The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has issued guidance for councils on Celebrating the Historic Counties of England . This guidance sets out the rationale for the promotion of the historic counties and what local authorities can currently do in relation to placing boundary road signs, flying county flags and celebrating county days. It also collates into one place the relevant guidance and regulations, Ordnance Survey mapping resources, county flags resources and list of the county days.
Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry MP said “I am proud that we’re helping councils celebrate our nation’s great historic counties and their rich cultures.”
The Government is also planning to fly all of the registered historic county flags outside Parliament on Historic County Flags Day (July 23rd) and is encouraging local authorities to join in the celebration.
Peter Boyce, Chairman of ABC said,”We are delighted that the Government has issued this guidance. It draws together the various positive moves the Government has made in recent years, at the suggestion of ABC, to encourage the proper recognition of the importance of the historic counties to our national life. It is good to know that the Government is still committed to our historic counties and is now encouraging local authorities to celebrate them.”
Peter Boyce continued, “The biggest challenge our historic counties face is the continued use of the terms “county” and “county council” within local government parlance. Our historic counties and local government are both vital parts of our society, but they are totally different things. To persist in calling some local authorities “county council” and let them make wholly inappropriate, unqualified use of historic county names when they only cover a part of that county (e.g. “Lancashire County Council”, “Staffordshire County Council”) confuses everyone and undermines the identities of the historic counties. We very much hope that over the coming years the Government will move to a system of local government terminology which gives local government a clearly separate identity to that of our historic counties. This would be to the huge benefit of the historic counties and local government.”