The City of Leeds (/liËdz/) is a local government district of West Yorkshire, England, governed by Leeds City Council, with the status of a city and metropolitan borough. The metropolitan district includes the administrative centre Leeds and the ten towns of Farsley, Garforth, Guiseley, Horsforth, Morley, Otley, Pudsey, Rothwell, Wetherby and Yeadon. It has a population of 750,700 (2011Â est.), making it the second largest local government district in England by population behind Birmingham; it is also the second largest metropolitan district by area behind Doncaster.
The current city boundaries were set on 1 April 1974 by the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972, as part a reform of local government in England. The city is a merger of eleven former local government districts; the unitary City and County Borough of Leeds combined with the municipal boroughs of Morley and Pudsey, the urban districts of Aireborough, Garforth, Horsforth, Otley and Rothwell, and parts of the rural districts of Tadcaster, Wharfedale and Wetherby from the West Riding of Yorkshire.
For its first 12 years the city had a two-tier system of local government; Leeds City Council shared power with the West Yorkshire County Council. Since the Local Government Act 1985 Leeds City Council has effectively been a unitary authority, serving as the sole executive, deliberative and legislative body responsible for local policy, setting council tax, and allocating budget in the city, and is a member of the Leeds City Region Partnership. Thc City of Leeds is divided into 31 civil parishes and a single unparished area.
The Borough of Leeds was created in 1207, when Maurice Paynel, lord of the manor, granted a charter covering a small area adjacent to a crossing of the River Aire, between the old settlement centred on Leeds Parish Church to the east and the manor house and mills to the west. In 1626 a charter was granted by Charles I, incorporating the entire parish as the Borough of Leeds; it was reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. The parish and borough included the chapelries of Chapel Allerton, Armley, Beeston, Bramley, Farnley, Headingley cum Burley, Holbeck, Hunslet, Leeds, Potternewton and Wortley. The borough was located in the West Riding of Yorkshire and gained city status in 1893. When a county council was formed for the riding in 1889, Leeds was excluded from its area of responsibility and formed a county borough. The borough made a significant number of territorial expansions, expanding from 21,593 acres (87.38Â km2) in 1911 to 40,612 acres (164.35Â km2) in 1961; adding in stages the former area of the Roundhay, Seacroft, Shadwell and Middleton parishes and gaining other parts of adjacent districts.
A review of local government arrangements completed in 1969 proposed the creation of a new large district centred on Leeds, occupying 317,000 acres (1,280Â km2) and including 840,000 people. The proposed area was significantly reduced in a 1971 white paper; and within a year every local authority to be incorporated into it protested or demonstrated. The final proposal reduced the area further and following the enactment of the Local Government Act 1972, the county borough was abolished on 1 April 1974 and its former area was combined with that of the municipal boroughs of Morley and Pudsey; the urban districts of Aireborough, Horsforth, Otley, Garforth and Rothwell; and parts of the rural districts of Tadcaster, Wetherby and Wharfedale. The new district gained both borough and city status, as had been held by the county borough; and forms part of the county of West Yorkshire.
The district and its settlements are situated in the eastern foothills of the Pennines astride the River Aire whose valley, the Aire Gap, provides a road and rail corridor that facilitates communications with cities to the west of the Pennines. The district extends 15 miles (24Â km) from east to west and 13 miles (21Â km) from north to south; with over 65% covered with green belt land. The highest point, at 1,115Â feet (340Â m), is at its north western extremity on the eastern slopes of Rombalds Moor, better known as Ilkley Moor, on the boundary with the City of Bradford. The lowest points are at around 33Â feet (10Â m), in the east: where River Wharfe crosses the boundary with North Yorkshire south of Thorp Arch Trading Estate and where the River Aire (at this point forming the City of Wakefield boundary) meets the North Yorkshire boundary near Fairburn Ings. To the north and east Leeds is bordered by North Yorkshire: Harrogate district to the north and Selby district to the east. The remaining borders are with other districts of West Yorkshire: Wakefield to the south, Kirklees to the south west, and Bradford to the west.
Leeds City Council is the local authority of the district. The council is composed of 99 councillors, three for each of the city's wards. Elections are held three years out of four, on the first Thursday of May. One third of the councillors are elected, for a four-year term, in each election. 2004 saw all seats up for election due to boundary changes. It is currently run by a Labour administration. Before the 2011 election, the council had been under no overall control since 2004. The Chief Executive of Leeds City Council is Tom Riordan while the Leader of the Council is Councillor Keith Wakefield of the Labour Party. West Yorkshire does not have a county council, so Leeds City Council is the primary provider of local government services. The district forms part of the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England.
Most of the district is an unparished area, comprising Leeds itself (the area of the former county borough), Pudsey, Garforth, Rothwell and the area of the former urban district of Aireborough. In the unparished area there is no lower tier of government. Outside the unparished area there are 31 civil parishes, represented by parish councils. These form the lowest tier of local government and absorb some limited functions from Leeds City Council in their areas. The councils of the civil parishes of Horsforth, Morley, Otley and Wetherby are town councils. The 27 other civil parishes are:
The district is represented by eight MPs (one jointly with Wakefield), for the constituencies of Elmet and Rothwell (Alec Shelbrooke, Conservative); Leeds Central (Hilary Benn, Labour); Leeds East (George Mudie, Labour); Leeds North East (Fabian Hamilton, Labour); Leeds North West (Greg Mulholland, Lib Dem); Leeds West (Rachel Reeves, Labour); Pudsey (Stuart Andrew, Conservative); and Morley and Outwood (Ed Balls, Labour; three wards of this constituency are in Leeds and two in Wakefield). Leeds is within the Yorkshire and the Humber European constituency, which is represented by two Liberal Democrat, one Conservative, one Labour, one UKIP, and one BNP MEPs. The voting figures for Leeds in the European Parliament election in June 2009 were: Conservative 22.6%, Labour 21.4%, UKIP 15.9%, Lib Dem 13.8%, BNP 10.0%, Green 9.4%.
At the 2001 UK census, the district had a total population of 715,402. Of the 301,614 households in Leeds, 33.3% were married couples living together, 31.6% were one-person households, 9.0% were co-habiting couples and 9.8% were lone parents, following a similar trend to the rest of England. The population density was 1,967/km2 (5,090/sqÂ mi) and for every 100 females, there were 93.5 males. Of those aged 16â"74, 30.9% had no academic qualifications, higher than the 28.9% in all of England. Of the residents, 6.6% were born outside the United Kingdom, lower than the England average of 9.2%.
The majority of people in Leeds identify themselves as Christian. The proportion of Muslims is average for the country. Leeds has the third-largest Jewish community in the United Kingdom, after those of London and Manchester. The areas of Alwoodley and Moortown contain sizeable Jewish populations. 16.8% of Leeds residents in the 2001 census declared themselves as having "no religion", which is broadly in line with the figure for the whole of the UK (also 8.1% "religion not stated").
The crime rate in Leeds is well above the national average, like many other English major cities. In July 2006, the think tank Reform calculated rates of crime for different offences and has related this to populations of major urban areas (defined as towns over 100,000 population). Leeds was 11th in this rating (excluding London boroughs, 23rd including London boroughs). The table below details the population of the current area of the district since 1801, including the percentage change since the last available census data.
Leeds has a diverse economy with the service sector now dominating over the traditional manufacturing industries. It is the location of one of the largest financial centres in England outside London. New tertiary industries such as retail, call centres, offices and media have contributed to a high rate of economic growth. This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Leeds at current basic prices with figures in millions of British pounds sterling.
Education Leeds, a non-profit company owned by Leeds City Council, provided educational services between 2001 and 2011. From April 2011 Leeds City Council has since disbanded Education Leeds and has consolidated educational services into a Children's Services Department of the council itself.
Leeds city centre is connected to the National Rail network at Leeds railway station. Public transport in West Yorkshire is coordinated by the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, under the control of a joint-board of local authorities in the county and including Leeds City Council.
The City has several twinning or partnership arrangements:
The city also has "strong contacts" with the following cities "for the purposes of ongoing projects":
Notes and references
- ^1 includes hunting and forestry
- ^2 includes energy and construction
- ^3 includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
- ^4 Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
Media related to Leeds at Wikimedia Commons
- Leeds travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Leeds City Council Leeds City Council.
- 'Leeds Chamber of Commerce & Industry' Leeds Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
- 'Leeds Initiative' Leeds Initiative city partnership.
- Leodis Leeds Library & Information Service photograph archive.