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Metropolitan Borough of Bury

Borough of Bury
Metropolitan borough
Bury Town Hall, the seat of Bury Council
Bury Town Hall, the seat of Bury Council
Official logo of Borough of Bury
Coat of Arms of the Borough Council
Bury shown in Greater Manchester and England
Bury shown in Greater Manchester and England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region North West England
Ceremonial county Greater Manchester
Admin. HQ Bury
 • Type Bury Metropolitan Borough Council
 • Leadership: Leader & Cabinet
 • Executive: Liberal Democrat (council NOC)
 • MPs: David Nuttall (C)
Ivan Lewis (L)
 • Total 16.14 sq mi (41.81 km2)
Area rank 285th
Population (mid-2014 est.)
 • Total 63,176
 • Rank Ranked 309th
 • Density 3,900/sq mi (1,500/km2)
Time zone Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) British Summer Time (UTC+1)
ONS code 00BM (ONS)
E08000002 (GSS)
Ethnicity 92.1% White
5.4%% S. Asian or mixed
1.6% Black or mixed
0.8% Chinese or other[1]

The Metropolitan Borough of Bury is a metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester, in North West England. Lying to the north of the City of Manchester, the borough is composed of six towns: Bury, Ramsbottom, Tottington, Radcliffe, Whitefield and Prestwich, and has a population of 181,900. On the north side Bury bounds the Lancashire districts of Rossendale and Blackburn with Darwen.

The Metropolitan Borough of Bury, which covers 24,511 acres (99 km2), was created on 1 April 1974, with the transfer of functions from the county borough of Bury and the boroughs of Prestwich and Radcliffe, along with the urban districts of Tottington and Whitefield, and part of the urban district of Ramsbottom. All were previously in Lancashire.


  • History 1
  • Local wards 2
  • Parliamentary constituencies 3
  • Unparished areas 4
  • Coat of arms 5
  • Demography 6
    • Population and employment change 6.1
  • Politics and services 7
  • Education 8
  • Landmarks 9
  • Religion 10
  • Twin towns 11
  • See also 12
  • References 13
    • Notes 13.1
    • Bibliography 13.2
  • External links 14


Prior to its creation, it was suggested that the metropolitan borough be named Bury Magna, but this was rejected in favour of Bury.[2]

In 2006, facing a budget shortfall of over £10 million, Bury Metropolitan Council decided to sell its painting by L. S. Lowry called "A Riverbank". The work, which depicts the River Irwell and cost £175 in 1951, was expected to fetch between £500,000 and £800,000.[3] Between the announcement and the sale at Christie's, the council was accused of "selling off the family silver". The authority, which had the painting on display at Bury Art Museum, said it was putting its people before a picture.[3] The painting raised £1.25 million for the authority on 17 November 2006 at the auction in London, costing the bidder £1,408,000 including commission.[3] Consequently, the council was deregistered by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council,[4] a Quango that no longer exists.

Local wards

In 2004 the Electoral Commission reviewed the electoral arrangements for Bury and The Borough of Bury (Electoral Changes) Order 2004 came into force on the day of the election of councillors in 2004. The order provided for the creation of 17 new wards. These are:-

Besses, Swag Church, East, Elton, Holyrood, Moorside, North Manor, Pilkington Park, Radcliffe East, Radcliffe North, Radcliffe West, Ramsbottom, Redvales, St Mary's, Sedgley, Tottington, Unsworth,

These 17 wards are each represented by 3 councillors to form a council of 51 members. The Bury electorate figures based on the 2006 forecast are:

Total electorate - 140,697

Average electorate for ward - 8,276

Average number of electors for councillor - 2,759

At the local elections in May 2008 the average turnout to vote was 38.22%. This varied locally with 47.32% of electors voting in North Manor ward and a low turnout of only 32.4% in Besses ward.[5]

For full details of the 2008 local Council elections see Bury Council election, 2008

In July 2008 the Borough was the first in Greater Manchester to hold a referendum on whether to install a directly-elected mayor.[6] This was a result of a campaign against congestion charge plans that raised a petition with 9,460 names, well above the required five per cent of voters needed to trigger a mayoral vote.[7] The proposal to have an elected Mayor was rejected.[8]

Parliamentary constituencies

The Metropolitan Borough of Bury currently consists of two parliamentary constituencies:

Unparished areas

Showing former status (prior to 1974)

The entirety of the borough is unparished.

  1. Bury (County Borough)
  2. Prestwich (Municipal Borough)
  3. Radcliffe (Municipal Borough)
  4. Ramsbottom (Urban District) (part)
  5. Tottington (Urban District)
  6. Whitefield (Urban District)

Coat of arms

The Coat of Arms contains symbols from the six constituent towns with the design based on the old Bury County Borough arms. The shield is divided, with interweaving alluding to the textile industry, diagonally. On the shield a bee represents industry and papyrus papermaking, from Bury, with a ram's head and bullock's head from Ramsbotton and Tottington respectively. The silver colour represents Whitefield whilst the shield is supported with figures from the crests of Radcliffe and Prestwich. These represent the Radcliffe and Egerton families and wear a red rose, for Lancashire, and a cogwheel for industry. The motto 'Forward in Unity' sits on a scroll under the shield.


Bury Compared
2001 UK Census[9] Bury Greater Manchester England
Total population 180,608 2,514,757 49,138,831
White 93.9% 91.2% 90.9%
Asian 4.0% 5.6% 4.6%
Black 0.5% 1.2% 2.3%

At the 2001 UK census, the Metropolitan Borough of Bury had a total population of 180,608.[9] For every 100 females, there were 95 males. The population density is 1,815/km2 (4,700/sq mi).[10]

When the Census was taken there were 74,335 households in Bury with an average of 2.4 persons in each one. In more detail, 39.4% of households were married couples living together, 28.9% were one-person households, 8.7% were co-habiting couples and 10.7% were lone parents.[11] Of all the households 75.11% lived in houses they owned, with or without a mortgage, significantly higher than the national average of 68.07%.[12]

Of people aged 16–74 in Bury 42.93% were economically active in 2001, higher than the national average of 40.81%.[13] 29.2% of this age group (16-74) had no academic qualifications, slightly higher than 28.9% in all of England.[14]

5.8% of Bury’s residents were born outside the United Kingdom, significantly lower than the national average of 9.2%.[15] The largest minority group was recorded as Asian, at 4% of the population.[16]

Population and employment change

The table below details the population change since 1801, including the percentage change since the last available census data. Although the Metropolitan Borough of Bury has only existed 1974, figures have been generated by combining data from the towns, villages, and civil parishes that would later be constituent parts of the borough.

Population growth in Bury since 1801
Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001
Population 12,169 14,987 17,646 22,331 33,696 38,613 61,749 84,885 108,020 117,677 123,882 130,415 132,599 134,825 138,276 141,817 157,142 174,165 175,459 179,168 180,612
% change +23.2 +17.7 +26.5 +50.9 +14.6 +59.9 +37.5 +27.3 +8.9 +5.3 +5.3 +1.7 +1.7 +2.6 +2.6 +10.8 +10.8 +0.7 +2.1 +0.8
Source: Vision of Britain[17]

In 1971 34,980 people living in Bury were employed in manufacturing. By 2001 this had fallen to 13,690 – a decrease of 61%. During the same period the numbers of people employed in service industries increased from 34,200 to 54,227, a gain of 58.5%.[18]

Politics and services

The town has long had a reputation for closely reflecting political feeling across the country. Between 1974 and 1986 the Conservative Party controlled the council. In 1986 the Labour Party gained control, and continued in power, at first with an overall Labour majority and subsequently through a Labour executive running the council in a state of no overall control until 2007. The May elections in 2007 saw the Conservative Party become the largest group on the Council and the Conservative Group took control of the Council and its Executive. The Leader of the Council was named as Councillor Bob Bibby. At the 2008 local elections, the Conservatives won three more seats and took overall control of the Council. In 2010, the Conservatives lost overall control with the new council having 23 Conservative, 20 Labour and 8 Liberal Democrat Councillors.[19]

The Audit Commission[20] reported in 2006 that Bury Council continues to make good and sustained progress in improving services for local people. Overall the council was awarded 'three star' status, similar to 47% of all local authorities.

The council was said to be improving well in children's services, particularly in social care. The Audit Commission also noted that resident satisfaction was rising, reflecting improvements in the quality of the environment and services generally. Ten parks have achieved green flag status with recycling levels above average and street cleanliness improving. The council is on target to reach its Decent Homes target by 2010.

The assessment concluded that the council has improved the way it uses its resources to deliver its plans, improving how it manages its finances and service performance and strengthening arrangements to make sure that it achieves good value for money.


There are around 63 primary schools, 14 secondary schools, and three special schools in the Metropolitan Borough of Bury.[21] Overall, Bury was ranked 23rd out of the all the local education authorities in SATs performance and 3rd in Greater Manchester in 2006.[22] In 2007, the Bury LEA was ranked 45th out of 148 in the country – and 3rd in Greater Manchester – based on the percentage of pupils attaining at least 5 A*-C grades at GCSE including Maths and English (47.8% compared with the national average of 45.8%).[23] The schools of the area compete annually in the Bury Schools Athletics Championships.

There are two further education colleges in the borough - Bury College, which was formerly Bury Technical College and Peel Sixth Form College. There is also Holy Cross College, formerly Bury Convent Grammar School. In 2007 it was named 7th in the country.


As of February 2004, Bury has 5 Grade I, 8 Grade II*, and 228 Grade II listed buildings.[24]

Bury is at the heart of the largest public art scheme in the UK - the Irwell Sculpture Trail. Works in the borough include ones by Ulrich Ruckriem, at Radcliffe and Edward Allington, at Ramsbottom with his "Tilted Vase". Ruckriem[25] is one of Germany's most eminent artists best known for his monumental stone sculptures. His sculpture in Radcliffe, on the site of the former Outwood Colliery, is one of his largest stone settings to date. Edward Allington's Tilted Vase sits in Market Place in the centre of Ramsbottom and has become a distinctive feature of interest.


Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Prestwich

At the 2001 UK census, 73.6% of people in Bury stated they were Christian with 4.94% following the Jewish and 3.74% following the Muslim faiths.[26] The Jewish community in Prestwich and Whitefield is one of the largest in the country.[27] Bury is covered by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford,[28] and the Anglican Diocese of Manchester.[29]

There are four Grade I listed churches in Bury. The Church of All Saints, in Whitefield, was built in 1826.[30] The Parish Church of St Mary, in Radcliffe is a 14th-century church with a 15th-century tower.[31] The Church of St Mary the Virgin, in Prestwich, is a 15th-century church.[32][33] The current Church of St Mary the Virgin, in Bury, was built in 1876 by J. S. Crowther.[32][34] Of the eight Grade II* listed buildings in Bury, two are churches: Christ Church, Walshaw and the Presbyterian Chapel in Ainsworth.[35]

The original Jewish immigrant community in Manchester was based in the inner city. As in other cities the community gradually moved outward geographically and upward economically from its roots establishing itself in the more leafy suburbs of Prestwich, Crumpsall and Broughton Park. Later a second migration of young families in the mid-1960s sought pastures even further away from these traditional areas settling in Whitefield, Sunny Bank and Unsworth.[36] There are now about 10 synagogues in the Borough.[37]

Twin towns

The Metropolitan Borough of Bury has five twin towns, in China, France, Germany and the United States.[38][39][40] Two of these were originally twinned with a place within the Metropolitan Borough prior to its creation in 1974.

Country Place County / District / Region / State Originally twinned with Date
China Datong Shanxi Metropolitan Borough of Bury 2003
France Tulle Limousin Municipal Borough of Prestwich 1969
France Angoulême Poitou-Charentes County Borough of Bury 1959
Germany Schorndorf Baden-Württemberg Metropolitan Borough of Bury 1994
United States Woodbury New Jersey Metropolitan Borough of Bury 2000

See also



  1. ^ "Resident Population Estimates by Ethnic Group (Percentages)". Office for National Statistics. 
  2. ^ Clark 1973, p. 101.
  3. ^ a b c "Council's Lowry sold for £1.25M". London: BBC Online. 17 November 2006. Retrieved 15 January 2008. 
  4. ^ MLA - Press Releases - MLA removes Bury Art Gallery and Museum from national accreditation scheme
  5. ^ Bury Election results 2008
  6. ^ Bury Metropolitan Borough Council
  7. ^ Britton, Paul (1 February 2008). "Bury to vote on mayor". Manchester Evening News. 
  8. ^ "Bury elected mayor plan rejected". BBC News. 4 July 2008. 
  9. ^ a b "Bury Metropolitan Borough key statistics". Retrieved 17 January 2008. 
  10. ^ "Bury Metropolitan Borough population density". Retrieved 17 January 2008. 
  11. ^ "Bury Metropolitan Borough household data". Retrieved 17 January 2008. 
  12. ^ "Bury Metropolitan Borough housing data". Retrieved 17 January 2008. 
  13. ^ "Bury Metropolitan Borough economic activity data". Retrieved 17 January 2008. 
  14. ^ "Bury Metropolitan Borough qualifications". Retrieved 17 January 2008. 
  15. ^ "Bury Metropolitan Borough country of birth data". Retrieved 17 January 2008. 
  16. ^ "Bury Metropolitan Borough ethnic group data". Retrieved 17 January 2008. 
  17. ^ "Bury District: total population". Vision of Britain.  Retrieved on 20 December 2008.
  18. ^ "A Vision of Britain through Time Standardised Industry data". 
  19. ^ "Election 2010 - Bury - Con lose to NOC".  
  20. ^ "Bury Metropolitan Borough Council comprehensive performance assessment (CPA) scorecard 2006".  
  21. ^ Bury Metropolitan Borough Council. "Bury local authority schools". Retrieved 2 February 2008. 
  22. ^ "LEA SATs performance". London: BBC Online. 7 December 2006. Retrieved 18 December 2007. 
  23. ^ "How different LEAs performed". London: BBC Online. 17 January 2007. Retrieved 18 December 2007. 
  24. ^ Bury Metropolitan Borough Council (19 February 2004). "Bury's historic built environment" (DOC). Retrieved 27 May 2008. 
  25. ^ "Ulrich Rückriem". 
  26. ^ "Bury Metropolitan Borough religion data". Retrieved 17 January 2008. 
  27. ^ Bury Metropolitan Borough Council. "Prestwich local area partnership". Retrieved 28 January 2008. 
  28. ^ "Parishes of the Diocese". Archived from the original on 2 May 2007. Retrieved 7 May 2007. 
  29. ^ "About the Diocese of Manchester" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 February 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2008. 
  30. ^ "Church of All Saints". Images of England. Retrieved 23 December 2007. 
  31. ^ "Church of St Mary and St Bartholomew". Images of England. Retrieved 23 December 2007. 
  32. ^ a b Bury Metropolitan Borough Council. "Church of St Mary". Retrieved 23 December 2007. 
  33. ^ "Church of St Mary". Images of England. Retrieved 23 December 2007. 
  34. ^ "Parish Church of St Mary, Bury". Images of England. Retrieved 13 January 2008. 
  35. ^ Bury Metropolitan Borough Council. "Church of St Mary". Retrieved 24 January 2008. 
  36. ^ "Bury Hebrew Congregation History". Retrieved 24 January 2008. 
  37. ^ "Greater Manchester Synagogues". Retrieved 24 January 2008. 
  38. ^ Twinning : ChinaBury Council : Retrieved 8 January 2010
  39. ^ Bury Council : Twinning : France Retrieved 8 January 2010
  40. ^ Twinning : United States of AmericaBury Council : Retrieved 8 January 2010


  • Clark, David M. (1973). "Greater Manchester Votes: A Guide to the New Metropolitan Authorities". Redrose. 

External links

  • Bury MBC website

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