[Talk-GB] Admin Boundaries and Combined Authorities

Colin Smale colin.smale at xs4all.nl
Tue Jul 28 13:51:21 UTC 2020

On 2020-07-28 14:41, Dan Glover wrote:

> Other observations, if I may?
> Levels 4 and 6 give UK-wide coverage and level has complete coverage of England. The Combined Authorities are relatively sparse in their coverage (by area - by population is a different matter) so there would be significant gaps in Level 5 under this proposal. Unused Level 7 would "work" in the case of the Greater London Authority - which otherwise doesn't seem to exist except at Level 5 - it has always been a special case. I've not looked at the detailed composition of the Combined Authorities but the problem seems to be they're groupings of entities currently in Levels 6 and 8 (and might straddle boundaries in the current Level 5?) so the hierarchical aspect perhaps cannot be preserved.

I don't believe they currently straddle Region boundaries, but that may
be more by accident than design. They certainly contain mixtures of UAs
and Districts, and sometimes straddle "ceremonial county" boundaries.
This makes it a challenge to fit them into a true hierarchy. 

The GLA is legally a special case, but in practical terms it is very
like a Metropolitan County (now abolished) with Metropolitan Districts
as constituent parts. The London Boroughs are at level 8, so in that
respect the GLA would slot right in at level 6; but the GLA also covers
the City of London, which is currently also at level 6. 

> Stepping back: how is the map data being used? Is a way to identify the Combined Authorities now more relevant than the (English) Government Regions? Should this be handled in some other way than admin_level, which looks as though it's intended for countries where everything is in a strict and consistent hierarchy?

My thought is that the Government Regions can safely be migrated to
boundary=statistical as someone has already mentioned (sorry I forget
exactly who). 

An alternative approach for CAs is to model them as collections of other
objects - in OSM terms, a relation with the constituent area relations
as members. This would allow the individual relations to be given roles
within the CA, thus creating a possibility to include "associate
members" and non-local-authority members (such as fire services which
have their own relations in OSM) that are sometimes legally represented
in the CA governance.
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