Sefton

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The Metropolitan Borough of Sefton in Merseyside, England, was formed on 1 April 1974 by the amalgamation of the county boroughs of Bootle and Southport, the municipal borough of Crosby, the urban districts of Formby and Litherland, and part of West Lancashire Rural District within the new county of Merseyside. The borough consists of a coastal strip of land on the Irish Sea, and extends from Bootle in the south, to Southport in the north. In the south-east, it extends inland to Maghull. The district is bounded by Liverpool to the south, Knowsley to the south-east, and West Lancashire to the east.

It is named after the village and parish of Sefton, near Maghull. When the borough was created in the Local Government Act 1972 a name was sought that would not unduly identify the borough with any of its constituent parts, particularly the former county boroughs of Bootle and Southport. The locality had strong links with both the Earl of Sefton and the Earl of Derby, resident of Knowsley Hall, and given the fact that the immediately adjacent borough was subsequently named Knowsley it seems equally likely that the choice of name was derived from the names of the local nobility. A Sefton Rural District covering some of the villages in the district existed from 1894 to 1932.

The Metropolitan Borough of Sefton is one of the six constituent local government districts of the Liverpool City Region. Since 1 April 2014, some of the borough’s responsibilities have been pooled with neighbouring authorities within the metropolitan area and subsumed into the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

The combined authority has effectively become the top-tier administrative body for the local governance of the city region and the leader of Sefton Council, along with the five other leaders from neighbouring local government districts, take strategic decisions over economic development, transport, employment and skills, tourism, culture, housing and physical infrastructure.

As of July 2015, negotiations are currently taking place between the UK national government and the combined authority over a possible devolution deal to confer greater powers on the region. Discussions include whether to introduce an elected ‘Metro Mayor’ to oversee the entire metropolitan area.

The existence of Sefton has been an ongoing local controversy, especially in Southport, where local Members of Parliament and councillors have campaigned for separation from Bootle and the possible inclusion of the town as a district in the non-metropolitan county of Lancashire. It was highlighted after the 2012 local government election that different regions in Sefton had vastly different socio-economic backgrounds and needs. The high levels of poverty seen around the Bootle area and central Southport contrast sharply with the affluence of central Sefton, including Crosby, Maghull and Formby, areas that have some of the highest average house prices in Merseyside.

Note: this page is partly based on a Wikipedia page. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. Where possible, text is being updated to original, fully referenced research. ‘Our photos’ means we took the photographs. The Street View and street map visuals are courtesy of Google.

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