Tyne and Wear is a metropolitan county in the North East region of England around the mouths of the rivers Tyne and Wear. It came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. It consists of the five metropolitan boroughs of South Tyneside, North Tyneside, City of Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead and City of Sunderland. It is bounded on the east by the North Sea, and has borders with Northumberland to the north and County Durham to the south. Prior to the 1974 reforms, the territory now covered by the county of Tyne and Wear straddled the border between the counties of Northumberland and Durham, the border being marked by the river Tyne; that territory also included five county boroughs. Tyne and Wear County Council was abolished in 1986, and so its districts are now unitary authorities. However, the metropolitan county continues to exist in law and as a geographic frame of reference, and as a ceremonial county.