YDM Launch “Yorkshire Boundaries Campaign”
It is an interesting time just now for Traditional/Historic counties. More and more of them are following Yorkshire’s lead in adopting County flags and dedicating an annual County Day to celebrate their heritage and identity; A growing number of MPs are signing up to a campaign for the recognition of the UK’s Traditional Counties, The British Counties Campaign, which Yorkshire Devolution Movement actively support*; The Association of British Counties has noticeably also stepped up its activities in promoting the Traditional Counties on social media; Historic County Flags Day was celebrated on 23rd July when all the flags of the traditional counties, including Yorkshire’s, were flown around Westminster Square in London; In addition, the Government has recently issued new Guidance to Local Authorities in respect of how they should recognise and promote the importance of our Historic Counties. This includes flying Traditional County flags in public places, marking the boundaries of Traditional Counties on roads, and more. With this in mind, Yorkshire Devolution Movement marked Yorkshire Day this year by launching our “Yorkshire Boundaries Campaign”.
On 1st August we wrote to the Leaders of all the Local Authorities whose administrative area either straddles the traditional boundary of Yorkshire or is a part of Yorkshire sharing a stretch of Yorkshire’s boundary but is within another Government Region. These are: Middlesbrough, Stockton Borough, Durham County, South Lakeland District, Cumbria County, Ribble Valley Borough, Pendle Borough, Lancashire County, Oldham, Greater Manchester and North Lincolnshire.
Our letter brought to their attention the Government’s new Guidance on Historic Counties and asked them to what extent they will apply that Guidance. We particularly asked them if they intend to reinstall road signage marking Yorkshire’s true boundaries which were ripped down after the administrative boundary changes of the Local Government Act 1972 had been imposed. Reinstalling such signage would reaffirm the traditional Yorkshire status of places such as Middlesbrough, Yarm, Thornaby, Startforth, Romaldkirk, Sedbergh, Dent, Slaidburn, Earby, Barnoldswick, Saddleworth, Eastoft and Fockerby. The full extent of these parts of Yorkshire can be seen in this illustration.
A generic copy of our letter can be viewed here. We have already received responses from several Council Leaders and shall collate and publish these in due course. Hopefully, our campaign will result in Yorkshire’s true boundary being marked on more roads and in the wider recognition of the true extent and glory of our great county.
*Our Chair, Nigel Sollitt, delivered a speech at the Northern Launch of the British Counties Campaign and we continue to work with them for mutual benefit. The speech is included in this news article on their website (approximately 1/4 of the page down).
See: Phase 1 Update