

Motto: Ever Vigilant.




*cite book | title= Tradition in action : the historical evolution of the Greater Manchester County | author= Frangopulo, Nicholas Joseph | year= 1977 | publisher= EP Publishing | location= Wakefield | isbn= 0-7158-1203-3

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