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A society dedicated to promoting awareness of the continuing importance of the 92 historic (or traditional) Counties of the United Kingdom.

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Aims and Objectives of ABC

4.1 Public Understanding and Appreciation of the Counties: the Association of British Counties (ABC) seeks to encourage public understanding and appreciation of the geography, history, natural history, architecture, culture and identity of the Counties. It aims to:

  • produce and distribute literature so as to further public understanding and appreciation of the Counties, and encourage others to produce such literature;
  • promote the Counties as tourist destinations and encourage the tourism industry to do likewise.

4.2 Cultural Identity: ABC seeks to sustain and enhance the affection and affinity which people have for individual Counties and for the Counties in general. It aims:

  • to devise and promote ways of celebrating the identities and cultural importance of the Counties.

4.3 The Sporting, Social and Cultural Life of the Counties: ABC seeks to sustain and enhance the role of the Counties as a basis for sporting, social and cultural activities. It aims to lobby for:

  • fair access to public funding for organisations based upon the Counties;
  • fair representation for organisations based upon the Counties on governmental and quasi-governmental advisory bodies, panels, committees, consortia etc. in relation to the arts, sport, and other social or cultural issues.

4.4 The Geography of the Counties: ABC seeks to promote the geography of the Counties as the basis for a standard general-purpose geography for the UK. It aims to:

  • mark the boundaries of the Counties with appropriate signs;promote the County identity of places within the County by signs or other appropriate means;
  • promote the use of County names in postal addressing;
  • produce and distribute maps and other geographical information relating to the Counties;
  • persuade the media, publishers, government and private organisations to adopt the geography of the Counties for all suitable (i.e. non-administrative) purposes.

4.5 The History of the Counties: ABC seeks to promote an appreciation of the role the Counties have played in the history of the nation and an appreciation of the history of the individual Counties. It aims to:

  • promote the general adoption of the definition of the Counties in Section 2 as being the standard for use in studies of history, local history, historical geography and genealogy, and to be that used in cataloguing, indexing and organising historical records and documents;
  • encourage the proper maintenance of the historical records relating to each County as a unit.

4.6 The Counties and Administrative Areas: ABC seeks to promote the fact that the Counties have an existence and importance totally separate from that to any set of administrative areas. It aims to lobby for:

  • an end to the inappropriate use (see 3.2) of County names in administrative area names;
  • an end to the use of the word “county” to describe any administrative area;
  • an end to the use of the phrase “county council” to describe any local authority.


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