Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
West Midlands (county)
|Status:||County and Ceremonial county|
- Total (2002 est.)
2,856 / km²
|Members of Parliament|
|Bob Ainsworth, Adrian Bailey, Richard Burden, Liam Byrne, Ross Cranston, Jim Cunningham, Bruce George, Roger Godsiff, Sylvia Heal, Lynne Jones, Khalid Mahmood, Rob Marris, Stephen James McCabe, Andrew Mitchell, Estelle Morris, Ian Pearson, Ken Purchase, Geoffrey Robinson, Richard Shepherd, Debra Shipley, Clare Short, Siôn Simon, John Spellar, Caroline Spelman, Gisela Stuart, John Taylor, Dennis Turner, Tom Watson, David Winnick|
The West Midlands no longer has a county council, as the former West Midlands County Council was abolished in 1986. However the county still exists as a legal entity and as a ceremonial county, and remains in use as a geographic name.
The name "West Midlands" is also used for the much larger West Midlands region of England, which sometimes causes some confusion.
The area of the county is sometimes described as the "West Midlands metropolitan area" or the "West Midlands conurbation".
The West Midlands is one of the most heavilly urbanised counties in England. Birmingham, Wolverhampton, the Black Country and Solihull together form the largest conurbation in England outside London with a combined population of around 2.28 million.
The West Midlands is not entirely urban, a stretch of green belt land, roughly 15 miles across known as the "Meriden Gap" exists, separating the Birmingham conurbation from Coventry, which retains a strongly rural character.
Birmingham and Coventry were traditionally in Warwickshire; Wolverhampton and most of the Black Country were in Staffordshire and some of the Black Country was in Worcestershire, many of these were administered as county boroughs.
Main article: History of West Midlands.
The West Midlands is divided into seven metropolitan boroughs, these are, Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton (see map). Three of these boroughs: Birmingham, Coventry and Woverhampton have city status
However in 1986, along with five other metropolitan county councils and the Greater London Council, the West Midlands 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, some local services are still run jointly on a county-wide basis. Including:
- The West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive, known as Centro, which is resposible for planning and co-ordinating public transport across the county.
- The West Midlands Fire Service, which is administered by a joint "Fire and Civil Defence Authority".
These are administered by joint-boards which are made up of councillors appointed from each of the seven West Midlands councils.
The boroughs jointly own a share in Birmingham International Airport, which used to be owned by the county council.
Towns and villages
- Balsall Common, Bloxwich, Bilston, Birmingham. Blackheath , Brierley Hill
- Dorridge , Dudley
- Halesowen, Hampton-in-Arden
- Marston Green , Meriden
- Rowley Regis
- Sedgley, Smethwick, Solihull, Stourbridge, Sutton Coldfield
- Walsall, Wednesfield, Wednesbury, West Bromwich, Wolverhampton
Places of interest
- Aston Hall, Birmingham
- Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
- Birmingham Railway Museum
- Black Country Living Museum
- Coventry Cathedral
- Dudley Castle
- Coventry Transport Museum
- Netherton tunnel
- Perrott's Folly
- Sarehole Mill
- Walsall Art Gallery
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