Hampshire welcomes St George's Day initiative on use of traditional county names
Thursday 24 April 2014
Hampshire County Council Leader, Councillor Roy Perry, has welcomed the St George's Day initiative of Local Government Minister, Eric Pickles, to authorise the use of traditional county names on street and road signs.
Hampshire County Council previously objected when the Post Office dropped the use of county names from official postal addresses.
Over the years, counties like Berkshire and Middlesex have disappeared, but Hampshire remains as probably the oldest named county in England, with references in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle of 757 AD of 'Ham-Tun-Scire'. This is the oldest known reference to Hampshire, and is thought to be the oldest reference to any county, by name.
Councillor Roy Perry said: "I very much welcome Eric Pickles' action. It is important we help people retain a sense of identity and community, and the 'shires' of England are of great antiquity and permanence, and none more so than our county of Hampshire. We still have name signs for Hampshire but some counties have lost that right, and it is good that is being restored.
"The great challenge for the County Council today, is to take the very best of our past, modernise for the future and ensure we remain relevant in providing low-cost, high-value public services.
"I sometimes remind Ministers when they visit Hampshire's headquarters in Winchester that there has been a Hampshire before there was an England, and the Great Hall in Winchester is there, ready and waiting, as a seat for an English Parliament. After all, in the Middle Ages, Parliaments often met in Winchester, and if Scotland is to get independence or yet more devolved power, the people of England deserve more say over issues that affect them. It is high time there was an English Parliament, at least with the powers of the devolved assemblies in Northern Ireland and Wales, let alone Scotland."