Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Independent England: The English Counties

In my second post on the kind of independent England I would like to see I'm looking at the regional divisions of England.

The nation of England is currently being divided into a number of fake regional areas with no historical or communal concept. These divisions are prompted by the EU and supported by various politicians and public bodies without consent from the people of England.

But England already has a successful and established regional division system. The County system.

Just about everyone in England sees themselves not just as English, but as a member of their county. It's reflected in the way we speak, the words we use and the customs we practice. Our counties are integral to our identity as Englishmen and women.

England should return to the historical 39 (I'm not including Monmouthshire) counties with the pre-1974 borders. The fake metropolitan counties - such as Greater Manchester - should be abolished and become once more a part of a county.

Each county should have a "County Town". The seat of county government and administration.

Any future English constitution should acknowledge and secure these historic counties and their borders making it impossible for any future government to interfere with them.

Any future English constitution should acknowledge and guarantee that the county will be the largest regional division of England.

Any future English constitution should acknowledge and guarantee that county government will be the highest level of government beneath that of the national government and that no other regional body may have authority over them other than national government.

The Counties and their county towns.
County (Abb.) County Town
Bedfordshire (Beds.) Bedford
Berkshire (Berks.) Reading
Buckinghamshire (Bucks.) Aylesbury
Cambridgeshire (Cambs.) Cambridge
Cheshire (none) Chester
Cornwall (none) Truro
Cumberland (none) Carlisle
Derbyshire (Derbys.) Matlock
Devon (none) Exeter
Dorset (none) Dorchester
County Durham (Durham or Co. Durham) Durham
Essex (none) Chelmsford
Gloucestershire (Gloucs.) Gloucester
Hampshire (Hants.) Winchester
Herefordshire (Hereford) Hereford
Hertfordshire (Herts.) Hertford
Huntingdonshire (Hunts.) Huntingdon
Kent (none) Maidstone
Lancashire (Lancs.) Preston
Leicestershire (Leics.) Leicester
Lincolnshire (Lincs.) Lincoln
Middlesex (Middx.) Brentford
Norfolk (none) Norwich
Northamptonshire (Northants.) Northampton
Northumberland (none) Morpeth
Nottinghamshire (Notts.) Nottingham
Oxfordshire (Oxon.) Oxford
Rutland (none) Oakham
Shropshire (Salop) Shrewsbury
Somerset (Somt.) Taunton
Staffordshire (Staffs.) Stafford
Suffolk (none) Ipswich
Surrey (none) Guildford
Sussex (none) Chichester
Warwickshire (Warks.) Warwick
Westmorland (none) Appleby
Wiltshire (Wilts.) Trowbridge
Worcestershire (Worcs.) Worcester
Yorkshire (Yorks.) York


Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more with both of your opening posts, Stan. The Monarchy and our traditional counties must be the foundations upon which the country is eventually rebuilt.

Just one thing, though; the county town of my home county, Lancashire, is traditionally the City of Lancaster; unless, of course you know different...

Stan said...

You're right that Lancaster was the traditional county town of Lancashire (and I really think it should be the current one), but I think the current location of County Hall is Preston. I'm not certain of that, though.

Anonymous said...

You're certainly right that County Hall is in Preston and that the city is the 'administrative capital' of the county as it currently stands.

Being a traditionalist, though, I'll stick with Lancaster as our county town, with the much bigger and increasingly impressive City of Preston as our political centre.

So we're both right then!

Keep up the good work, it's really refreshing and heartening to read.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't disagree with most of what you have written although I would question your use of the term "pre-1974" as a basis for the time that our traditional counties were unmolested by beurocratic vandalism as this date is certainly not the case for my own county (Middlesex) as our boandaries were compromised by the creation of the "county" of London in 1889 (along with Surrey and Kent) and the administrative county was abolished entirely in 1965 by the creation of the Greater London metropolitan "county" which also further compromised Surrey's and Kent's boundaries along with those of Essex and Hertfordshire. Totally agree with your sentiments though, but as you can see for Middlesex, by 1974 the horse had well and truly bolted!