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Metropolitan Borough of Walsall

Borough of Walsall
Metropolitan borough
Walsall Council House in Walsall, West Midlands
Coat of arms of Borough of Walsall
Coat of arms
Walsall shown within the West Midlands and England
Walsall shown within the West Midlands and England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region West Midlands
Ceremonial county West Midlands
Admin HQ Walsall
Metropolitan borough status 1 April 1974
 • Type Metropolitan borough
 • Governing body Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council
 • Mayor Cllr Mike Bird
 • MPs: Valerie Vaz (L)
David Winnick (L)
Wendy Morton (C)
 • Total 40.14 sq mi (103.95 km2)
Population (mid-2014 est.)
 • Total 63,176 (Ranked 309th)
 • Ethnicity
(2011 census)
78.8% White (76.9% White British)
15.2% Asian
2.3% Black
2.7% Mixed Race
0.8% Other[1]
Time zone GMT (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
Postcode WS, WV & B
Area code(s) 01922, 01902, 01543 & 0121
ISO 3166-2 GB-WLL
ONS code 00CU (ONS)
E08000030 (GSS)
OS grid reference

The Metropolitan Borough of Walsall is a local government district in the West Midlands, England, with the status of a metropolitan borough. It is named after its largest settlement, Walsall, but covers a larger area which also includes the towns of Aldridge, Bloxwich, Brownhills, Darlaston and Willenhall. For Eurostat purposes Walsall and Wolverhampton is a NUTS 3 region (code UKG35) and is one of five boroughs or unitary districts that comprise the "West Midlands" NUTS 2 region. The borough had an estimated population of 254,500 in 2007.[2]

The current boundaries were set as part of the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972, with a change to the north of the borough in 1994.[3] It is bounded on the west by the City of Wolverhampton, the south by the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell, to the south east by the City of Birmingham, and by the Staffordshire districts of Lichfield, Cannock Chase and South Staffordshire to the east, north and northwest respectively. Most of the borough is highly industrialised and densely populated, but areas around the north and east of the borough are open space.

In 1986 the borough became an effective unitary authority when the West Midlands County Council was abolished. However it remains part of the West Midlands for ceremonial purposes, and for functions such as policing, fire and public transport.


  • Governance 1
    • Parliamentary constituencies 1.1
    • Council 1.2
  • Demography 2
    • Population change 2.1
  • Economy 3
  • Transport 4
  • Localities 5
  • Education 6
  • References 7


Parliamentary constituencies

The residents of the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall are represented in the British Parliament by Members of Parliament (MPs) for three separate parliamentary constituencies. Walsall North is represented by David Winnick MP (Labour).[4] Walsall South is represented by Valerie Vaz MP (Labour).[5] Aldridge-Brownhills is represented by Richard Shepherd MP (Conservative).[6] The borough is part of the West Midlands constituency in the European Parliament. The West Midlands region elects six MEPs, as at 2009 made up of two Conservatives, one from the Labour Party, one Liberal Democrat, and two members of the United Kingdom Independence Party.[7] Both UKIP MEPs have since left the party.


In 1974, Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council was created to administer the newly formed metropolitan borough. Elections to the council take place in three out of every four years, with one-third of the seats being contested at each election. Between its formation in 1974 and the 2003 election, the council varied between control by the Labour Party, and where no one party had an overall majority. From 2003 to 2011 the Conservative Party then held a majority of councillors.[8] However at the 2011 election the Conservative Party lost five seats, while Labour gained eight, and afterwards no party held a majority.[9]

The Metropolitan Borough of Walsall is based on an amalgamation of two former local government districts, Walsall County Borough and Aldridge-Brownhills Urban District.


Walsall MBC Compared
2011 UK Census Walsall MBC West Midlands county England
Total population 269,323 2,738,100 53,013,000
White 78.8% 70.1% 85.5%
Asian 15.2% 18.9% 7.7%
Black 2.3% 6.0% 3.4%
Source: Office for National Statistics[1]

At the time of the United Kingdom Census 2001, according to the Office for National Statistics, the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall had a total resident population of 253,499, of which 123,189 (48.6%) were male and 130,310 (51.4%) were female,[10] with 101,333 households.[11] The Borough occupied 10,395 hectares (40.14 sq mi) at the time of the 2001 census.[10]

Its population density was 24.39 people per hectare compared with an average of 28.41 across the West Midlands metropolitan county.[10] The median age of the population was 37, compared with 36 within the West Midlands metropolitan county and 37 across England and Wales.[12]

The majority of the population of the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall were born in England (91.77%); 1.42% were born elsewhere within the United Kingdom, 0.82% within the rest of the European Union, and 6.00% elsewhere in the world.[13]

Data on religious beliefs across the borough in the 2001 census show that 72.1% declared themselves to be Christian, 10.0% said they held no religion, and 5.4% reported themselves as Muslim.[14] Whereas in the 2011 Census 59% declared themselves to be Christian, 26% said they held no religion or did not state their religion, and 8.2% reported themselves as Muslim.[15]

Within the Metropolitan Borough, 42.84% of households owned a single car or van, with 31.05% owning none. The average car ownership per household was 1.01, compared with 0.96 across the West Midlands metropolitan county.[11]

Population change

The table below details the population change in the area since 1801. Although the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall has existed as a metropolitan borough only since 1974, figures have been generated by combining data from the towns, villages, and civil parishes that would later be constituent parts of the borough.

Historical population of area now covered by the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall
Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
Population 17,615 20,329 22,309 27,640 37,670 46,597 67,260 87,923 108,586 125,317
Year 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001 2011
Population 140,919 158,465 169,406 181,114 194,983 209,918 239,729 273,794 265,908 263,399 253,502 269,300
Source: Vision of Britain[16]


Walsall MBC Compared
2001 UK Census Walsall MBC West Midlands county England
Population (16-74) 180,623 1,807,918 35,532,091
Full-time employment 39.1% 38.6% 40.8%
Part-time employment 11.9% 11.1% 11.8%
Self-employed 6.0% 5.7% 8.3%
Unemployed 4.4% 4.6% 3.3%
Retired 14.8% 13.5% 13.5%
Source: Office for National Statistics[17]

At the time of the 2001 census, there were 105,590 people (41.7%) in employment who were resident within Walsall Metropolitan Borough. Of these, 18.60% worked within the wholesale and retail trade, including repair of motor vehicles; 26.44% worked within manufacturing industry; and 9.85% worked within the health and social work sector.[18]

At the 2001 UK census, Walsall Metropolitan Borough had 180,623 residents aged 16 to 74. 2.3% of these people were students with jobs, 6.0% looking after home or family, 6.8% permanently sick or disabled and 2.4% economically inactive for other reasons. These figures are roughly in line with the averages for England, though Metropolitan Borough of Walsall has a higher rate of people who are permanently sick and disabled, where the national average is 5.3%.[17]

The Metropolitan Borough of Walsall is split between several Travel to Work Areas (TTWA). The central and northern areas of the borough (including the towns of Walsall, Bloxwich and Brownhills) are within the Walsall and Cannock TTWA, whilst the majority of the area west of the M6 motorway (including the towns of Willenhall and Darlaston) is within the Wolverhampton TTWA. The southeast of the Metropolitan Borough (including Streetly) is within the Birmingham TTWA.[19] The entire borough is within the Birmingham Larger Urban Zone.[20]

Average house prices in the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall were fourth out of the metropolitan boroughs in the West Midlands county, with the average house price within the borough being £131,131 during the period April - June 2009, compared with the average across the Metropolitan County of £128,142.[21]


The A34 trunk road runs directly through the middle of Walsall and is often used by people travelling from John o' Groats to Land's End by foot or other method.

An elevated section of the M6 Motorway built in 1968 half circles around Walsall to the West of the town. There can be increased congestion on the local A roads whenever the motorway is temporarily closed or in a state of serious delay as road users try to bypass the problem. Junctions (North to South) 11, 10, 9 and 7 allow access to and from various parts of the town. The M6 and M5 join at junction 8.

The A454 runs through Walsall on its way to Sutton Coldfield from Bridgnorth.


See List of areas in Walsall


45% of pupils in the Borough of Walsall achieved five GCSEs with grades of A*-C, below the national average of 56%.[22]

The borough's education format is a traditional 5-7 infant, 7-11 junior and 11-16/18 secondary school system, with some infant and junior schools being combined single site primary schools, while others have infant and junior schools on separate sites. The towns of Walsall, Bloxwich, Darlaston and Willenhall have always used these age ranges, but the Aldridge, Brownhills and Streetly areas (which became part of the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall in 1974) adopted 5-9 first, 9-13 middle and 13-16/18 secondary schools in September 1972. However, this system was discontinued and replaced with the traditional age ranges in September 1986 to fit in with the other schools in the Walsall borough.[23]


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