Glasgow Clyde College, Cardonald Campus is a medium-sized Further education institute located in Glasgow's South Side, in Scotland. Opened in 1972, it has over 12,000 full-time and part-time students; the college takes both students who have just left mature students. The main campus is located in the South Cardonald area of Cardonald, close to Mosspark; this Campus is located 5 miles from Glasgow's city centre. Glasgow Clyde College is linked to the Caledonian University; the Mosspark Drive Campus is located on Mosspark Drive. This is the main campus and is where the College's full-time and a majority of its part-time courses are held. In 2004 Building Design Partnership was appointed architect and design team leader for a major refurbishment and development project at the campus; this comprised building a new Family Centre and an Industry Skills Centre, as well as refurbishment of the existing tower block at the campus. The Skills Centre was financed by a donation from the Robertson Trust of £100,000.
In 1975 Strathclyde Region became the administering authority of the college. In 1993 the funding of further education colleges passed from local government to central government and the responsibility for Cardonald College devolved to a Board of Management. Glasgow Clyde College offers a range of qualifications certified by the Scottish Qualifications Authority. A number of these are: Intermediate 1 Intermediate 2 Highers Higher National Certificate Higher National Diploma Professional Development Awards Scottish Vocational Qualification Glasgow Clyde College is split up into five faculties; these are: Access & Continuing Learning Care, Science & Sport Creative Industries Technology & Business Training Solutions Some of the courses offered by these faculties are: Access & Continuing Learning ESOL Food Hygiene Access to Humanities Social Sciences Choose Health Care, Science & Sport Early Educations & Childcare Mental Health First Aid Emergency First Aid First Aid at work Hairdressing Applied Science Health & Biological Science Flexible Maths Flexible Physics Creative Industries Applied Arts English Design and Craft Pattern Drafting/Development Practical Journalism Television, Photography & Film Technology & Business Administration & Information Technology Technology for Administrators Administration Music Technology Cardonald College became the first Scottish higher education facility to become accredited by the Chartered Insurance Institute for its financial planning course.
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education is a government organisation in charge of checking the quility of education proved at a learning facility. The most recent HMIE inspection took place on week beginning 10 March 2008. HMIE found that Cardonald College had effective teaching processes; that it was helping students progress, achieving suitable outcomes and that the college is managing well and increasing the quality of its services for its students On 17 November 2011 Cardonald College announced it had entered merger talks with Anniesland College and on 28 March 2012 it was announced by Cardonald College principal, Susan Walsh, that a merger with Cardonald College, Anniesland College and Langside College was "highly likely."On 30 July 2012 the colleges agreed to push ahead with merger plans and named The Guardian reporter and Cardonald College journalism lecturer, Kirsty Scott, the Merger Communications Manager. On 28 August 2012 a formal consultation was launched and ran until 16 November 2012.
On 14 December 2012 Cardonald College principal Susan Walsh was appointed principal of the new college. On 1 August 2013, Cardonald College, along with Anniesland College and Langside College, were absorbed to form Glasgow Clyde College; as a result of the merger, Cardonald College became Glasgow Clyde College Cardonald Campus. Libby McArthur, Scottish actress Robert Carlyle, Scottish actor Glasgow Clyde College The Drum. http://www.thedrum.co.uk/news/2009/09/21/11429-freight-rebrands-and-repositions-cardonald-college Glasgow Architecture. Http://www.glasgowarchitecture.co.uk/cardonald_college.htm The Robertsone Trust. Https://web.archive.org/web/20090802094046/http://www.therobertsontrust.org.uk/index.php/case_studies/cardonald_college_and_the_beatson_oncology_centr Post Online. Http://www.postonline.co.uk/post/news/1260065/scottish-college-insurance?page=post_breakingnews_story&tempPageName=699623. The Glasgow Story. Http://www.theglasgowstory.com/image.php?inum=TGSA05226 HMIE. https://web.archive.org/web/20110604220159/http://www.hmie.gov.uk/documents/inspection/Cardonald%20College%20Summary.pdf Tic Toc. http://www.tictocfamily.com/showcase/276_cardonald-college Cardonald College - Official website
Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce
Fire services in the United Kingdom
The fire services in the United Kingdom operate under separate legislative and administrative arrangements in England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland. Emergency cover is provided by over fifty agencies; these are known as a fire and rescue service, the term used in modern legislation and by government departments. The older terms of fire brigade and fire service survive in informal usage and in the names of a few organisations. England and Wales have local fire services which are each overseen by a fire authority, made up of representatives of local governments. Fire authorities have the power to raise a Council Tax levy for funding, with the remainder coming from the government. Scotland and Northern Ireland have centralised fire services, so their authorities are committees of the devolved parliaments; the total budget for fire services in 2014-15 was £2.9 billion. Central government maintains national standards and a body of independent advisers through the Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser, created in 2007, while Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services provides direct oversight.
The devolved government in Scotland has HMFSI Scotland. Firefighters in the United Kingdom are allowed to join unions, the main one being the Fire Brigades Union, while chief fire officers are members of the National Fire Chiefs Council, which has some role in national co-ordination; the fire services have undergone significant changes since the beginning of the 21st century, a process, propelled by a devolution of central government powers, new legislation and a change to operational procedures in the light of terrorism attacks and threats. See separate article History of fire safety legislation in the United Kingdom Comprehensive list of recent UK fire and rescue service legislation: Fire services are established and granted their powers under new legislation which has replaced a number of Acts of Parliament dating back more than 60 years, but is still undergoing change. 1938: Fire Brigades Act 1938. This Act provided for centralised co-ordination of fire brigades in Great Britain and made it mandatory for local authorities to arrange an effective fire service.
1947: Fire Services Act 1947 This Act transferred the functions of the National Fire Service to local authorities. Now repealed in England and Wales by Schedule 2 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004. 1959: Fire Services Act 1959 This Act amended the 1947 Act. It was repealed in Wales along with the 1947 Act. 1999: Greater London Authority Act 1999 This act was necessary to allow for the formation of the Greater London Authority and in turn the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority. In 2002, there was a series of national fire strikes, with much of the discontent caused by the aforementioned report into the fire service conducted by Prof Sir George Bain. In December 2002, the Independent Review of the Fire Service was published with the industrial action still ongoing. Bain's report led to a change in the laws relating to firefighting. 2002: Independent Review of the Fire Service published 2004: Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 only applying to England and Wales. 2006: The Regulatory Reform Order 2005 This piece of secondary legislation or statutory instrument replaces several other acts that dealt with fire precautions and fire safety in premises, including the now defunct process of issuing fire certificates.
It came into force on 1 October 2006. The DfCLG has published a set of guides for non-domestic premises: 2006: The Government of Wales Act 2006 gave the National Assembly for Wales powers to pass laws on "Fire and rescue services. Promotion of fire safety otherwise than by prohibition or regulation." But does not prevent future legislation being passed by the UK government which applies to two or more constituent countries. There are further plans to modernise the fire service according to the Local Government Association, its website outlines future changes, specific projects: "The aim of the Fire Modernisation Programme is to adopt modern work practices within the Fire & Rescue Service to become more efficient and effective, while strengthening the contingency and resilience of the Service to react to incidents. " The fire service in England and Wales is scrutinised by a House of Commons select committee. In June 2006, the fire and rescue service select committee, under the auspices of the Communities and Local Government Committee, published its latest report.
Committee report The committee's brief is described on its website: The Communities and Local Government Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure and policy of the Department for Communities and Local Government and its associated bodies. Government response This document, the subsequent government response in September 2006, are important as they outlined progress on the FiReControl, efforts to address diversity and the planned closure of HMFSI in 2007 among many issues. Both documents are interesting as they refer back to Professor Bain's report and the many recommendations it made and continue to put forward the notion that there is an ongoing need to modernise FRSs. For example, where FRSs were inspected by HMFSI, much of this work is now carried out by the National Audit Office. Fire Control On 8 February 2010 the House of Commons Communities and Local Governm
Scottish Ambulance Service
The Scottish Ambulance Service is the NHS Ambulance Services Trust, part of NHS Scotland, which serves all of Scotland's population. Uniquely, the Scottish Ambulance Service is considered a special health board and is funded directly by the Health and Social Care Directorates of the Scottish Government, it is the sole public emergency medical service covering Scotland's mainland and islands. In 1948, the newly formed National Health Service contracted two voluntary organisations, the St Andrew's Ambulance Association and the British Red Cross, to jointly provide a national ambulance provision for Scotland, known as the St Andrew's and Red Cross Scottish Ambulance Service; the British Red Cross withdrew from the service in 1967. In 1974, with the reorganisation of the National Health Service, ambulance provision in Scotland was taken over by the NHS, with the organisational title being shortened to the now-current Scottish Ambulance Service. St. Andrew's First Aid, the trading name of St. Andrew's Ambulance Association, continues as a voluntary organisation and provides first aid training and provision in a private capacity.
The Scottish Ambulance Service now continues in its current form as one of the largest emergency medical providers in the UK, employing more than 4,000 staff in a variety of roles and responding to 740,631 emergency incidents in 2015/2016 alone. The service, like the rest of the National Health Service is free at point of access and is utilised by the public and healthcare professionals alike. Employing 1,300 paramedic staff, a further 1,200 technicians, the accident and emergency service is accessed through the public 999 system. Ambulance responses are now prioritised on patient requirement; the Scottish Ambulance Service maintains three command and control centres in Scotland, which facilitate handling of 999 calls and dispatch of ambulances. These three centres have handle over 800,000 calls per year; the AMPDS system is used for call prioritisation, provides post-dispatch instructions to callers allowing for medical advice to be given over the phone, prior to ambulance arrival. Clinical staff are present to provide tertiary triage.
Co-located with the Ambulance Control Centres are patient transport booking and control services, which handle 1 million patient journeys per year. The Scottish Ambulance Service maintains a varied fleet of around 1,500 vehicles; this includes Accident and Emergency ambulances single-response vehicles such as cars and small vans for paramedics, patient-transport ambulances which come in the form of adapted minibuses and support vehicles for major incidents and events, specialist vehicles such as 4x4s and tracked vehicles for difficult access. The unique geography of Scotland, which includes urban centres such as Edinburgh and Glasgow, areas of low-population such as Grampian and the Highlands, the Island communities mean that fleet provision has to be flexible and include different approaches to vehicle construction. In the past, 4x4-build ambulances on van chassis have been used in more rural areas, traditional van-conversions in more urban. With a large fleet upgrade project being commissioned in 2016, the business case was made to move to a box-body on chassis build, to provide some flexibility and more resilient parts procurement.
Most of these replacement ambulances have been based on either Mercedes or Volkswagen chassis, with a mixture of automatic or manual transmissions. The equipment used on board Scottish Ambulance Service vehicles broadly falls in line with NHS Scotland and allows for intraoperability in most cases. Equipment is replaced at regular service intervals; the uniform falls in line with the NHS Scotland National Uniform standard, in keeping with the uniform standard described by the National Ambulance Uniform Procurement group in 2016. Amongst cost and comfort considerations, all Scottish Ambulance Service Staff now wear the national uniform which comprises a dark green trouser / shirt combination. Personal Protective Equipment are issued to all staff and denote rank / clinical rank by way of epaulette and helmet markings; the national headquarters are in west side of Edinburgh and there are five divisions within the Service, namely: The Patient Transport Service carries over 1.3 million patients every year.
This service is provided to patients who are physically or medically unfit to travel to hospital out-patient appointments by any other means can still make their appointments. The service handles non-emergency admissions, transport of palliative care patients and a variety of other specialised roles. Patient Transport Vehicles come in a variety of forms and are staffed by Ambulance Care Assistants, whom work
Paisley Abbey origins date from the 12th century based on a former Cluniac monastery. Following the Reformation in the 16th century the abbey continues to be a Church of Scotland parish kirk, it is located on the east bank of the White Cart Water in the centre of the town of Paisley, about 12 miles west of Glasgow, in Scotland. It is believed; some time after his death a shrine to the Saint was established, becoming a popular site of pilgrimage and veneration. The name Paisley may derive from the Brythonic Passeleg,'basilica', i.e.'major church', recalling an early, though undocumented, ecclesiastical importance. In 1163, Walter FitzAlan, the first High Steward of Scotland issued a charter for a priory to be set up on land owned by him in Paisley, it was dedicated to SS. Mary, James and Milburga. Around 13 monks came from the Cluniac priory at Much Wenlock in Shropshire to found the community. Paisley grew so that it was raised to the status of abbey in 1245. Monks from Paisley founded Crossraguel Abbey in Carrick, Ayrshire, in 1244.
In 1307, Edward I of England had the abbey burned down. However, it was rebuilt in the 14th century. William Wallace, born in nearby Elderslie is believed to have been educated for some time when he was a boy in the abbey. In 1316, Marjorie Bruce, daughter of Robert I of Scotland and wife of Walter Stewart, the sixth High Steward of Scotland, was out riding near the abbey. During the ride, she fell from her horse and as she was pregnant at the time, she was taken to Paisley Abbey for medical care. There, King Robert II was born by caesarean section, in a time when anaesthesia wouldn't have been available, she was buried at the abbey. A cairn, at the junction of Dundonald Road and Renfrew Road one mile to the north of the Abbey, marks the spot where she reputedly fell from her horse. In 1491, absolution was granted by Abbot George Shaw, representing the Pope and in the presence of the relics, to James IV of Scotland and others implicated in the death of James III at the Battle of Sauchieburn. By 1499 Shaw had had built a new, larger pilgrims' chapel and added the sculptured stone frieze which can still be seen today, showing scenes from the life of St Miren.
It was brightly painted and may have been part of a rear panel of an altar before being put up as a frieze on the wall. A succession of fires and the collapse of the tower in the 15th and 16th centuries left the building in a ruined state. Although the western section was still used for worship, the eastern section was plundered for its stone. From 1858 to 1928 the north porch and the eastern choir were reconstructed on the remains of the ruined walls by the architect Macgregor Chalmers. After his death, work on the choir was completed by Sir Robert Lorimer. Paisley Abbey is the burial place of all six High Stewards of Scotland, Marjorie Bruce, the mother of Robert II and the wives of Robert II and King Robert III; the Celtic Barochan Cross, once sited near the village of Houston, Renfrewshire, is now located inside the abbey itself. The cross is thought to date from the 10th century. In the abbey's nave, the Wallace Memorial Window, which depicts the image of Samson, was donated in 1873. In the early 1990s an ancient vaulted drain of fine construction 13th century in date, was rediscovered running from the abbey to the White Cart.
Archaeological investigations and excavations took place in 1996, 3–16 September 2009, 2–12 September 2011 and 4 September 2013 and many items discovered. Some of these are now on display in the abbey; these include: a slate with music marked on it -, believed to be the oldest example of polyphonic music found in Scotland imported cloth seals chamber pots from c.1500 tweezers carved bone handles pottery fragments slate fragments The drain is thought to date from AD 1350-1400 and is at least 90 metres long, up to 2m wide and up to 2.2m high. The drain contains stonemasons marks on the walls, marks where gates used to be located. A virtual tour of the drain is available on YouTube. Events to involve the public in the archaeological investigation of the drain have been held, with the Renfrewshire Local History Forum. Paisley Abbey Drain is designated by Historic Environment Scotland as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and has similarities to other monastery drains, such as Fountains Abbey, Dundrennan Abbey and Melrose Abbey.
A tomb in the choir incorporating a much restored female effigy is believed to be that of Marjorie Bruce. Although there is no evidence that she is buried at that location, her remains are thought to be within the abbey; the tomb is reconstructed from fragments of different origin - the base, is to have formed part of the pulpitum of the Abbey, such as survives at Glasgow Cathedral. Opposite Marjorie Bruce lie the tombs of Robert III of Simon fitz Alan. Stained glass began to be replaced in the 1870s. Major works include a window by the huge east window by Douglas Strachan; the dramatic memorial window to James D. D. Shaw is by John Clark; the Abbey organ is reputedly one of the finest in Scotland, was built by the most distinguished of all 19th-century organ builders, Cavaillé-Coll of Paris in 1872. This is one of only six in the UK. Since 1872 it has been extended four times; the organ as rebuilt by Walkers in 1968 has 65 stops and 5448 pipes. In 2009 the instrument underwent
Glasgow City Council
Glasgow City Council, the local government body of the city of Glasgow, became one of the newly created single tier local authorities in 1996, under the Local Government etc. Act 1994, with boundaries somewhat different from those of the City of Glasgow district of the Strathclyde region: parts of the Cambuslang and Halfway and Rutherglen and Fernhill areas were transferred from the city area to the new South Lanarkshire council area; the district had been created in 1975 under the Local Government Act 1973 to include: the former county of the city of Glasgow and a number of areas within the county of Lanark: Cambuslang, part of a Carmunnock area and Baillieston, Garrowhill, Mount Vernon and Springboig. The early city was run by the old "Glasgow Town Council". In 1895, the Town Council became "The Corporation of the City of Glasgow", it retained this title until local government re-organisation in 1975, when it became "City of Glasgow District Council". In 1996, following the dissolution of Strathclyde Regional Council and Glasgow District Council, their responsibilities transferred to the new single-tier local authority Glasgow City Council.
The title Lord Provost of Glasgow, used now for the civic leader of the city council, has history dating from the 15th century. During World War I, the council was unique in the United Kingdom in appointing an official war artist, Frederick Farrell. Glasgow Corporation Transport was under the control of the Glasgow Corporation, ran the local buses and Glasgow Trams, until it was superseded by the Greater Glasgow Passenger Transport Executive on 1 June 1973. During the period of two tier local government, 1975 to 1996, Glasgow District Council was responsible for refuse collection, museums and housing, while Strathclyde Regional Council had responsibilities for policing, fire service, education, social work and transport; the city council established in 1996, took on the powers and responsibilities divided between councils of the Glasgow City district and the Strathclyde region. The council area borders onto East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire.
The council is ceremonially headed by the Lord Provost of Glasgow, elected to convene the council and perform associated tasks as a general civic leader and Lord Lieutenant. The current incumbent is Eva Bolander; the council's executive branch is headed by a Leader of the Council, the leader of the largest political grouping the Scottish National Party. The executive committee is formed of 19 members across all the elected parties proportionally, however this would have given the SNP a majority of 10 seats despite not gaining one through the election; the Greens proposed an amendment to add an additional seat for each party, making the SNP the biggest minority party. It was passed and so its composition of 23 seats is currently: The council consists of 85 councillors elected for a five-year term from 23 wards; these wards were introduced for the 2017 election, replacing those introduced in 2007, each returns three or four members by the single transferable vote system of election. This system was introduced by the Local Governance Act 2004, as a means of ensuring a reasonably proportionately representative outcome.
The most recent full council election took place on Thursday 4 May 2017. The Scottish National Party did not gain an overall majority. A new multi-member ward system was introduced for the 2017 council election: A previous multi-member ward system was introduced for the 2007 council election: Prior to the 2007 election, there were 79 councillors elected from 79 single-member wards by the plurality system of election; the result from this system in 2003 was 69 of the 79 councillors representing the Labour Party, although that party gained only around half the votes cast in the election to the council, the Scottish National Party represented by just four councillors, despite gaining some 20% of the votes. There were three Liberal Democrat councillors, one Conservative councillor, one Scottish Socialist Party councillor; the 1999 council election result was more skewed in terms of seats and overall vote share due to the voting system in use, with Labour receiving 74 seats from 49% of the vote and the SNP receiving 2 seats from 29%
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K