The Murky World of UK Geography #4 All about Administration...Borders

by Neil Lord

Ok, this is the last part…I’m sorry, but I’m getting bored of writing about this now.

If you’re sitting comfortably, I’ll begin.

There are 3 layers here (technically there are 4 now, combined authorities, but I’m going to pretend that they don’t exist). Top down they are:

County & Unitary Authorities – This contains all of the usual suspect like Surrey County Council, Hampshire County Council, Essex County Council but it also includes City Authorities like Birmingham City, Portsmouth City and all of the London Boroughs. Interesting huh?

Shapefile here

Local Authority Districts – This bit is a bit more complex, in the case of county councils (as described above) this is the next level down. For example Surrey County Council is then split into 11 Districts & Boroughs which appear here. But in the case of Unitary Authorities and London Boroughs these don’t not have another layer down, so they also appear here.

Here for the files

Last part (*sigh of relief*) Wards/Electoral Divisions – This is the lowest level of Administrative Geography, when you vote for your local councillor…this is the level you are voting at.


And that’s it!

You are now fully versed in the intricacies of UK geography. I hope you found some of this interesting, it was certainly not interesting to write about!

Love you xx