Facts about Tyne and Wear
The report of the Royal Commission, published in 1937, recommended the establishment of a Regional Council for Northumberland and Tyneside to administer services that needed to be exercised over a wide area, with the second tier of smaller units for other local-government purposes. The second-tier units would form by amalgamating the various existing boroughs and districts. 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.
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”. 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.
Tyne and Wear is a metropolitan county in North East England, situated 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 Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and the City of Sunderland. The county is bordered to the north by Northumberland, to the south by County Durham and to the east of the county lies the North Sea.
It is the smallest county in North East England by area, but by far the largest in terms of population. 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 is marked by the river Tyne; that territory also included five county boroughs. Tyne and Wear County Council, based at Sandyford House, was abolished in 1986. Along with the other metropolitan county councils in England by the Local Government Act 1985.