South Gloucestershire

South Gloucestershire
Shown within Gloucestershire
Shown within Gloucestershire
Coordinates: 51°28′44″N 2°22′48″W / 51°28′44″N 2°22′48″W / 51.479; -2.380

South Gloucestershire is an extraordinary unitary authority area in South West England. It comprises multiple suburban areas to the north and east of Bristol as well as a large rural hinterland. South Gloucestershire was created in 1996 from the northern section of the county of Avon, which was abolished at that time.

The area includes multiple towns and population centres, with many of these areas continuing to expand in both population and industry. Many of these towns and population areas are listed under two major subheadings below.

South Gloucestershire took its title for historic reasons, but as a unitary authority it is not administered as part of the shire county of Gloucestershire. It is, however, part of the ceremonial county of Gloucestershire, which means it shares its Lord Lieutenant (the Sovereign's representative to the county) with Gloucestershire.[1] Because of its history as part of the county of Avon, South Gloucestershire works closely with the other unitary authorities that took over when that county was abolished, including shared services such as Avon Fire and Rescue Service[2] and the Avon and Somerset Constabulary,[3] together with co-operation in planning strategy for transport, roads and housing.

History

Prior to the implementation of the Local Government Act 1972 on 1 April 1974, the area that now forms South Gloucestershire formed part of the shire county of Gloucestershire, comprising the urban districts of Kingswood and Mangotsfield and the Rural Districts of Warmley, Sodbury and Thornbury. However, under the terms of that act, the area was removed from Gloucestershire, and became part of the county of Avon, forming the districts of Kingswood and Northavon.

In 1996, the county of Avon was abolished, and South Gloucestershire was created as a unitary authority area comprising the former districts of Kingswood and Northavon. The area borders the city and county of Bristol, the Bath and North East Somerset unitary authority area, plus the shire counties of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

The geographic area currently known as South Gloucestershire should not be confused with Southern Gloucestershire. Nor should organisations or bodies in the past titled 'South Gloucestershire', (meaning Southern Gloucestershire), be confused with the area covered by the unitary authority.