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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.
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a metropolitan county of central England, administered since 1986 by the unitary authorities of Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley, Sandwell, Birmingham, Solihull, and Coventry. Area: 899 sq. km (347 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005