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Clwyd. A Welsh county created under the Local Government Act of 1972 and extant from 1974 to 1996. It was made up of the former counties of Denbighshire and Flintshire minus a north–south strip along the Conwy valley, allocated to Gwynedd, but with the Edeyrnion rural district in the south-west, transferred from Merioneth. The counties which emerged in 1972 from a long period of consultation were the result of attempts to balance historical tradition, minimum population to support services (usually taken as 250,000), and reasonable distances for internal administration. Clwyd was a compromise on all three bases. It had little in the way of common historical identity, although there was some common industrial inheritance, since it included the whole of the North Wales Coalfield. An earlier proposal had suggested amalgamation with Gwynedd. Another notion was amalgamation in Powys. But while such schemes gave appropriate populations, they would have given unwieldy counties with severe communication problems. Clwyd, therefore, with a name of no historic significance, but derived from the river, was a compromise which gave an element of administrative identity to north-east Wales. The county was divided into six districts: Colwyn; Rhuddlan; Delyn; Alyn and Deeside; Glyndŵr; and Wrexham Maelor. Its population was 390,200 in 1981 and 402,927 (1981 base) in 1991. In 1996 it was divided into three new unitary authorities, Denbighshire (91,000), Flintshire (144,000), and Wrexham (123,000), whilst Colwyn on the western border of Clwyd was joined with Aberconwy in Aberconwy and Colwyn (109,000).

Harold Carter

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