Article in The Daily Mail, 12 Sept 2017.

Wigan, Lancashire.

The letter and article in the Telegraph was reported on in The Daily Mail on 12th September:

Strong borders! Make county names clearer, say MPs as campaigners claim local council districts have blurred traditional boundaries.

MPs are backing calls to reinforce Great Britain’s centuries-old county borders on maps and road signs.

Campaigners say traditional boundaries have been blurred by the introduction of local council districts.

Politicians are now supporting calls for a law to strengthen old boundaries and restore county identities.

The British Counties Campaign has compiled a list of more than 600 towns and villages which are considered by some to lie in more than one county.

For instance, Wigan is considered by some to be in Greater Manchester, and others to be in Lancashire.

While there is confusion over whether Stokenchurch is in Buckinghamshire or Oxfordshire, and if Grange-Over-Sands sits in Cumbria or Lancashire.

In a letter signed by seven MPs, the campaign said a government bill was needed to ‘eliminate county confusion’.

It read: “Our 92 counties, many of them 1,000 years old, are a key part of our heritage as geographic and cultural reference points. While in Northern Ireland county identity is clear, in England, Scotland and Wales the situation is blurred.

Legislation in the Sixties and Seventies caused confusion in county identity by mixing traditional counties with administrative creations.

Counties must be re-established as standard references for cultural, sporting and other activities.

A government Bill is needed to ensure that ‘county’ refers to traditional counties only, with no separate administrative or ceremonial ‘counties’.”

Campaign founder Pam Moorhouse, 71, said: ‘The present government is still wasting public money destroying the traditional counties against the wishes of the population.’

The letter, printed in the Telegraph yesterday, was signed by Tory MPs Sir David Amess, Sir Henry Bellingham, James Gray, Sir Edward Leigh, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Martin Vickers, and the DUP’s Gregory Campbell.

The Association of British Counties, a separate group, has also backed the campaign.

A spokesman said: ‘We believe that the historic counties should continue to have a separate identity to local government.

‘They are best used as a basis for general-purpose geography, and for cultural and sporting activities.’

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