On 10th September 2017 a letter from the British Counties campaign was published in The Telegraph:
SIR – 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. More latterly “ceremonial” counties have clashed with traditional boundaries.
This arose despite the protests of millions who did not want county identity messed with, but were forced to live in new areas.
Government initiatives recently have tried to offset confusion by stressing the continued existence of counties. The job is half done. 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”. Council areas could be called simply “areas”. Ceremonial lieutenancies must align to real counties.
We need care of names for fire, health, police and “regions” used for statistics.
The government must encourage use of county names and boundaries for maps, signs, post, national media and business including online. Councils should promote counties, children be taught about them.
A Bill, created by the British Counties Campaign, enacted now, will allow county use for practical, economic and cultural benefit. It will eliminate county confusion. We will know where we are now, as well as where we are going.
Sir David Amess MP (Con)
Sir Henry Bellingham MP (Con)
Gregory Campbell MP (DUP)
James Gray MP (Con)
Sir Edward Leigh MP (Con)
Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP (Con)
Martin Vickers MP (Con)