West Midlands, former metropolitan county, central England. Created in the 1974 local government reorganization, the county embraced the Birmingham conurbation and comprised seven metropolitan districts (metropolitan boroughs): Walsall, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell, Birmingham, Solihull, and Coventry. The county was abolished in 1986, and the districts became responsible for all services except police, fire, and civil defense, which are supervised jointly. It remains a ceremonial county under the Lieutenancies Act.
The metropolitan county of West Midlands was the creation of the Local Government Act of 1972. It brought together the county boroughs of Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley, Warley and West Bromwich
, Solihull, and Coventry. In addition, Brownhills was transferred from Staffordshire; Halesowen and Stourbridge from Worcestershire; Sutton Coldfield
from Warwickshire; and a number of parishes from the rural district of Meriden. The county headquarters was at Birmingham. The authority was abolished, along with the other metropolitan counties, by the Local Government Act of 1985.
J. A. Cannon
Metropolitan county in central England
. It is divided into seven council districts: Birmingham
(the administrative centre), Coventry
, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, and Wolverhampton. The other major town is West Bromwich
. Area: 899sq km (347sq mi). Pop. (1996) 2,550,907.