Liverpool City Area, Merseyside, Halton, Wirral, Southport and what all of our regional titles mean now


It has been an eventful week for our region with many new rules and restrictions to learn as we enter a difficult new phase in the coronavirus pandemic.Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced a series of new measures for the region on Thursday that took effect today.

The new rules mean that in our area it is now illegal to meet any other household in any interior setting, be it a private home, pub, bar or restaurant – with the private garden mix also prohibited. .

Since the rules were announced, there has been a bit of confusion as to how they apply and what the different names in our part of the country actually mean.

So we thought we would give a full explanation on this subject.

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Liverpool City Area

Matt Hancock announced this week that the new measures will take effect across the Liverpool City area as well as Warrington and Middlesbrough and Hartlepool in the northeast.

The use of the term Liverpool City Region has confused some people.

Some have questioned if this is just for Liverpool itself, others have questioned whether regions like Wirral or Sefton are included.

The Liverpool City Area is the umbrella term for the area which includes the municipalities of Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Halton.

It is an economic and political agglomeration that came into being in 2014, with the creation of a new mixed authority.

The six districts share their responsibilities in strategic policy areas such as economic development, transport, employment and skills, tourism, culture, housing and physical infrastructure.


Halton Borough is a local government district in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, which includes the towns of Runcorn and Widnes as well as civil parishes such as Hale, Daresbury, Halebank, Preston Brook and Sandymoor.


Naturally, there is some confusion between the definitions of the Liverpool and Merseyside region.

Merseyside is essentially a metropolitan county which was created as a result of the Local Government Act in 1972.

It is comprised of all of the aforementioned council areas in the Liverpool City area minus Halton.

So that’s Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley, Sefton and St Helens.

Merseyside is an amalgamation of 22 former local administrative districts of the former administrative counties of Lancashire, Cheshire and six self-governing county boroughs centered on Birkenhead, Bootle, Liverpool, Southport, St Helens and Wallasey.

Until 1986 Merseyside was governed by a two-tier system comprising the Merseyside Country Council, but when the latter was abolished its districts, the metropolitan boroughs of Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley, St Helens and Sefton became authorities autonomous units.

Today, the Liverpool City Area (all Boroughs of Merseyside and Halton) is the region’s premier administrative body.


Some have asked this week if Southport is included in the new restrictions – and the simple answer is yes.

Southport is in the municipal district of Sefton, which has been part of Merseyside since the Local Government Act 1972 and then part of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority since 2014.

Historically part of Lancashire, when it comes to decisions like the ones taken this week, Southport is definitely part of the Liverpool City area.


Wirral also presents some challenges when explaining municipal boundaries.

Historically, the Wirral Peninsula was entirely within County Cheshire.

But since the Local Government Act 1972, only the southern third has remained in Cheshire, with the rest now in the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral – now part of Merseyside and the City of Liverpool region.

The Wirral Council area is made up of the main settlements of Birkenhead, Wallasey, Heswall, Hoylake and West Kirby.

Areas like Neston and Ellesmere Port fall under the powers of Cheshire West and the Chester Council.

Only Wirral Council areas are subject to the new Liverpool City area rules.

The mayors

Another puzzling aspect of municipal organization in our region concerns those who run it – and their titles.

Since 2012, Joe Anderson has been elected mayor of the city of Liverpool.

In 2017, as part of the Decentralization Agreement for the City of Liverpool region, a new post of Regional Mayor or Metro Mayor was created and Steve Rotheram was elected.

Mayor Rotheram oversees the city area, but each borough as head of council – or in Liverpool’s case, a more powerful elected mayor in Joe Anderson.

Keep up to date with cases of coronavius ​​in your area using your postal code below


Merseyside Police is the police force for the home region of Merseyside – including Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley, Sefton and St Helens.

It is also the same jurisdiction for the elected Commissioner of Police and Crime, who is currently Jane Kennedy.

Neither the Merseyside Police nor the Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner have jurisdiction over Halton – although he is now part of the Liverpool City Area.

This is because Halton is in historic Cheshire County and is watched over by the Cheshire Police and the Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner, who is currently David Keane.


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