In England and Wales
England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. It consists of England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom...
The pattern of local government in England is complex, with the distribution of functions varying according to the local arrangements. Legislation concerning local government in England is decided by the Parliament and Government of the United Kingdom, because England does not have a devolved...
legislation, a principal area
is one of the various sub-national areas established for control by a principal council
. They include most of the areas governed by the lowest level of local government above that of Parish or Community council.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...
the principal areas are defined by the Local Government Act 1992 as :-
- the non-metropolitan counties
Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties are one of the four levels of subdivisions of England used for the purposes of local government outside Greater London. As originally constituted, the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties each consisted of multiple districts, had a county council and...
- the districts
- the London borough
The administrative area of Greater London contains thirty-two London boroughs. Inner London comprises twelve of these boroughs plus the City of London. Outer London comprises the twenty remaining boroughs of Greater London.-Functions:...
Note that while the areas of the City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...
, Inner Temple
The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, commonly known as Inner Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court in London. To be called to the Bar and practise as a barrister in England and Wales, an individual must belong to one of these Inns...
, Middle Temple
The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, commonly known as Middle Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court exclusively entitled to call their members to the English Bar as barristers; the others being the Inner Temple, Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn...
, Parish and Community councils are not included within this definition as they otherwise remain defined as "local government areas".
While the phrase exists as a specific term in legislation such as the 1992 Act to refer to the geographical area governed by a principal council the usual descriptive title otherwise used for such an area is one of County, Borough, District, City or Unitary Area.
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...
a "principal area" is any one of the areas governed by a unit of local government created by the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994
The Local Government Act 1994 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which created the current local government structure in Wales of 22 unitary authority areas, referred to as principal areas in the Act, and abolished the previous two-tier structure of counties and districts...
(which amended the Local Government Act 1972
The Local Government Act 1972 is an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom that reformed local government in England and Wales on 1 April 1974....
) and to which the first-named Act allocates the English-language descriptive titles of :-
- County or County Borough
For local government purposes, Wales is divided into 22 single-tier principal areas, which are responsible for the provision of all local government services, including education, social work, environment and roads services...
Not all councils include their description as a County or Borough within the name used for normal public presentation, an example being Gwynedd
which uses the simple Gwynedd Council
and/or Cyngor Gwynedd
, typically combined in logos and headings as the bilingual Cyngor Gwynedd Council
The plural Welsh translation (as used in legislation such as Reg. 2 The Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Wales) Regulations 2004 is Prif Ardaloedd