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Old February 25th, 2006, 06:22 PM   #1
paulmac35
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Leeds already has a city region. it was granted in 1974.

Whilst i have nothing against Leeds. I have been many times and know of the urban splendour contrasted with the beautiful countryside that exists within the huge city boundaries. I particularly like the various developments springing up alongside the canal. The people are very down to earth and welcoming.

I just feel that with the limited forthcoming city regions about to be chosen, places like Liverpool and Manchester deserve the status more so, as the local government shake up in 1974 didnt do them justice.

The following is what i posted on both the Liverpool and Manchester forums.

Why is Liverpool so tiny (42 square miles!) when the its conurbation spreads far and wide!

Its boundary has virtually remained unchanged since Speke was the last settlement to be added in 1931. This despite the local government shake up in 1974 when many new councils were created/enlarged nationally.

To give you some idea on how big Liverpool once was. Consider these facts. At the start of the 20th century Liverpool was the 2nd city of the UK (closely followed by Glasgow). Before the second world war its population peaked at 878,000 (despite mass emigration and higher than average infant mortality rates ). This didnt include the county borough of Bootle (then 75,000), and the urban districts of Huyton-with-Roby, Litherland, Seaforth and Crosby which were well under way to being settled by Liverpool speaking people.

After the war there was a real need to re-house people and Liverpool suffered a real hefty loss in that respect. Virtually the whole of what is now Knowsley (200,000 people on its creation in 1974) were in effect Liverpool overspill people. eg. the estates of Kirkby, Huyton, Halewood, Cantril Farm, Whiston, etc. At the same time a mass middle class house building program gathered pace (in what is now mainly Sefton Borough) i.e. places like Aintree, Maghull, Lydiate, Crosby, Formby, etc swelled in size.

But Liverpool suffered where no other city did in terms of population loss in that it had not one, not two , not three but a whopping great four designated newtowns well away from the city to swallow yet more of its overspill. No other city had this amount. Newcastle/Sunderland had Washington. Birmingham had Telford. London had Basildon and Milton keynes. But Liverpool had Skelmersdale (1963 onwards), Runcorn (1967 onwards), Winsford (mid 1960s) and Warrington (1968 onwards). It is reckoned that as many as 100,000 scousers (mainly from within the city boundary but some from the outskirts) were shipped en-masse to these new town estates.

So when the local government act created Merseyside in 1974. A real kick in solar plexes was dealt to Liverpool. Instead of Liverpool being enlarged to say as far north as Formby and Lydiate, Kirkby in the north-east, Prescot and Whiston in the east and Halewood in the south-east, its boundaries remained unchanged. Instead these new suburbs were merged into two new mind-bonglingly needless creations of Sefton (all the Liverpool overspill areas merging with the former Southport county borough - i fail to see the logic in this!) and Knowsley (one gigantic Liverpool overspill area!)

I could go further and argue that Rainhill, Billinge and Rainford (in St. Helens metropolitan borough) are largely settled by scousers. Hough Green and the western half of Widnes being another example. The list is endless really. Face it Liverpudlians get everywhere! (A recent visit to Perth, Western Australia comfirmed this!) But the line has to be drawn somewhere as to where the Liverpool city boundary should now lie as to reflect the mass Liverpudlian settlements that have taken place over the last 70 years.

The same fate and unjustice awaited Manchester (which amazingly enough is virtually the same size in area as Liverpool). Its boundaries remained virtually unchanged, in the shake up of local government, despite pocessing an even bigger conurbation than Liverpools. But at least it was compensated with a new found county of Greater Manchester of 2.5 millions people (though what some of the outlying parts of Bolton, Wigan, Rochdale and a few other towns have to do with Manchester is debatable).

Compare Liverpool and Manchester with other cities who didnt do too bad out of it and it begins to hit home why neither city can now even make the top 5 English cities!

Leeds swallowed up many surrounding towns (and vast countryside) such as Morley, Rothwell, Pudsey and even the market town of Wetherby (some 15 miles away!), increasing its size 5 fold and is now a whopping great 220 square miles (Liverpool could fit into it more than 5 times!)

Sheffield tripled in size (much of it areas of the peak district)and is reckoned to be a huge 125 square miles.

Bradford gobbled up many towns such as Bingley, Keighley, Shipley, etc to attain a similar sized city to that of Sheffield. All three cities are now so vast in size and outstrip Liverpool in population despite Liverpool's conurbation having a much larger population.

I was wondering if any other members of the forum have considered these facts. I for one hate the way there are just so many needless councils in one city. Each one now building new housing trying to poach people from the their neighbours when we should all live under the one council name. i.e. Liverpool!
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Old February 25th, 2006, 06:44 PM   #2
di Livio
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Yeah, but whatcha gonna do?

Should we interpret these remarks as yet another example of scouse whingeing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulmac35
...even the market town of Wetherby (some 15 miles away!)
The surrounding towns and villages are linked to the centre by arterial roads, the people in them pay their council tax to Leeds (I should know, I used to live in a semi-rural village 10 miles from the centre of Leeds and very close to Wetherby). Yes, including Morley and Wetherby within the city boundaries is pushing it, but i do think semi-rural villages such as Wike, East Keswick, Boston Spa, etc should be included because they rely on the city for so many essential services.

...and anyone who thinks Rothwell and Pudsey are not part of Leeds is clearly delusional.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 07:04 PM   #3
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Most of the land included in Sheffield's boundary is green belt and not populated but excluded suburbs in the the conurbation including Dronfield, Killamarsh (c.50,000)etc. which are in Derbyshire. Rotherham(250,000) runs into Sheffield but is considered a town in its own right and Chesterfield(100,000), ten miles from Sheffield city centre is also not classed as Sheffield.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 07:39 PM   #4
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Wetherby must only 15 miles away if you measure right to the city centre because Harrogate is only 13 miles away.

Leeds doesn't have an official city region (no city does really except maybe Greater London); the area defined at the moment is just a metropolitan district. When people refer to the city region (which is a loosely used term) it generally refers to all of West Yorkshire, Harrogate, York, Selby and sometimes Barnsley and Skipton.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 09:15 PM   #5
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York, Barnsley, Selby, Skipton, Harrogate and the whole of West Yorkshire are in Leeds' city region? That's news to me.

Last edited by Alexi Lalas; February 25th, 2006 at 09:20 PM.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 09:43 PM   #6
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You've never heard that before? I don't believe you haven't; if that isn't Leeds City Region anyway, what is? Manchester? Exactly
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Old February 25th, 2006, 10:03 PM   #7
caw123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leeds No.1
You've never heard that before? I don't believe you haven't; if that isn't Leeds City Region anyway, what is? Manchester? Exactly
The thing is though, the current Leeds 'city' boundaries are pretty much the equivalent of Greater Manchester.

If Leeds takes in York as part of it's city region, Manchester can take Blackburn.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 10:07 PM   #8
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Here we go again...lol
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Old February 26th, 2006, 12:37 AM   #9
Leeds No.1
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Never said it couldn't...
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Old February 26th, 2006, 01:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leeds No.1
Never said it couldn't...
I never said you said it couldn't. The point was; Manchester taking Blackburn would be ridiculous. IMO, Leeds taking York is also as silly.
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Old February 26th, 2006, 03:59 PM   #11
di Livio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexi Lalas
York, Barnsley, Selby, Skipton, Harrogate and the whole of West Yorkshire are in Leeds' city region? That's news to me.
No.1's right. But this is a recent strategy put forward by the government.
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Old February 26th, 2006, 04:16 PM   #12
dgnr8
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That'd be quite ridiculous for them to be considered Leeds. Christ, it's cheeky enough we claim Wigan, but that's far more tangible than York, Barnsley and sodding Harrogate.
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Old February 26th, 2006, 04:22 PM   #13
Leeds No.1
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Well most those places are under 25km from Leeds...
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Old February 26th, 2006, 04:33 PM   #14
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Isn't there a bit of confusion going on here? The city region concept is all about areas of influence, where people work, transport links, etc, etc. So, of course it's right that York and Harrogate should be considered part of the Leeds city region, given that so many people living in those towns work in Leeds. That doesn't mean, however, that they are going to be incorporated within the city boundaries. If that were the case, what would the people of Barnsley do since they are in two city regions (Leeds and Sheffield)?
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Old February 26th, 2006, 04:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leeds No.1
Well most those places are under 25km from Leeds...
In which case, Leeds has a less than 25km influence
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Old February 26th, 2006, 04:36 PM   #16
di Livio
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It could be argued that Harrogate, York and North Leeds mark the points of the property 'golden triangle', which could be seen as a more obvious socio-economic region than confusing overlaps between West and North Yorkshire.

No.1 might be pleased to know, Harrogate nearly became part of Leeds in the 1974 shake-up, and I would imagine it's still a long-term goal of the council to seize the spa town for its own twisted and nefarious purposes!
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Old February 26th, 2006, 04:59 PM   #17
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Phil Willis said that he wanted to encourage Harrogate and Leeds to become closer with a City Region allowing Harrogate to share in the success of Leeds although he was keen to stress that Harrogate should keep its identity as Harrogate rather than of a district of Leeds. I suppose it would be similar for other towns/cities that they want to be part of the economic side of Leeds but not to become part of Leeds.
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Old February 26th, 2006, 05:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by di Livio
No.1 might be pleased to know, Harrogate nearly became part of Leeds in the 1974 shake-up, and I would imagine it's still a long-term goal of the council to seize the spa town for its own twisted and nefarious purposes!

Yes, but it wanted to be in North Yorkshire rather than West Yorkshire. Better cache to fit in with its posher image.
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Old February 26th, 2006, 05:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred2
Yes, but it wanted to be in North Yorkshire rather than West Yorkshire. Better cache to fit in with its posher image.
That should have read cachet !
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Old February 26th, 2006, 05:51 PM   #20
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The question that seems to be raised in this thread is at what point do you draw a line between a region and a city region.
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