Category:Urban Districts

Urban Districts — governed by elected Urban District Councils — replaced Local Boards following the Local Government Act of 1894 and were given increased powers and responsibilities under the the terms of the Act, such as parks, cemeteries and local planning.

Due to the subdivision of the Administrative County with the Local Government Act of 1894 (57 &58 Vict, c58), the existing system of sanitary districts was replaced by Urban and Rural Districts, which held increased local government functions, and the Sanitary boards were replaced by District Councils with Councillors. Furthermore, the Local Government Act of 1894 made it "compulsory for parishes with a death rate over 2.34 % to establish a Board of Health" (Gregory 2001) and as Urban Districts were perceived to have greater public health problems than their rural counterparts they received further power and funding. Urban Districts were described as containing small towns, often with rural surroundings, though the rural character of many Urban districts increased with the passing of the Local Government Act of 1929 (Hasluck, 1948). The rural character of Urban Districts was further aided by the County Reviews of the 1930s, when 206 Urban Districts and 236 Rural Districts which were too small, too poor or were irregular were abolished to either merge or amalgamate with wealthier or larger Districts. By 1965 there were 548 Urban Districts in England and Wales (Jackson, 1966, p.11). All Urban Districts were abolished in 1974.
A Vision of Britain Through Time

Further Reading


The boundaries of the first urban districts (shaded in green and based on the 1906 O.S. map) are show below, along with the Country Borough of Huddersfield (shaded in red):

Following the abolition of many of the urban districts and reallocation of land in 1938, the remaining local urban districts were: