Towns in Tyne and Wear
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1, NE3, NE4, NE99
Hetton le Hole
Houghton le Spring
DH4 SR3 SR4
SR1, SR2,SR6, SR9
Tyne and Wear
Tyne and Wear is a metropolitan county in the North East region of England around the mouths of the rivers Tyne and Wear. It came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. It consists of the five metropolitan boroughs of South Tyneside, North Tyneside, City of Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead and City of Sunderland. It is bounded on the east by the North Sea, and has borders with Northumberland to the north and County Durham to the south.
Prior to the 1974 reforms, the territory now covered by the county of Tyne and Wear straddled the border between the counties of Northumberland and Durham, the border being marked by the river Tyne; that territory also included five county boroughs.
Tyne and Wear County Council was abolished in 1986, and so its districts (the metropolitan boroughs) are now unitary authorities. However, the metropolitan county continues to exist in law and as a geographic frame of reference, and as a ceremonial county.
The Local Government Act 1888 constituted Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead and Sunderland as county boroughs (Newcastle had “county corporate” status as the “County and Town of Newcastle upon Tyne” since 1400). Tynemouth joined them in 1904. Between the county boroughs, various other settlements also formed part of the administrative counties of Durham and Northumberland.
The need to reform local government on Tyneside was recognised by the government as early as 1935, when a Royal Commission to Investigate the Conditions of Local Government on Tyneside was appointed. The three commissioners were to
examine the system of local government in the areas of local government north and south of the river Tyne from the sea to the boundary of the Rural District of Castle Ward and Hexham in the County of Northumberland and to the Western boundary of the County of Durham, to consider what changes, if any, should be made in the existing arrangements with a view to securing greater economy and efficiency, and to make recommendations.
The report of the Royal Commission, published in 1937, recommended the establishment of a Regional Council for Northumberland and Tyneside (to be called the “Northumberland Regional Council”) to administer services that needed to be exercised over a wide area, with a second tier of smaller units for other local-government purposes. The second-tier units would form by amalgamating the various existing boroughs and districts. The county boroughs in the area would lose their status. Within this area, a single municipality would be formed covering the four county boroughs of Newcastle, Gateshead, Tynemouth, South Shields and other urban districts and boroughs.
A minority report proposed amalgamation of Newcastle, Gateshead, Wallsend, Jarrow, Felling, Gosforth, Hebburn and Newburn into a single “county borough of Newcastle-on-Tyneside”. The 1937 proposals never came in to operation: local authorities could not agree on a scheme and the legislation of the time did not allow central government to compel one.
Tyneside (excluding Sunderland) was a Special Review Area under the Local Government Act 1958. The Local Government Commission for England came back with a recommendation to create a new county of Tyneside based on the review area, divided into four separate boroughs. This was not implemented. The Redcliffe-Maud Report proposed a Tyneside unitary authority, again excluding Sunderland, which would have set up a separate East Durham unitary authority.
The White Paper that led to the Local Government Act 1972 proposed as “area 2” a metropolitan county including Newcastle and Sunderland, extending as far south down the coast as Seaham and Easington, and bordering “area 4” (which would become Cleveland). The Bill as presented in November 1971 pruned back the southern edge of the area, and gave it the name “Tyneside”. The name “Tyneside” proved controversial on Wearside, and a government amendment changed the name to “Tyne and Wear” at the request of Sunderland County Borough Council
Although the metropolitan county council was abolished in 1986, several joint bodies exist to run certain services on a county-wide basis. Most notable is the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Authority, which co-ordinates transport policy. Through its passenger transport executive, known as Nexus, it owns and operates the Tyne and Wear Metro light rail system, and the Shields ferry service and the Tyne Tunnel, linking communities on either side of the River Tyne. Also through Nexus, the authority subsidises socially necessary transport services (including taxis) and operates a concessionary fares scheme for the elderly and disabled. The Passenger Transport Authority is a “precepting authority”, raising funds by imposing a levy on the Council Tax of the five constituent authorities of Tyne and Wear. In April 2014 Nexus became an executive body of the new North East Combined Authority.
Other joint bodies include the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, which was created from the merger of the Tyne and Wear Archives Service and Tyne and Wear Museums. These joint bodies are administered by representatives of all five of the constituent councils. In addition the Northumbria Police force, which covers the whole of Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, is one of several joint forces in England spanning two or more counties. The force was created in 1974, and so is not a by-product of the abolition of the county council.
Tyne and Wear either has or closely borders two official Met Office stations, neither located in one of the major urban centres. The locations for those are in marine Tynemouth where Tyne meets the North Sea east of Newcastle and inland Durham in County Durham around 20 kilometres (12 mi) south-west of Sunderland. There are some clear differences between the stations temperature and precipitation patterns even though both have a cool-summer and mild-winter oceanic climate.
Tyne and Wear NEIGHBOURS