Local Government Boundary Commission for England: Policy and Proposals, Registered Files (Numbered Series): Humberside Dataset

Details of AX 14
Reference:AX 14
Title:
Local Government Boundary Commission for England: Policy and Proposals, Registered Files (Numbered Series): Humberside Dataset
Description:

The Humberside attitudes and preferences survey dataset comprises the data collected by the Research Surveys of Great Britain Limited (RSGB) as part of the survey they undertook on behalf of the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBC) during their second review of Humberside carried out during 1989 and 1990. The survey consisted of a representative sample survey of 2918 residents aged 18 or over in private households in the County of Humberside and the District of Selby. The sample was structured so as to allow for separate analysis of views in the District of Selby and six areas of Humberside. Although Selby was part of North Yorkshire, not Humberside, it was decided to include interviews with Selby residents as part of the survey because one of the options for changing the local administration in Humberside included creating a county of East Yorkshire of which Selby would form a part. Following the reorganisation of Humberside in 1996 and the creation of the East Riding of Yorkshire county council, Selby remained as part of North Yorkshire.

Separate questionnaires were designed for Humberside and Selby residents which sought to obtain respondents' views on a range of key issues relating to the county of Humberside. Humberside residents were asked about their existing links with the county, whether their work and leisure activities tended to be contained within the county or outside it. Questions were also asked about the amount of travel between North and South Humberside in order to assess whether the Humber Bridge had helped to unify the county. The survey looked at the respondents' sense of identity with Humberside and in the case of the Selby residents with Yorkshire/North Yorkshire. Views were also sought on the county council administration and the issue of abolition. Finally, the survey presented respondents with five possible options for the future of Humberside and sought their views on these. The options were:

  • Option 1A - keep the County of Humberside as it is with no change of boundary and no change of name.
  • Option 1B - keep the present County boundaries but change the name of the County.
  • Option 2 - abolish Humberside by transferring north Humberside into North Yorkshire and south Humberside into Lincolnshire.
  • Option 3 - abolish Humberside by creating a new County of East Yorkshire from north Humberside and transferring south Humberside into Lincolnshire.
  • Option 4 - abolish Humberside by creating a new County of East Yorkshire from north Humberside and also creating a new County of North Lincolnshire from south Humberside.

The datasets in this series are available to download. Links to individual datasets can be found at piece level.

Note: The datasets now in this series were originally referenced as AX 1/78/1, until re-referenced in July 2009. Paper records keep the AX 1/78 reference.
Date: 1989-1990
Arrangement:

Details of the original hardware, Operating System, application software, and user interface are not known.

Logical structure and schema: The Humberside attitudes and preferences survey dataset consists of two tables which correspond to the two data files transferred. The two files contain data collected in the separate Humberside and Selby surveys, one survey per file.

How data was originally captured and validated: The data was recorded on questionnaire forms by interviewers working for Research Surveys of Great Britain Limited (RSGB) who conducted the survey interviews in the respondents' homes between 7 November and 17 December 1989.

Data in the Humberside attitudes and preferences survey dataset is closed in that once collected the data was archived and was not subsequently overwritten.

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Former reference in The National Archives CRDA/72; AX 1/78/1
Legal status: Public Record
Language: English
Creator: Local Government Boundary Commission for England, 1972-1992
Local Government Commission for England, 1958-1966
Physical description: 2 datasets and documentation
Restriction on use: The Humberside attitudes and preferences survey dataset and related dataset documentation are subject to Crown Copyright; copies may be made for private study and research purposes only.
Access conditions: Open
Immediate source of acquisition: In 2010 the United Kingdom National Digital Archive of Datasets
Custodial history: The dataset in this series was originally transferred from the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBC) and its successor the Local Government Commission for England. The United Kingdom National Digital Archive of Datasets (NDAD) then held the dataset until 2010 when it was transferred to The National Archives (TNA).
Accruals: There will be no accruals.
Unpublished finding aids: Extent of documentation: 2 documents, Dates of creation of documentation: 1989-1991
Administrative / biographical background:

The county of Humberside was created in 1974 following the introduction of the Local Government Act of 1972. It was composed of two halves either side of the Humber estuary, created using part of the East and West Ridings of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, Parts of Lindsey. In local government terms it was abolished on 1 April 1996, with the establishment of four unitary authorities: North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire, Kingston upon Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire. The name has continued in use as a geographic term and in the names of institutions such as Humberside Police and Fire Services. Several of the other"new" counties created in 1974, such as Avon and Cleveland, were also abolished and replaced with unitary authorities at this time.

In the years immediately following the establishment of the county it proved to be unpopular as can be seen by numerous campaigns, petitions and other manifestations of dissatisfaction with the new county, its name and its boundaries that took place. A formal review of Humberside was undertaken between July 1985 and July 1988 by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBC). The Commission recommended that there be no major change to the structure of local government in the area. The Department for the Environment guidelines were clear in stating that abolition of a principal area of local administration would be appropriate only in very exceptional circumstances, where the present arrangements were clearly failing to provide effective and convenient local government. LGBC's findings indicated that even allowing for the strength of feeling against the county, Humberside could not be shown to have failed to provide effective and convenient local government.

Immediately following this review, the Department for the Environment announced that LGBC would be asked to undertake a further review of Humberside. The Secretary of State accepted that, in the light of departmental guidelines, it was reasonable for LGBC to have concluded that it could not be shown that Humberside had failed to provide effective and convenient local government. However, he expressed concern at the degree of unhappiness at the concept of Humberside 15 years after its creation, and considered that the time had come to re-examine the justification for its existence. Consequently, LGBC were asked to carry out a further review as rapidly as possible. The terms of reference of the further review set aside the guidance against proposing the abolition of a principal local authority except in very exceptional circumstances. LGBC were specifically asked to study the radical option of dissolving the County of Humberside in the light of possible alternative arrangements and to consider the costs and benefits of introducing alternative arrangements compared with maintaining the present position. As part of carrying out their further review LGBC conducted a programme of survey research to investigate the attitudes to and preferences for the options for the future of Humberside among residents of the County and others who may be affected by the possible alternatives. Research Surveys of Great Britain Limited (RSGB) were commissioned to conduct this research.

The Humberside attitudes and preferences survey carried out by RSGB had the following specific aims:

  • to determine the sense of identity with and loyalty towards the County of Humberside;
  • to determine preferences for each of the proposed alternative arrangements;
  • to investigate the reasons why people felt the way they did about the existing situation and the proposed options;
  • to investigate how all these opinions and attitudes differed from one part of Humberside to another.

The outcome of the research was broadly in line with the findings of LGBC's previous review of the county. The majority of residents felt that the establishment of the county of Humberside had been a bad idea and in general they felt a stronger affiliation to the pre-1974 counties than they did to Humberside. The most popular of the alternative options for the area was the abolition of Humberside, with North Humberside being replaced by a separate county of East Yorkshire and South Humberside being transferred to Lincolnshire. The majority of Selby residents identified strongly with North Yorkshire and were opposed to becoming part of a new county of East Yorkshire.

Before any of the changes recommended by the 1989-1990 review of Humberside could be implemented a more general review of local government structures in the UK was introduced under the Local Government Act 1992. As part of this more widespread review the county of Humberside was abolished on 1 April 1996 and replaced by the four unitary local authorities referred to above.

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