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 Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.