Birmingham is home to two professional football teams: Aston Villa and Birmingham City (nearby West Bromwich Albion's ground The Hawthorns used to be divided by the Birmingham/ Smethwick border, but was moved completely into the latter by a minor rationalisation of local government borders in the 1960s and is now in Sandwell).
Birmingham has three universities: The University of Birmingham, Aston University and The University of Central England (UCE, formerly Birmingham Polytechnic). The UCE has asked Aston to consider a merger.
shown within West Midlands
Most of Birmingham was traditionally a part of Warwickshire. The city became a county borough in 1889. It later became a part of the West Midlands metropolitan county upon its creation in 1974. Since the West Midlands county council was abolished in 1986 it has been a unitary authority area.
Birmingham City Council is the largest local authority in the UK, consisting of 117 elected members (Councillors) , representing 39 wards (local electoral districts) .
The council is currently controlled by the Labour Party, led by Councillor Sir Albert Bore , although there is no overall majority.
Due in part to its central location, Birmingham is a major transport hub. see
A plethora of railway lines from all over Britain radiate from Birmingham New Street station, the central hub of the UK rail network, with regular train services to all the major cities in the UK including London. Trains to London can currently also be caught at Birmingham Snow Hill station, though Snow Hill's London services are due to be diverted into Moor Street station in 2004.
Local rail and bus services (in the West Midlands county) are overseen by the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive, Centro, which works under the policy and financial guidance of the West Midlands Passenger Transport Authority. Travel West Midlands (Travel WM) runs the majority of bus services.
The Midland Metro, a light-rail tram system promoted by Centro, currently connects Birmingham to Wolverhampton via West Bromwich and Wednesbury. Further expansion in Birmingham City Centre has been approved.
The M6 motorway connects Birmingham to London and the south, and the north-east of England and Scotland. Junction 6 of the M6 is also one of Birmingham's most famous landmarks, and probably the most famous motorway junction in the UK: Spaghetti Junction, officially called the Gravelly Hill Interchange. Other motorways include:
•The M40, which connects Birmingham to London and Oxford;
•The M5, connecting Birmingham to the south-west of England; and
•The M42 motorway connects Birmingham to the East Midlands.
•The M6 Toll, which enables through traffic on the M6 to bypass Birmingham.
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Birmingham is served by Birmingham International Airport, which has flights to all over Europe and to New York. The airport is connected directly to the rail network at Birmingham International Station. Small Claims
Although it has no major river (the Rea, on which the City was founded, is now little more than a culverted stream, and the Tame, which only passes through the northern suburbs, is not navigable), Birmingham is at the hub of the country's canal network. Canals in Birmingham include:
•the Birmingham Canal Navigations network
•the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal
•the Birmingham and Worcester Canal
•the Grand Union Canal.
13 Sep 2015 ... Welcome to the official web site of Birmingham Airport.