The City of Leeds is a local government district of West Yorkshire, England, governed by Leeds City Council, with the status of a city and metropolitan borough. The metropolitan district includes the administrative centre Leeds and the ten towns of Farsley, Garforth, Guiseley, Horsforth, Morley, Otley, Pudsey, Rothwell, Wetherby and Yeadon. It has a population of 774,100 (mid-2015 est.), making it the second largest local government district in England by population behind Birmingham; it is also the second largest metropolitan district by area behind Doncaster.
The current city boundaries were set on 1 April 1974 by the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972, as part a reform of local government in England. The city is a merger of eleven former local government districts; the unitary City and County Borough of Leeds combined with the municipal boroughs of Morley and Pudsey, the urban districts of Aireborough, Garforth, Horsforth, Otley and Rothwell, and parts of the rural districts of Tadcaster, Wharfedale and Wetherby from the West Riding of Yorkshire.
For its first 12 years the city had a two-tier system of local government; Leeds City Council shared power with the West Yorkshire County Council. Since the Local Government Act 1985 Leeds City Council has effectively been a unitary authority, serving as the sole executive, deliberative and legislative body responsible for local policy, setting council tax, and allocating budget in the city, and is a member of the Leeds City Region Partnership. Thc City of Leeds is divided into 31 civil parishes and a single unparished area.
The district and its settlements are situated in the eastern foothills of the Pennines astride the River Aire whose valley, the Aire Gap, provides a road and rail corridor that facilitates communications with cities to the west of the Pennines. The district extends 15 miles (24 km) from east to west and 13 miles (21 km) from north to south; with over 65% covered with green belt land. The highest point, at 1,115 feet (340 m), is at its north western extremity on the eastern slopes of Rombalds Moor, better known as Ilkley Moor, on the boundary with the City of Bradford. The lowest points are at around 33 feet (10 m), in the east: where River Wharfe crosses the boundary with North Yorkshire south of Thorp Arch Trading Estate and where the River Aire (at this point forming the City of Wakefield boundary) meets the North Yorkshire boundary near Fairburn Ings. To the north and east Leeds is bordered by North Yorkshire: Harrogate district to the north and Selby district to the east. The remaining borders are with other districts of West Yorkshire: Wakefield to the south, Kirklees to the south west, and Bradford to the west.
Leeds has a diverse economy with the service sector now dominating over the traditional manufacturing industries. It is the location of one of the largest financial centres in England outside London. New tertiary industries such as retail, call centres, offices and media have contributed to a high rate of economic growth. This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Leeds at current basic prices with figures in millions of British pounds sterling.
Education Leeds, a non-profit company owned by Leeds City Council, provided educational services between 2001 and 2011. From April 2011 Leeds City Council has since disbanded Education Leeds and has consolidated educational services into a Children's Services Department of the council itself.