Strathclyde was the name of an ancient British kingdom, centred on the Clyde valley, with its capital at the natural fort of Dumbarton, and absorbed into Scotland c.1018. The name was adopted in 1963 by one of Glasgow's universities, and from 1973 to 1996 was used for an administrative region. The 1973 local government reorganization of Scotland was an attempt to rationalize the previous system of cities, burghs, and rural areas, which reflected historical rather than contemporary population patterns, into regions big enough to exploit economies of scale in services such as education, police, water, roads, and transport; smaller districts became responsible for other local authority services. Strathclyde, which incorporated Glasgow and the counties of Bute, Dunbarton, Lanark, Renfrew, Ayr, most of Argyll, and the Kilsyth area of Stirlingshire, illustrates the problems of such reorganization: it contained 2.3 million people, nearly half Scotland's population. The region was unpopular with people living in its more rural parts, who felt it was dominated by Glasgow and its surrounding industrial areas (guaranteeing a large Labour majority in the regional council), and with other regions, which felt overwhelmed by its size. Government awareness of this unpopularity and concern that the two-tier administration was inefficient, reinforced perhaps by the Conservatives eventually controlling none of the regions, led to the abolition of the 1973 structure and its replacement, from 1996, by all-purpose authorities—in Strathclyde's case, nineteen new councils, corresponding roughly to the previous districts.
Charlotte M. Lythe
Strathclyde Region in w Scotland, bounded n by the Highlands, s by the Southern Uplands, and w by the Atlantic Ocean. The capital is Glasgow; other major towns include Paisley, Kilmarnock, Clydebank, and Motherwell. The industrial heartland of Scotland, it contains half of Scotland's population. Sites include Loch Lomond, Glencoe, and the islands of Mull, Arran, and Bute. The ancient British or Welsh kingdom of Strathclyde existed from the 5th to 10th centuries. Its capital was at Dumbarton. In the late 9th century, Norse raiders devastated the kingdom, and the native Welsh dynasty died out. Awarded to Scotland in 945, it was only incorporated into the Scottish kingdom in the 11th century. Industries: shipbuilding, engineering. Area: 13,529sq km (5222sq mi) Pop. (1996 est.) 2,500,000.
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