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South Yorkshire is a metropolitan county in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England. It has a population of 1.29 million. It consists of four metropolitan boroughs: Barnsley, Doncastermarker, Rotherhammarker, and the city of Sheffieldmarker. South Yorkshire was created on 1 April 1974 as a result of the Local Government Act 1972.

Lying on the east side of the Pennines, South Yorkshire is landlocked, and borders Derbyshiremarker (to the south-west), West Yorkshire (to the northwest), North Yorkshire (to the north), the East Riding of Yorkshire (to the northeast), Lincolnshiremarker (to the east) and Nottinghamshiremarker (to the southeast). The Sheffield Urban Areamarker is the sixth most populous conurbation in England, and dominates the western half of South Yorkshire with over half of the county's population living within it.

South Yorkshire County Council was abolished in 1986, and so its districts (the metropolitan boroughs) are now effectively unitary authority areas; however, the metropolitan county, which is some , continues to exist in law and as a geographic frame of reference. Retrieved on 6 March 2008.

• Retrieved on 6 March 2008.

• Retrieved on 14 January 2009. As a ceremonial county, South Yorkshire has a Lord Lieutenant and a High Sheriff.

South Yorkshire is an amalgamation of 32 former local government districts from the former administrative counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, the West Riding of Yorkshire, and four independent county boroughs.


Although the modern county of South Yorkshire was not created until 1974, the history of its constituent settlements and parts goes back centuries. Artefacts and rock art found in caves at Creswell Cragsmarker have been dated by archaeologists to the late Upper Palaeolithic period, at least 12,800 years ago. Other prehistoric remains found include a Mesolithic "house"—a circle of stones in the shape of a hut-base dating to around 8000 BC, found at Deepcar, in the northern part of Sheffield.

The main settlements of South Yorkshire grew up around the industries of mining and steel manufacturing. The main mining industry was coal which was concentrated to the north and east of the county. There were also iron deposits which were mined in the area. The rivers running off the Pennines to the west of the county supported the steel industry that is concentrated in the city of Sheffield. The proximity of the iron and coal also made this an ideal place for steel manufacture.

Although Christian nonconformism was never as strong in South Yorkshire as in the mill towns of West Yorkshire, there are still many Methodist and Baptist churches in the area. Also, South Yorkshire has a relatively high number of followers of spiritualism. It is the only county that counts as a full region in the Spiritualists' National Union.

Redcliffe-Maud Report

The Local Government Commission for England presented draft recommendations, in December 1965, proposing a new county—York and North Midlands—roughly centred on the southern part of the West Riding of Yorkshire and northern parts of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. The review was abolished in favour of the Royal Commission on Local Government before issuing a final report.

The Royal Commission's 1969 report, known as the Redcliffe-Maud Report, proposed the removal of much of the then existing system of local government. The commission described the system of administering urban and rural districts separately as outdated, noting that urban areas provided employment and services for rural dwellers, and open countryside was used by town dwellers for recreation.

Redcliffe-Maud's recommendations were accepted by the Labour-controlled Government in February 1970. Although the Redcliffe-Maud Report was rejected by the Conservative government after the 1970 general election, there was a commitment to local government reform, and the need for a metropolitan county of South Yorkshire.

post-1974 pre-1974
Metropolitan county Metropolitan borough County boroughs Non-county borough Urban districts Rural districts

South Yorkshire is an amalgamation of 32 former local government districts, including four county boroughs.

Barnsley Barnsley - Cudworth • Darfield • Darton • Dearne • Dodworth • Dodworth • Hoyland Nether • Penistone • Roystonmarker • Wombwell • Worsbrough • Hemsworthmarker • Penistonemarker • Wortleymarker •
Doncastermarker Doncaster - Adwick le Street • Bentley with Arkseymarker • Conisbrough • Mexborough • Tickhill • Doncaster • East Retfordmarker • Thorne • Worksopmarker •
Rotherhammarker Rotherhammarker - Maltby • Swinton • Rawmarsh • Wath upon Dearne • Kiveton Parkmarker • Rotherham •
Sheffieldmarker Sheffield - Stocksbridge Wortleymarker

After 1974

The Local Government Act 1972 reformed local government in England by creating a system of two-tier metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties and district throughout the country. The act formally established South Yorkshire on 1 April 1974, although South Yorkshire County Councilmarker (SYCC) had been running since elections in 1973. The leading article in The Times on the day the Local Government Act came into effect noted that the "new arrangement is a compromise which seeks to reconcile familiar geography which commands a certain amount of affection and loyalty, with the scale of operations on which modern planning methods can work effectively".

South Yorkshire initially had a two tier structure of local government with a strategic-level county council and four districts providing most services.

In 1974, as part of the South Yorkshire Structure Plan of the environment, conservation and land use, South Yorkshire County Council commissioned a public attitudes survey covering job opportunities, educational facilities, leisure opportunities, health and medical services, shopping centres and transport in the county.

In 1986, throughout England the metropolitan county councils were abolished. The functions of the county council were devolved to the boroughs; joint-boards covering fire, police and public transport; and to other special joint arrangements. The joint boards continue to function and include the South Yorkshire Police Authority and the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.

Although the county council was abolished, South Yorkshire remains a metropolitan and ceremonial county with a Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire and a High Sheriff.


The county borders Derbyshiremarker, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, East Riding of Yorkshire, Lincolnshiremarker and Nottinghamshiremarker.The metropolitan county lies largely on the carboniferous rocks of the Yorkshire coalfield which have produced a rolling landscape with hills, escarpments and broad valleys. In this landscape there is widespread evidence of both current and former industrial activity. There are numerous mine buildings, former spoil heaps and iron and steel plants. The scenery is a mixture of built up areas, industrial land with some dereliction, and farmed open country. Ribbon developments along transport routes including canal, road and rail are prominent features of the area although some remnants of the pre industrial landscape and semi-natural vegetation still survive.

Major rivers which cross the area are the Dearnemarker, Rothermarker and Don. To the east, in the Doncaster area the landscape becomes flatter as the eastward dipping carboniferous rocks of the coalfield are overlain by the lacustrine deposits of the Humberhead Levelsmarker.There is very little evidence of glaciation in the area as it lies largely beyond the limit of the last glaciation.

The table below outlines many of the county's settlements, and is formatted according to their metropolitan borough.
Metropolitan county Metropolitan borough Centre of administration Other places
South Yorkshire Barnsley Barnsley marker Birdwellmarker, Cudworthmarker, Darfieldmarker, Dartonmarker, Dodworthmarker, Great Houghtonmarker, Grimethorpemarker, Hoyland Nethermarker, Roystonmarker, Penistonemarker, Thurnscoemarker, Wombwellmarker, Worsbroughmarker
Doncaster marker Doncaster marker Adwick le Streetmarker, Armthorpemarker, Askernmarker, Auckleymarker, Balbymarker, Barnby Dunmarker, Bawtrymarker, Bentleymarker, Bessacarrmarker, Braithwellmarker, Branton, Cantley, Carcroftmarker, Conisbroughmarker, Cusworth Denabymarker, Dunscroftmarker, Dunsvillemarker, Edenthorpemarker, Edlingtonmarker, Finningleymarker, Fishlakemarker, Hatfieldmarker, Hyde Park, Intake, Kirk Sandall, Loversallmarker, Mexboroughmarker, Micklebringmarker, Moorendsmarker, Scawsby, Scawthorpe, Skellowmarker, Stainforthmarker, Rossingtonmarker, Sykehousemarker, Nortonmarker, Thornemarker, Tickhillmarker, Wadworthmarker, Wheatley, Wheatley Hillsmarker
Rotherham marker Rotherham marker Anstonmarker, Aughtonmarker, Dinningtonmarker, Harthillmarker, Kiveton Parkmarker, Maltbymarker, Rawmarshmarker, Scholesmarker, Swintonmarker, Thorpe Hesleymarker, Todwickmarker, Treetonmarker, Thurcroftmarker, Walesmarker, Wath-upon-Dearnemarker, Bolton-upon-Dearnemarker, Woodsettsmarker
City of Sheffieldmarker Sheffield City Centremarker Beightonmarker, Chapeltownmarker, Highlane, Mosboroughmarker, Oughtibridgemarker, Stocksbridgemarker, Wharncliffe Side
Of these settlements above, South Yorkshire has three main urban areas: the Dearne Valleymarker which covers Barnsley and surrounding area; the Sheffield urban areamarker which covers Sheffield, Rotherham and surrounding area; and the Doncaster urban area which covers Doncaster and surrounding area.


The South Yorkshire County Council was abolished and its districts became unitary authorities; they are the City of Sheffieldmarker, the Metropolitan Borough of Doncastermarker, the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley and the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherhammarker.

In 1986, throughout England the metropolitan county councils were abolished. The functions of the county council were devolved to the boroughs. In practice many functions are jointly administered by joint authorities containing representatives of the four councils. The joint authorities cover fire, police and public transport.

In the case of South Yorkshire, these authorities are:

These authorities are supported by the South Yorkshire Joint Secretariat based in Barnsleymarker. South Yorkshire is the only metropolitan county in the UK that has establihed a formal joint secretariat.

Although the county council was abolished, South Yorkshire remains a metropolitan and ceremonial county with a Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire and a High Sheriff.


As one of the least prosperous areas in Western Europe, South Yorkshire has been targeted for funding from the European Regional Development Fund. This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of South Yorkshire at current basic prices with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.
Year Regional Gross Value Added Agriculture Industry Services
1995 10,453 67 3,690 6,696
2000 13,187 53 4,181 8,954
2003 15,799 57 4,772 10,971

Places of interest

See also: Culture of Sheffield


External links


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