Talk:Association of British Counties

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Isn't the latest addition: The association also seems uncertain about how traditional to be. The map shown on its homepage and a larger scale version accept the 1889 reform of local government in Scotland. The separated parts of various counties are not shown. Thus, Ross and Cromarty are shown as one unit. Likewise Morayshire is not cut in two by a large exclave of the County of Inverness. Of the many mainland counties having detached parts, only Dunbartonshire is shown as having two separate areas, a situation left unchanged by the 1889 local government reform. a little POV? Doesn't the map on the ABC web site also show large detached parts of Worcestershire and Flintshire? Owain 13:03, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Not sure what you mean by Isn't the latest addition:
The ABC insists that the 19th century reforms did not effect traditional boundaries, and they do not claim that Scotland should be treated differently
and it seemes a little pointless noting that Worcestershire and Flintshire were not affected by the reform of Scottish local government. garryq 12 Aug
What I wrote was "Isn't the lastest addition [to this page] a little POV?". I thought when you were referring to "mainland counties" you meant the entire of mainland Britain. Possibly a little ambiguous... Owain 18:57, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Apologies. I read it as "[this] Isn't the latest addition:" as if a reference to the ABC's maps, I'll clarify Scottish mainland. but BTW are Worcestershire and Flintshire the only seperated counties except for the furness? --garryq 10:09, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)
As far as the ABC map goes yes - from their map page at : "For the sake of convenience and practicality only the major (i.e. most sizeable) detached parts are shown (specifically those of Flintshire, Lancashire, Dunbartonshire and Worcestershire). All other detached parts are shown as part of the County in which they locally lie." Owain 12:19, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I've reverted the last edit and removed the following text:

The association also seems uncertain about how traditional to be. The map shown on its homepage and a larger scale version accept the 1889 reform of local government in Scotland. The separated parts of various counties are not shown. Thus, Ross and Cromarty are shown as one unit. Likewise Morayshire is not cut in two by a large exclave of the County of Inverness. Of the many mainland counties having detached parts, only Dunbartonshire is shown as having two separate areas, a situation left unchanged by the 1889 local government reform.

The ABC is very clear on its website that its map excludes most exclaves for convenience, and that "Ross-shire and Cromartyshire are show as one unit" (for purposes of a simple map), not that "Ross and Cromarty" is a county in itself. I don't know why it doesn't show the large exclaves of Morayshire - probably cartographical laziness. If you read the "postal directory" section of the website, it is clear to the ABC that Aviemore lies in a detached portion of Morayshire; this portion is not shown on their map "for convenience". The simple map is simply that - a rough impression of the Counties. It isn't a 'manifesto'. Read the text if you want the 'manifesto'. This sort of speculative mud-throwing about "being unsure" is complete poppycock. People should read and understand the ABC's position before trying to extract alleged inconcsistencies from a map that is displayed with the clear warning that it makes no claims to small scale accuracy and only shows a few named exclaves for graphical convenience. 18:56, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)


This article seems to lack balance.--IanDavies 03:17, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Strongly agree. For example, last time I looked the Kingdom of Fife was an historic kingdom, not an historic British county. Just zis Guy you know? 19:20, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
Eh? Why can't you accept that it can be both? This is an article about an organisation that has specific ideals, whether you agree with them or not. Owain (talk) 12:17, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
It's about a minor pressure group of nutters. It's oly because some of those nutters are on Wikipedia and determined to use it to push there reactionary views by adding traditional county articles to parallel the current counties.-- 13:36, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
These people are not "nutters", they are proud of their history and determined that politicians should not take away their identity. As it happens the traditional counties have a continuing legal existence, but even if they didn't, it would be a laudable aim to try and keep the well-known and historic names and areas in the public conscience. Owain (talk) 14:13, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Strange. Weren't the counties ESTABLISHED by politicians (European ones actually - Normans, who ran an Anglo-French-Irish empire) in order to govern the country more efficiently? In the North the Normans more or less ignored traditional divisions and created large counties such as Lancashire and Yorkshire. By 1974 Lancashire had a larger population than many independent nations. Why should not local government boundaries follow changes in population and the requirements of adminstration? Of course we can REMEMBER and celebrate the historic counties - but they exist only as lines on a map.

Exile 15:05, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Actually the Anglo-Saxons established the counties, but okay. Zacwill16 (talk) 07:36, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
I can accept it is both. But for some reaosn only one of the two - the one backed by a pressure group - is on infoboxes. I wonder why that is? Just zis Guy you know? 13:49, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
There is a standard set of counties that have a continuing legal existence and that people continue to use. There are any number of other overlapping mediæval kingdoms that could be used to describe where a place is, but they are entirely dependent on a time-critical context. In the context of counties, the traditional set are still relevant and used today. What is the problem? Owain (talk) 14:13, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
For values of "standard" that exclude legal definitions, and for values of "people" that includes at least some who are pushing an agenda. The problem is that Wikipedia is not a soapbox. Just zis Guy you know? 14:42, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Have you read the relevant legislation? I have. I am not pushing an agenda, other than that of factual accuracy. Owain (talk) 14:50, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Cool. So, in the interests of factual accuracy, you can cite the size of the orgnisation and the significant coverage in reputable sourcves, right? Just zis Guy you know? 17:12, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Membership Size[edit]

There seems to be a revert-war going on regarding the membership size of ABC -- as if to say it's irrelevant as an entity due to the membership size not being known. This assertion is ludicrous; the size of ABC is not an important fact therefore not knowing the size is even less useful! MonMan 14:54, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree. There is clearly a campaign to denigrate traditional counties on Wikipedia; witness the current revert wars and use of sockpuppets on this and related articles. There is no need for it. Owain (talk) 15:00, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
The campaign is by you to push them. -- 13:36, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
I see no such campaign. I do see an attempt to astroturf. This organisation is essentially negligible, it's not even the most significant traditional counties group, and the traditional counties movement is of very little significance. Just zis Guy you know? 13:48, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
You are clearly coming from a non-neutral point-of-view then. There are articles whose wording was agreed on a long time ago that have been edited recently to push one PoV. Have you done ANY research on traditional county groups? The ABC is the umbrella organisation for many other groups such as Friends of Real Lancashire, whereas County Watch are merely a recently-created group of individuals. If you have an objection to their aims then that is fine, but please do not try to suggest that they are negligible or that the aims of people they represent are "of very little significance". Owain (talk) 14:35, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
I had never heard of these people before yesterday. I have done some reading up. I have yet to find any credible evidence that they are considered significant outside theor (unstated) membership. They get fewer Google hits than I do. But thanks for providing another data point to support the evidence that it's always the admins who are non-neutral and activists who are the defenders of balance and fairness :-) Just zis Guy you know? 14:40, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
You haven't heard of them, therefore they are insignificant? Good argument. Please do not use the condescending attitude that admins somehow know more about any given subject than people who have read the legislation and been researching the subject for years. Owain (talk) 14:50, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm not here as an admin, I'm here as an editor. One of the more important things when assessing the importance and influence of an organisation is the number of members. Refusal (clearly not simply failure) to give this information undermines the group's credibility. You allude to affiliated organsiations - which ones? How many members have they? How influential? There is nothing in this article which establishes the significance of this group, and some things which definitely undermine it. I repeat: you get fewer Google hits than I do, and I am not notable in any way. I have a website too (which ususally does work after midnight GMT. One letter in the Telegraph? Big deal - I've had dozens of letters published in the press, and been interviewed on national radio. A name check in Hansard? Big deal - I've been invited to contribute to a government consultation, and I've had early day motions put oon my behalf, and I have corresponded with Ministers and MPs. I see lots of bluster here but no actual conrete verifiable proof of actual notability or importance. So, let's start with the number of members, shall we? That would give a good indication of the significance of the organisation. Just zis Guy you know? 17:23, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

User:JzG - I removed the sentence "The size of the group is not known or stated", because I don't think we can quite say that yet - until we have a statement which can be rigorously defended by evidence, it will be continually reverted. Of course, I think the NPOV tag should stay at least until we have sorted out a rephrasing for this.

My problems with it are the following:

  1. not known... implies nobody at all knows - this may well not be true. Just because we do not know from our research, doesn't mean other people don't know. There is no proof that there aren't people who know
  2. not stated' - well it's not stated on the website, but it might be stated on other materials, such as press releases or lobbying documents. We just don't know.

There's a difference between information being available, and us actually having it. There's a difference between what we don't know and what we can't know.

My date of birth is not stated on my user page (or anywhere else on the web) - but it is publically available, and certainly is known!

If only we were to ask the ABC about their membership, they might well tell us! - we're just too busy sorting out edit wars instead... if they were to refuse to tell us however, then we could fairly say the information is not publically available, but until we do so (or we find documentary evidence saying this info has been withheld previously, say), we can't honestly say.

That the membership isn't available on the website is incontrovertible, but somewhat unnotable - but I personally wouldn't object to it being included if people insist, however Aquilina 17:27, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

It's significant for the reason given above: in the absence of a single cited reliable source, the size of the group is important to establishing whether it is actually notable. As far as I can tell it genuinely is not, since it scores lower on every measure of significance I can think of than I do, and I'm just zis guy, you know? Just zis Guy you know? 19:41, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
If you really think that a number of google hits versus another number of google hits is an accurate indication of notability then it is pointless trying to argue with you. It is the importance of the results that matters, not the absolute number of them. As has been mentioned before, the ABC have been mentioned in many Parliamentary debates whereas I doubt you ever have. Owain (talk) 17:43, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
For two political pressure groups in the same country on the same side of the same issue? It seems like a pretty good rough and ready guide, if nothing more. Feel free to provide evidence of significance. Just zis Guy you know? 18:46, 10 March 2006 (UTC)


I don't understand why this keeps coming up -- this is an article about a group that lobbies for something that some people may find contentious, but surely this article itself is perfectly neutral and eminently factual? Can someone explain how this article--as it stands--is anything but neutral? I'd really like to know. MonMan 04:32, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. The wording is mostly paraphrased from the ABC site itself. It is trivial to compare what it says here to what it says there and notice that they are saying essentially the same thing. As an organisation, they obviously have a PoV, so the addition of a non-neutral PoV template to this page is ludicrous. Owain (talk) 09:44, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Read WP:NPOV. What it means is that the neutrality of the article is disputed - this is a flattering portrait of the organisation but neglects crucial facts. Lack of wider coverage, no information about size etc. You canot tell form this article whether the group are significant or not (and the number of genuinely significant groups whose website fails after midnight GMT is pretty small, I'd suggest). So until the article makes it clear that this is a quixotic bunch with very limited support it is not neutral. Just zis Guy you know? 12:23, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
I think you may have just shown a significant bias there, unless you meant to say: makes it clear that this is a quixotic bunch with very limited support--if that's truely what they are. How about someone actually asks them about some of the things about which we're all wondering? Besides, I don't think the article is the least bit flattering to ABC--it's merely the facts! [BTW, I've not had any connectivity issues to the ABC site from the US] MonMan 16:45, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
See, it's like this: I follow British politics reasonably closely. I am familiar with many of the pressure groups like the weights & measures bunch and so on, but I have never once come across any single reference to this lot. I followed them up in a few news bases (I don't have access to the really good ones as they require subscription) and got precisely zero hits. I am having enormous trouble finding any coverage of this lot at all in reliable sources. Without coverage in reliable sources, a topic is officially unverifiable per Wikipedia policy. I've seen some evidence of this agenda being pused on Wikipedia but very little evidence linking this group to any significant events or movements in the UK (which is where I live). So I am left wondering: whose word do we have, other than theirs, that they are significant? Just zis Guy you know? 17:17, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
You have never come across references to "this lot", but I have. What does that prove? Nothing. The reason you won't see any mainstream news articles about them is because they don't do headline-grabbing things like stealing administrative border signs. They do boring stuff like replying to government discussion papers and othery low-profile lobbying. I have given you a small list of affiliated organisations, so rather than attacking the article from your standpoint of no knowledge, do some proper research. There are plenty of reliable sources, unless you count the official record of the House of Commons and the British Library as 'unreliable'. Owain (talk) 17:38, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
The world is full of groups who have excuses for the fact that they have failed to achieve widespread coverage. They remain groups who have not achieved widespread coverage. This group gets only slightly more coverage on Google than I do, and when the BBC covered the issue the only time ABC was mentioned was by one Owain Vaughan of Monmouth, who replied using the Feedback link advocating said group and describing the archaic counties as the "real" counties, which certianly indicates a point of view. Remember, WP:NPOV means representing the balance of informed opinion, not avoiding hurting the feelings of every little pressure group. Just zis Guy you know? 18:44, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Everyone is entitled to their own point of view! You seem to be obssessed with the level of coverage in the media as if that is somehow the most important thing any organisation can do. Surely doing things is better than talking to the media? Owain (talk) 11:52, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
For a political organsiation to have virtually no coverage in the press is compelling evidence of lack of importance. But the Press is just one of the possible reliable sources which have failed to cover this group. I'm still waiting for links to those reliable sources which have covered them. Without coverage in reliable sources the content and neutrality are functionally unverifiable. Just zis Guy you know? 13:58, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

<-- Should we be linking to a website which per the article only works part time? Seems a tad less than professional to me. --kingboyk 23:24, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

We can't remove it, it is the sole cited source for the entire article! Just zis Guy you know? 13:58, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Looks like an article about a very minor pressure group and its beliefs etc. "Traditional counties of the British Isles" is much more problematic. It seems to present the believes of the group as if commonly accepted fact. Looks to me like "Traditional counties of the British Isles" should be a redirect to "Association of British Counties". Laurel Bush 09:32, 30 August 2006 (UTC).

I don't think it would be appropriate for links to Traditional counties of the British Isles to come hear. If anything that article should be written in such a way so that it is clear it represents a POV shared by the ABC, etc: but it should definitely remain an article about the counties themselves. Yorkshire Phoenix United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland God's own county 09:36, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

I was about to suggest giving it a new title, instead of maing it a redirect, to make clear that it is very POV, but the only new titles I can come up with are "Association of British Counties" and "ABC counties". Laurel Bush 10:36, 30 August 2006 (UTC).

But that presupposes that only people who support or have heard of ABC could possibly hold the same viewpoint; that would be very PoV! Owain (talk) 10:42, 30 August 2006 (UTC)


English Democrat Party manifesto [1] contains no mention of counties. UKIP [2] ditto. Just zis Guy you know? 12:18, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

  • English democrats [3] "We favour - recognition for traditional counties"
  • UKIP [4] "UKIP administrations will urge a return to the County system of governance, based upon the traditional county structure of the United Kingdom." Owain (talk) 11:48, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
The two linked by me are the current versions of the manifestos from the respective websites. Neither currently has support as a manifesto commitment. I have noted the past inclusion of support under "successes". Just zis Guy you know? 13:31, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

unsubstantiated claims[edit]

The significance of ABC is hard to ascertain, there being no data on membership published on its website, and no evidence of widespread coverage in the British news media.

Hard for whom to ascertain? Should an encyclopaedia article provide data from which to 'ascertain significance', rather than patronising the reader in this way?

The "traditional counties movement" does claim some minor successes.

What exactly is the "traditional counties movement"? Where has it 'claimed successes'? If no-one can define what this 'movement' is, it shouldn't be mentioned. Where is the evidence?

There is no indication of ABC's role in these.

Does this imply the ABC has a role? This passage reads as an unsubstatiated remark about an undefined 'movement' and then states that there is no provable connection with that 'movement' to the subject of this article. What redundancy!

It should be noted that the boundaries and designations of counties have changed a number of times in British history, so the designation of the asserted boundaries as "historic" or "traditional" is itself contentious.

Who contends it? Evidence?

For example, the historic county of Fife, in Scotland, might more justifiably be characterised as the historic Kingdom of Fife.

Who characterises it thus? And who claims it might be more justifiable? Evidence?

In particular, ABC uses scare quotes around the word 'county' when not referring to the traditional counties.

Refering to the scare quotes article: "an author who uses the term scare quotes to describe them generally does so disapprovingly" - thus how exactly is this sentence NPOV?

Otherwise, the ABC fears [citation needed], having a single historic county falling within more than one region could have an adverse effect on people's cultural ties to their home county . This point is debatable since the British population is quite mobile and also includes a number of ethnic and social sub-groups, so cultural identification with counties is not universal, although there is evidence of county identification in natives of counties with long-standing rivalries such as Yorkshire and Lancashire.

If this point is debatable, who debates it? Either someone or group should be quoted, or it is basically original research. What is the 'evidence of county identification in natives of counties with long-standing rivalries such as Yorkshire and Lancashire'?

However, it also states on its FAQ:
Q. Does ABC seek further local government reorganisation ?
A. No, but we do wish to see reforms to certain parts of local government terminology.

If it states this, why is it necessary to have this long preceeding passage speculating on local Government changes that the ABC would bring about, if it itself states (with real, quoted evidence) that it wouldn't:

Currently the border between the London region and the South-East and East regions straddles numerous former county borders - so these regions would probably need to be merged. Some areas not part of Yorkshire and the Humber would be moved to a different local authority in order that they could be part of this region, as region boundaries never split authorities. Also North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire would become part of the East Midlands Region, where the administrative county of Lincolnshire is located. [etc.]

It clearly isn't relevant if the previously mentioned sentence taken from the ABC's FAQ is true.

Successes for the "traditional counties movement" are claimed to include:

Again, what is the 'traditional counties movement'? What defines it? And who claims what successes it has had? Evidence?

It seems that the majority of this article lacks substance. Unless someone wants to provide better sources, the article should be rewritten with only what can be substantiated in a NPOV way. 19:50, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

redundant information and facual inaccuracies in this article[edit]

In view of someone trying to revert my edits to this article, I have removed/changed the following for the following reasons:

scare quotes in general

Not NPOV. Full stop.

first edition Ordnance Survey maps c.1880

By the 1880s, OS had virtually finished its second edition. The first edition (the "old series") was started at the end of the 18th century and completed by the 1850s. Thus I have removed "c.1880" as it's nonsense.

The Association of British Counties (ABC) is one of a small number of pressure groups in the United Kingdom dedicated to promoting the idea of "traditional counties" of Britain.

Promoting the idea? What exactly is the 'idea' of traditional counties? Do counties have ideas? This is simply bad English!

Its president is the astrologer Russell Grant, who owns the title Lord of the Manor of Ashford in Middlesex.

He might also own an old English sheepdog and a farm in Wales. A manorial title is completely irrelevant, and belongs, if anywhere, in the Russell Grant article. I have removed it.

No British political party has a manifesto commitment to adopt the cause, which indicates that the chances of success are limited at present

UKIP's last (2005) local government manifesto [5] states, as a manifesto commitment, that it will "Dismantle regional government and r eturn powers to traditional county and borough councils". Therefore the original text is blatantly untrue, and I have changed it to reflect this.

I checked that, the current UKIP national manifesto had no mention of it. It may be in the local manifestos of individual constituency groups. Just zis Guy you know? 22:54, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
The link given above [6] is the most recent municipal local election manifesto UKIP has produced, dated March 2006, navigable via this page of the party's website. On its first page it contains this:
Local Democracy
What’s the problem? Local councils rely on government funding and obey government orders rather than
listening to those who pay the council tax. The new system of local government gives power to an
‘executive cabinet’ leaving out most of the elected councillors. And many functions of councils are being
taken over by unelected regional bodies.
What’s the solution?
Create an English - only Parliament of English MPs sitting on English - only days at Westminster
Dismantle regional government and return powers to traditional county and borough councils
What exactly is your objection to this as a manifesto commitment to using traditional counties, because it plainly seems it to me? 23:24, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Because "traditional counties" are not the same thing as "historic counties". There is no commitment to redraw the boundaries to where they were before the 19th century, or even before 1974. What UKIP certainly wants is to abolish regional government. I don't agree with this, but it's a reasonable aim and has nothing to do with the ASC campaign to restore the old county boundaries. Of course, like many political manifestos, this commitment could be interpreted in several ways!

Exile 15:11, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

They allege the Act specifically called them "administrative counties"

The Act did specifically create entities called 'adminitrative counties', and these entities were refered to as such in law until 1974, when a new act created new entities which it just called 'counties'. This isn't an 'allegation', it's a simple fact. So I have removed the word 'allege', as it is redundant.

The Royal Mail, in their guide to the data products (PAF Digest, p12) imply that the occurance in the Alias file was to replace the removal of counties from the main data, which was also when the Royal Mail stopped use of county names in addressing.

So? How is this relevant to the ABC? It belongs in the article about this particular royal mail file, not in this one. Please discuss any disagreements here, and don't turn this into an edit war. Thank you. 20:32, 30 March 2006 (UTC)


For a newcomer to the debate, you've identified the most contentious points straight-off; it's good to see a perspicacious new look at this article...
  1. Scare quotes - fully agree. The job can be done better and verifiably with phrases such as "the pre-1974 counties" or "their preferred borders", and so on.
"their preferred borders" works well for me. Since to my knowledge there is no one single historically immutable definition of any of the disputed borders it is always a matter of preference. Just zis Guy you know? 22:54, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
  1. Ordnance survey, first edition - that edit is down to me; I found that date on their website, and thought it tallied with some other source I found; either way I'll check up on that.
  2. promoting the idea... - might be better phrased as promote the reintroduction for practical use of the pre-1974 county boundaries or some such. I see your point, and we should work on that sentence.
  3. Lord of the Manor - I've wanted to remove that since it was put in, but didn't for some reason. Fully agree.
  4. No political party - the statement is true as it stands, and I think it's very important to say that the ABC has no mianstream political support, and that UKIP didn't promote the ABC explicitly. Perhaps No major mainstream British political party has declared support for the ABC or their cause in their manifestoes; however, UKIP has declared it would use the traditional county borders for administrative use in its manifesto [cite]
  5. Allege the act - I cannot find a copy of this act online, and I have tried. Until we do, I suppose this statement ought to stand by WP:V, but I suspect that it is actually true.
  6. Royal Mail - no particular strong feeling for this section's inclusion or exclusion; I think good cases can be made either way.
Well, those are my thoughts on the matters. This is a hornet's nest you have stirred, but I just hope for once this all leads to reasoned discussion. Forever optimistically, Aquilina 21:02, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
PS I've tried the ABC website after midnight three or four times over the last fortnight, and it has worked every time. Aquilina 21:13, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
We are still missing any reliable third party sources for this article, and the two "responses" should probably go, since they add nothing to the article and are in any case available on the already-linked website. Just zis Guy you know? 22:54, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you're refering to as the 'two responses', but I certainly agree, as I've already mentioned, that far too much of this article lack sources, citations or evidence of any kind. ABC sources are fine as evidence of what the ABC believes, but third-party sources are certainly necessary for many other things. There are far too many "some believe that...", "however others claim that..." and "however this could be viewed as..." type sentences, which seemed to be added by people on both sides of this argument in tit-for-tat fashion, none of which state whom these 'some' and 'others' are, when and where they stated their beliefs, and what consequence they are that they should appear in the article. 23:24, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
I've just had a go at sorting out the UKIP ref. and putting that in the context of what the ABC believe (turns out it's not really what they want at all, if you look at their Aims and Beliefs page). What are the two responses that you think should go?
The next step might be to go through and put {{fact}} next to anything you think is currently unsourced and requires it - and if we can't find relevant material on the ABC website or elsewhere in the next few days strike it out ruthlessly. The article will lose 75% of its contentm but at least what's left should be pretty much incontrovertible. That's the dream anyway! Aquilina 23:55, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

UKIP policy[edit]

Regarding the juxtaposition of the words "traditional" and "county" in the UKIP manifesto [] discussed above, the following alternative interpretation does not appear to have been considered. UKIP's assertion that, if elected, they would

return powers to traditional county and borough councils

could well mean that they want to return to the traditional, two-tier system of local government, using counties and boroughs. It doesn't make any claim that they would use the "traditional counties" discussed at length on this page, or their boundaries. The fact that the words "traditional" and "county" are adjacent would therefore be just a coincidence, and doesn't suggest a manifesto commitment to, for instance, moving Southport back into Lancashire. --RFBailey 13:25, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Er, how about this then: [7] "UKIP administrations will urge a return to the County system of governance, based upon the traditional county structure of the United Kingdom. UKIP will re-constitute those county councils which have been abolished in successive reviews to return democracy to the most appropriate level.". Looks pretty incontravertable to me. Owain (talk) 13:31, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
Not necessarily. For instance it could include re-establishing metropolitan county councils (which were abolished by a review in 1986) or some of those (e.g. Cleveland) which were abolished later, to provide two-tier local government. Again, you are interpreting the juxtaposition of the words "traditional" and "county" to mean the term "traditional county" as discussed on this page. The sentence you have chosen is from a section where UKIP is opposing the policy of regional assemblies, preferring the use of counties. It doesn't specify what the "counties" should be.
You may be right: maybe they do want to return to the pre-1965 counties. But we shouldn't assume that their use of the terms "traditional" and "county" juxtaposed automatically implies they do. I do admit to playing devil's advocate to a certain extent here, demonstrating alternative ways to interpret this policy. I'm not suggesting that my interpretation is any more valid, just that it is an alternative.
Before you accuse me of bias, I'm not saying I (personally) agree that what I am suggesting is the appropriate thing to do. I don't want to enter into an edit war. --RFBailey 14:06, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
The best thing to do would be to email UKIP and ask them to clarify their policies. The wording is ambiguous, although I imagine this ambiguity was not intentional. Stringops 15:30, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
They probably weren't imagining their words would be examined in this amount of detail when they wrote it! --RFBailey 15:45, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
The local election manifesto (since updated, why refer to the old one?) says "Dismantle regional government and r eturn powers to traditional county and borough councils", which supports the devolution rather than the traditional counties interpretatation. The current national namifesto says: "REGIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Besides restoring power for governing Britain to our own elected parliament, UKIP will return local government to local control. County and Borough Councils need to answer to their local communities rather than obey orders from central government." which can be taken as a clarification that the word traditional is indeed intended to mean administrative not geographic boundaries. Taken together these two documents clearly do not indicate a commitment to support the traditional counties agenda. These are, incidentally, the sole mentions of the words county or counties in the documents. Just zis Guy you know? 15:38, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
I grant you that this may be the case, but there isn't the evidence to state it as a fact, particularly given its ambiguity and previous commitments to traditional counties proper made by UKIP in its past manifestos (showing that the party seems to understand what is meant by the term). Why not contact UKIP and ask for clarification? Either that or remove the first half of the third paragraph altogether, as it nothing other than speculation at present. Stringops 15:55, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Clearly it cannot mean restoring ALL abolished county councils as some of them overlap, e.g. Huntingdonshire County Council and Huntingdon and Peterborough County Council. Perhaps the manifesto itself is ambiguous but various UKIP blogs maintained by UKIP members leave the reader in no doubt that they do want traditional counties restored for administrative purposes. Owain (talk) 16:54, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

re. picture copyright status[edit]

i have updated the copyright status of this picture in line with a comment found on the organisation's website: "The map may be copied and used freely. However, the Association of British Counties would appreciate an acknowledgement and a link to our site. "

as a link to the site is included both in the main article and on the picture page, the requirements of the creator are clearly met.

the above quote can be found at the the bottom of the page here: [8]

Rich 00:47, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Current Aims[edit]

The list of aims in the article do not match those currently advertised by the Association on its web site. Its Aims page ( was apparently updated last November. In particular, with no current mention of their desire for the Government Office Region boundaries to be re-defined, there is now no need for the long following paragraph explaining what consequences this would have. There is now also no mention of lobbying the OS for county boundary inclusion or altering the lieutenancy area boundaries. In fact, apart from its own activities, the only things the ABC wants others to do is the altering of local authority names. However, I think it needs to be highlighted that it seeks to 'persuade' (though it doesn't specify how) media, the government and private organisations to use traditional county boundaries when talking about everything except central and local government.

Most of its aims seem to revolve around its own promotional activities, direct from itself to the public.

I believe the Other Policies section therefore needs to be comprehensively re-written.

Heavens To Betsy 11:50, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Since no-one seems to have voiced any objection to this, I'll be re-writing the Other Policies section in the next day or so. I'll be removing the claim that the ABC wish to see the Regions' boundaries re-structured around the counties' boundaries. They may once have wished this (in fact, it's very familiar so I think I've read it on their website in the past), but I can't find this on their website now and so they appear to have re-thought their aims.
Heavens To Betsy 14:11, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
The concise "aims" page doesn't state these aims, but they are mentioned in the ABC's response to the Government white paper on regional government: Owain (talk) 13:43, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Have a read of para 4.16(1) to (8) of Safeguarding the Thirty-Nine Counties of England (The Association of British Counties' Response to the White Paper: "Your Region, Your Choice: Revitalising the English Regions") before you jump in and change anything. I expect this still forms an integral part of their means to achieve their stated aims. I, for one (NB I'm not a member of ABC), would never support the region "Yorkshire and the Humber" as it stands (to return the former Cleveland boroughs south of the Tees to the ceremonial "county" of North Yorkshire but keep them in the North East region is bizarre, to say the least: they're part of North Yorkshire but not part of the Yorkshire and Humber region!) Yorkshire Phoenix 13:54, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Gah, you're right! Their stance on regional boundaries is seemingly in contradiction to their stance on local government boundaries when the two are, by necessity, linked. They seem happy for local government to be split up in all sorts of ways, but when it comes to the regions, they're of another mind. I think they feel more threatened by the larger regions than by smaller local government areas. As the regions are approaching country size, it's harder to disassociate oneself from them. I agree about the North Yorkshire ceremonial county; I can't understand why the government doesn't have them following local government boundaries in the same way as the regions do. Surely it's easier for councils to only have to deal with one Lord Lieutenant. And, if they're happy to make them different from local government boundaries, then why don't they go the whole hog and make them match the traditional boundaries like the ABC suggest? Anyway, thanks for pointing that out, you two. Heavens To Betsy 13:50, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't see why councils dealing with multiple Lords Lieutenant should be an issue given that they do in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The government may as well go the whole way rather than a bizarre non-consistent halfway house. Owain (talk) 14:06, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Quite right. Coleraine Borough Council in Co Londonderry can quite happily run Portstewart and Portrush, despite them both being in Co Antrim without causing any "county confusion" in Northern Ireland (interestingly there was an ancient County of Coleraine, but this is overlooked by both the British and the Irish who call the county Doire). Yorkshire Phoenix 14:27, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

The World is Round[edit]

It appears to me that these people seem to be in denial of the local government reorganisation to the point of neurosis. Do they still deny the fact that the world is round?

Not only is their page heavily biased but (looking through various talk pages) contibutors to this page appear to vandalise any reference to 'new' counties made by anyone else.

Any article on a town or village in the United Kingdom should give the reader some basic information which should include the current administrative county.

Whether the ABC like it or not, people living in these new counties pay their Council Tax to that county and their public services (schools, children's homes, homes for the elderly, roads, libraries, leisure centres, refuse collection, etc.) are provide by that county. The traditional counties have only historical relevance to the people living in those counties today. --maelor 19:52, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

You clearly have no idea what the ABC's objectives are. They do not wish to see further local government reorgansiation but want people to detach their notions of "where they are" from the ever-changing pattern of local government. This is all clearly explained in their FAQ. Many places in the UK don't have a "new county" as you put it, but unitary district/borough/city authorities, which is who they pay thir council tax to, &c, but is of absolutely no geographical value whatsoever. This is what infoboxes are for — they explain who the police force are, who the local council is, what the Parliamentary constituencies are, &c. These are all important and very different areas which are all given in the articles. There is no flat-eart society here, as you would realise if you bothered to read the FAQ. Owain (talk) 08:07, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
I wonder why the ABC feels that the counties of Scotland should be those that were organised in Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889 which replaced, reorganised or at least renamed most of Scotland's districts/counties? Is the ABC merely trying to preserve the 19th century legislation passed regarding local government like Local Government Act 1888 and the 1889 Scotland act. If so, it would surely realise that the Local Government Acts of the 1880s was only further reorganisation of local government, which is rather a transient and changes over time. (I am looking at this from a Scottish perspective and am rather ignorant of how the Acts effected England) Benson85 15:50, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
I wouldn't say that the LG(S)A 1889 replaced, reorganised or renamed most of Scotland's counties. Look at a map from 1888 and one from 1890. Do you see much difference? Owain (talk) 14:58, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes. Some map's do not differ, but local administration in Scotland changed, for example Dundee which had been a "County Corporate" became part of Angus. There are Shires that related to the Sheriff Courts (also Lieutenancy areas), but in terms of the actual administration of burghs, parishes and districts LG(S)A 1889 did replace a lot. Benson85 22:40, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

County Watch Vandals[edit]

The following are confirmed County Watch Vandals. User:Lancsalot. User:Owain, User:Yorkshire Phoenix ( Talk:Merseyside should give you some idea of the state of these people thinking.-- 10:41, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Please can this unregistered user justify why our edits are "vandalism" and his reverts aren't? Many people think the 1974 local authority boundaries are "counties" that replaced the historic ones because they don't know any better. I have no idea what motivates people like who do know better to try to deny the existence of the historic counties. 10:54, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
You haven't put forward a single argument. You just an old duffer that want things your way. Judging by the page decribing your self. Your not very bright but very stubbourn and despite the rest of the country and world having moved into the 21 century some 6 years ago ou trying to regress to the 17th. That your from Yorkshire is a no interest to anyone. That you think it's important say's a lot about you and your lack of understanding of yorkshire insignificance in the world.-- 11:06, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Ignore His arguments consist of personal attacks, bad grammar and nonsense. Oh and he's a banned user as well. Owain (talk) 11:12, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Can someone advise me on how to report this and get the IP address blocked? This mug is resorting to personal abuse behind the safety of a anonimity. Face to face he wouldn't say these things to a 29 year old soldier and martial artist. Personal attacks of this nature are actually a trait of people who are "not very bright", whereas I have a politics degree and back up everything I say. 11:18, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
I only just noticed this "old soldier and martial artist" is a threat. Which really is a sign of someone not very bright. It also if you are a soldier breaks queens regs. 'politics degree'= toilet roll from the wrong university. Also Mr Phoenix you seem to be anon yourself unless your name really is Yorkshire Phoenix again to claim I am any less nonymous than you is again NVB.-- 23:03, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, you have multiple options. If you want an unofficial resolution to your problem, you can file a case at the Mediation Cabal, which is a group of users who deal with messy situations. If you feel you need to take more drastic measures, there's the Mediation Committee (official mediation) and, if all else fails, try the Arbitration Committee(A drastic last resort). -- The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 11:25, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
He uses IPs in the 87.75 and 84.9 range used by The trouble is they are constantly changing so banning individual IPs won't have any effect. But since he is banned (User:Irate) you can revert his edits any number of times without it counting towards 3RR. Lancsalot 11:53, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake. I don't think there will be any need if he's already banned and we can ignore WP:3RR. I'd delete this section, but as it reveals his psychological flaws I might just keep it. 12:24, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Looks like is User:Yorkshire Phoenix ( BTW. Oh err. You lot cannot back anything up. "psychological flaws", you demonstrate everything that is wrong with Wikipedias editorial rules.-- 19:43, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
*innocent cough*, yes yes well... it would seem there's still some... heh, hurt feelings and broken hearts, so my presence still might be needed. If anyone would love to fill me in on the problem, I'll act as a neutral 'mediator' of sorts. After all, mediating is sort of my 'job' here at Wikipedia. How may I help? -- The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 21:10, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
User:Irate acquires a new IP each day and uses it to deliberately circumvent his ban and all of the rules. Please take a look at Birkenhead (I know I broke WP:3RR yesterday: I was under the impression reverting edits from banned users didn't count but will desist, see Talk:Birkenhead). Yorkshire Phoenix 09:18, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Bleedin' Nora, people. Can't any of you see how ridiculous this particular section is? This is meant to be the discussion page of the article, not a place to vent personal angst for editors' actions on other articles or start slanging matches. Further, while I may disagree with the tone and content of some of these fairly threatening and insulting paragraphs in here, I do agree with (or whatever IP they're currently using) that posts on discussion pages like this should not be reversed. If someone posts an insulting remark or even a pleasant remark that's completely off-topic, why can't people just ignore it instead of adding fuel to the fire by goading others? And I'm directing that to editors on both sides of the argument. To try and follow my own advice, therefore, would anyone mind replying to the section I started at the bottom a month ago? I did try to keep it relatively neutral, but I'd welcome anyone pointing out where I've erred. - Heavens To Betsy 16:00, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Hostile tone[edit]

I'd just like to say that as a reader of this article I found it to have a strong undercurrent of hostility to the traditional counties point of view throughout. It's enough to make me wonder if Wikipedia, with its stated commitment to a neutral point of view, attributing opinions to their sources, is disproportionately edited by people with an anti–traditional counties agenda. 17:43, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Whereas I find it unconscionably flattering to them - so that's alright then :-) Just zis Guy you know? 20:00, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
On the contrary, it suggests that you are one of these people with an unfortunate inability to accept that many of the views espoused by the traditional counties movement are pretty well-founded (e.g., their practice of reminding everyone that traditional counties have never been formally abolished, which if you check the relevant legislation you'll find they haven't) and supported by a large section of the public. The article should neither endorse nor condemn the ABC, but should seek to represent it in a reasonable manner. This looks like a poorly-executed rebuttal by the anti–traditional counties brigade of the ABC's views, or a poorly-executed attempt at investigative journalism by someone such as yourself trying to expose the 'nutters' you would doubtless claim constitute the membership of the ABC! 20:27, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
Note the above user just made statments without backing them up. Produce the documents which created Traditional Counties-- 21:35, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
No documents are needed as evidence the historic counties were created: a number of them pre-date the Norman conquest! As far a legislative evidence (for their existence, not their creation) is concerned they are used by the Local Government Act 1888 as a geographic reference for the boundaries of the new administrative counties. Yorkshire Phoenix (talkcontribs) 08:11, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
So no evidence of the creation of Traditional Counties so you cannot say they continue to exists if you cannot show that entities called Traditional Counties were ever created. The rpoblem is that it is the bigotry of the pro traditional counties people that is showing. NOthing else. You claim that the counties pre data the Norman conquest. Which ones and evidence that they continued please and evidence of there creation aswell. You lot have never provided any of these things. You are simply trying to force your regressive and dishonest view of history on to everyone else.-- 09:24, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Read this very slowly: their creation pre-dates written legislation, but legislation such as the Local Government Acts of 1888 and 1972 relate to them, which is legislative evidence that they do exist. Furthermore there are of course the government statements in 1974, 1986 and 1996 (all available in Hansard) that the changing local government boundaries do not effect the historic and geographic counties themselves. Yorkshire Phoenix (talkcontribs) 09:36, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
It is you that needs to read slowly. Produce evidence of the pre 1066 existance. That can be anything references quotes from the Romans stuff in chronicles saga etc. You do not have any of this because it is a fantasy. Produce quotes from legislation and references to the text not just a reference to a large document. I suspect you have neve seen evidence of either but are simply repeating claims made by other which happen to fit you percular set of views of the world.-- 10:26, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
The best source I can manage at the moment is from a history book[9]. I think expecting me to find primary sources such as 9th century Danelaw legislation is a tad ambitious! Yorkshire Phoenix (talkcontribs) 11:06, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
You should at least be able to provide the names of the documents. When you've read the books and can back up your claims then we have a basis for discussion but at the moment all we have is claims.-- 11:18, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Everyone knows there were counties before 1888. I don't need to waste any more time proving something that's common knowledge, especially to a permanently banned user like you, Irate! Yorkshire Phoenix (talkcontribs) 11:28, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Help required and a couple of suggestions[edit]

Hello, I just wondered if anyone could clear up a couple of things for me.

  1. Can someone explain why the association is described as an outsider pressure group. I’m not entirely certain what the adjective is trying to convey in this sense. Aren’t all pressure groups outside the general political will? It was added back in May when the interest group link was added.
  2. Is it worth defining the term ‘mainstream political parties’? If no editor can find evidence of explicit association with the ABC, then shouldn’t this be ‘no political parties’ until such evidence is found? I don’t see any problem with this and, in the future, if evidence is found that a political party has always supported them or if a political party starts to support them, this can then be changed.
  3. “ ... it would rather see an official distinction made between current administrative units known as counties, and those areas known as counties prior to the Local Government Reforms of 1974 ...” - Shouldn’t this date be altered? I thought the areas which ABC was trying to promote were those known as counties prior to the local government reforms of 1890. Those known as counties prior to 1974 were all legally abolished in that year, but were just another form of what are known as counties today (i.e. areas specifically designated as areas of local government). The ABC isn’t pushing for the recognition of the North Riding administrative county of pre-1974 (which was explicitly abolished), but the North Riding of pre-1890 (which doesn’t appear to have ever been). At least, that’s my understanding.
  4. “”traditional counties movement”” - I agree that, since there is obviously more than one group with similar aims and that they try to advocate policies with the public and other bodies (policies that exist now but which did not before), this can be described as a movement. However, giving it a specific name like that I don’t feel is our place if it has not already been described as such or defined at all elsewhere. Does anybody have any feeling or information on this; on giving it such a label that we can’t prove we didn’t make up ourselves? Trouble is, I’m not sure what else to call it without giving it a rather cumbersome descriptor like, say, “the collection of similar personal and corporate policies associated with identifying legal parity between existing areas of local government and previously-defined, popular areas of geography”.

Thanks for reading. - Heavens To Betsy 19:07, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Origins and affiliates?[edit]

When did ABC start? It doesn't seem to have existed when local government was reorganised in 1972 - 74 or 1985 - 86, at least it didn't appear in contemporary media. The earliest reference i can find is in the times of 20th July 1991, where they are described as having been "formed by about thirty county pressure groups". I'm not aware of 30 such groups existing today: maybe half a dozen: Friends of Real Lancashire, Yorkshire Ridings Society, Huntingdonshire Society, Saddleworth White Rose Society, there used to something called Voice of rutalnd, i think and some sort of Middlesex society, but they don't turn up on Google. Lozleader 16:09, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

There are oblique references to some kind of "Rutland Freedom" movement in the 1960s/1970s, although I wasn't able to find anything specific. I also read a story that apparently Herefordshire protesters were sufficiently well-organised to drive a Hereford Bull down Whitehall (this from a 1970s reference) - that should show up in The Times! Yorkshire Ridings Society claim to have celebrated the first Yorkshire Day in 1975.
Other groups that might be reasonably expect to exist would be Cumberland, Westmorland, Cheshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Durham, Northumberland. Morwen - Talk 16:57, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
By the way, frankly, I think by today's standards most of this article is original research and its debatable whether we should even have an article about this group, given that the only source about it is itself. Morwen - Talk 16:58, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
It does seem very difficult to find out much about this group. One purpose (not necessarily a good one) that this article serves is that it gives these users an air of legitimacy to their point of view. Somehow, it survived an AfD a while ago though. --RFBailey 17:41, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Giving legitimacy to a Wikipedian category (or 'an air of', as you call it) should not be a purpose that warrants an article's existence. And, yeah, I'm on there myself. I think being an existing group (lobbying, advocate, pressure, whatever) who try to affect people's opinions on a national scale (success or no) and who claim to respond to government white papers should warrant an article, though. As long as it's made clear in the article that all the things we've written about it so far are claims made by itself, then I don't think it warrants deletion. I obviously agree with you, however, that if it should ever aspire to become reasonably good, it needs several other sources to be cited. Please also remember that there's not necessarily any connections between them and any organisation. Who's to say that those people's individual views match those of the ABC, of County Watch or even each other? I think the category is intentionally vague and I probably wouldn't have joined if it had specified that its members are supporters of ABC. Heavens To Betsy 18:35, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
The thing is, the critical examination of the groups claims is kind of original research: for example, its contradictory claims to seek to match the regional boundaries with its "counties", whilst claiming it doesn't want to reorganise local government again. We could gut the article leaving it only basically summarising the website, without any commentary on that. Nobody in the real world gives its output the dignity of a reply. Morwen - Talk 19:34, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
I see what you mean there. Although we can see that they obviously contradict themselves on their own website, does it entitle us to point this out when the observation isn't published elsewhere? I make a similar point (in the section above this when I failed to get any response) about the article's use of the term 'traditional counties movement'. I have some of their journals from which I may be able to extract a bit more information to put on here but, since these are published quite amateurishly and are not available to the general public, I'm not sure if they count as suitable sources for Wikipedia. Can anyone confirm this and does anyone else have any feelings on Morwen's suggestion to gut the article down to the website's bare bones? That is, until we can quote some sources. I may even just contact the Association themselves to see if they keep any records of press cuttings, etc., where they've been mentioned. Heavens To Betsy 09:17, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "Nobody in the real world gives its output the dignity of a reply". To what are you referring? Owain (talk) 09:40, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm assuming Morwen means someone or some third party entity that holds either neutral or negative views to the associations's opinions, or who makes neutral reports on their activities, though it could have been worded more tactfully. To be fair, even the FORL's site only includes a link to ABC's website and doesn't describe it or any of its actions, favourably or not, in their section giving extracts from their newsletter. Heavens To Betsy 11:46, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Essentially, yes. We have the same problem with Cornwall, where article constitutional status of Cornwall, and Cornish people has virtually no cited debunking of fringe group claims, because the fringe groups are too fringe for people to really bother debunking. I'd be interested to learn what what sort of material you have. Morwen - Talk 12:52, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
[10] claims to have records of the Association of British Counties "c1960-1999: records incl minutes, corresp and newsletters". Not usable as a source though. Can anyone try to dig up the text of the Historic Counties (Traffic Signs and Mapping) bill from somewhere? Morwen - Talk 13:01, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Both the 2003 and 2004 versions of this Private Member's Bill had their second readings lapse. The MP who presented the 2004 version lost his seat in last year's general election, but I'm going to contact the MP who presented the 2003 version as he was also involved in the later one. Hopefully, he'll be able to point me to a recorded version of the text. In lieu of this, the opening speech by Mr Flook, here, might be a good source to cite as it also mentions the ABC as "trailblazers". Heavens To Betsy 14:23, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
it might be at, thinking about it. I'd be especially interested to know how it defined the historic county borders, if it actually bothered to do so. As a random point, it's interesting how many references to "historic counties" and "traditional counties" in Hansard, particularly by people supporting them, aren't actually compatible with the ABC's use of language - as an example look at Lord Hooson [11] here - he comments very strongly indeed against Powys, describing it as "huge, unwanted, unmanageable" and noted it "ignored history, geography, loyalty, transport facilities and patterns", but nontheless uses the phrase "abolishing the historic counties of Breconshire, Radnorshire and Montgomeryshire". Morwen - Talk 14:47, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
How do you mean his comments aren't compatible with the ABC? He disparages Powys (a principal area of 1996 which the ABC is presumably also against) and appears to lament Breconshire, Radnorshire and Montgomeryshire (which the ABC hold as traditional counties - albeit naming the first of those as Brecknockshire). Heavens To Betsy 15:52, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
The ABC would never use the phrase "abolishing the historic counties of Breconshire, Radnorshire and Montgomeryshire", as it holds that historic counties are eternal (and various users have refused to permit such wording to appear in Wikipedia). Morwen - Talk 16:08, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Ah, silly me. Of course. Heavens To Betsy 16:21, 20 September 2006 (UTC)


The BNP in their 2005 manifesto contains some mention of traditional counties - [12] - mention this or not? They have their language not quite conforming with ABC-speak, so it's unclear what they really mean. (i doubt, if pressed, they would really wish to see Huntingdon and Peterborough reinstated). Morwen - Talk 15:28, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I would say mention it (and I see you already have), if only because other information exists on this article quoting the English Democrats and UKIP. However, as none of these actually mentions the ABC, I think they, along with the other 'successes', should be removed since no connection can be made from any of them to the association, and it's the association that this article is meant to be about. Heavens To Betsy 17:42, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
Seems reasonable to me - along with other such material - but where to move to? Morwen - Talk 07:00, 26 September 2006 (UTC)


I wonder if this article is duplicating Traditional counties of the British Isles? Perhaps that could redirect here. What little extra content is located there is covered elsewhere in places like Historic counties of England. MRSC 08:49, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

I think someone else suggested this, but I don't think this should be re-directed here. The former is an article on the perceived entities themselves, while this is an article on an association of people. I agree, however, that there is some over-arching information on here not specifically about the association. Until such time as an article on the movement gets created, maybe that information belongs in a separate section on the Traditional counties of the British Isles article which discusses the movement. Although, as said before, I'm not sure it's our place to give the movement a name. Heavens To Betsy 17:37, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
My main concern is that there are not any academic texts that purport to the existence of "traditional counties" as promoted by ABC. As both articles deal with the claims made by ABC (with considerable repetition) it would be more logical and concise for them all to go in one place. MRSC 06:53, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree with your first sentence, but not the second. I was always under the impression that they're not identical. ABC hold one specific view of how they feel the traditional counties should be perceived. They're not just saying, "There once was/is a county called Yorkshire in the North of England". They're saying, "We're telling you that this is Yorkshire, here are the specific boundaries, we are the authority, our view counts, other definitions are wrong". My view of the Traditional counties of the British Isles article is that its intention is to describe them as the general, non-ABC adherent population understands them; as areas that have changed immensely over time, that don't conform to any one definition, that had influence on the emergence of modern local government and culture. However, even though I'm fairly certain that's the general population's view, you're right that there doesn't seem to be any source for the non-ABC view of the traditional counties. I say 'traditional counties' in the 2006 sense, though of course it would be easy enough to go far enough back and find a source for the counties published, say, 150 years ago. - Heavens To Betsy 09:54, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Office location[edit]

Where are they based? Pressure groups usually at least have a contact office for press enquiries etc. MRSC 15:46, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

According to the website, membership enquiries should be sent to the following address.
Membership Secretary
Association of British Counties
York Road
YO62 4LB
Yorkshire Phoenix United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland God's own county 12:01, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

White paper[edit]

[13] It appears you don't need to read the white paper to prepare a response. MRSC 15:48, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Where does it say it's a response? I think they're trying to influence the White Paper. Yorkshire Phoenix United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland God's own county 11:58, 27 October 2006 (UTC)


Since this edit[14], the article has stated that Peter Boyce is the chairman of ABC. I can find no source for this: not even ABC's own site. Where did this info come from ?

Come to that I can't anything except wikipedia and wiki derived sites that states Russell Grant is the ABC's president. Lozleader 22:07, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
Not surprised : that early version was very poorly sourced. May or may not be true. Morwen - Talk 11:09, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

11 January edit[edit]

I reverted the majority of this edit with edit summary "trimming dead wood". It introduced a number of claims without citations and removed much of the article without explanation. I left in founded in 1986 - would be good to get a source for that. MRSCTalk 10:35, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

I see this has been added again by way of a revert. [15] Can we have some sources for these claims and a rationale for removing part of the article? MRSCTalk 22:29, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

I’m sorry to do something as crass as a “revert”, particularly when it’s my fault for not citing my sources. I have tried to put some of your contribution back. I want to make sure we have the most accurate material.

As ABC’s concerns, I added the Northern Ireland counties because the ABC’s published Aims and Objectives (also on their website)[1] are:

“1.1 ABC exists to maintain, enhance and promote the identities of the Counties of the United Kingdom and their role in the cultural life, geography and history of the nation.”

(I shall contact the ABC and mention the error on their front page. Elsewhere the site varies between all-UK and GB-only. The six counties of Northern Ireland are in ABC’s published Postal Directory[2].)

For the date of the ABC’s foundation, the founder Chairman, Michael Bradford, told me personally (although I mistyped the year as “1986”). (I have added more detail now, which Mr Bradford gave me over the telephone this evening.) The Yorkshire Ridings Society was certainly at the founding meeting.

As to changes in local government terminology, I believe you have misinterpreted the material. All the ABC’s own material that I have seen suggests that proposals to change local government terminology are to avoid ambiguity in the use of the word “county”, not to pay tribute to an 1888-1972 civil service wording! That is explicit in their Aims and Objectives (4.6). Your revert also restored an unsupported statement that the ABC wants the government Regions in England to conform to traditional counties; I cannot see that anywhere in the ABC’s material. The Aims and Objectives do though include the aim (4.3) of ensuring fair funding arrangements for bodies based on traditional counties, which is what I had put in.

I excepted Huntingdonshire from the “lacking public support” for unitary status because in that case it did gain majority support according to the official report. (54% in aggregate between two “separatist” options I think, but I can’t find a copy. I lived in Cambs at the time so I remember it. If I find a copy I’ll add a citation.) I have no knowledge of the level of support elsewhere.

I referred to degrees of support from individual MPs because that is patent; the next section cites parliamentary support (& I see that several MPs are patrons of the Friends of Real Lancashire, an affiliated group). I took reference to BNP policies out because the BNP policy quoted seems to be about local government and nothing to do with historic county heritage. As to the UKIP one, I’ll see if I can find anyone connected with UKIP to supply that missing citation.

Apart from that, I accept your concerns!

(Sorry; you had reverted my revert before you saw this; I'm going to have to re-revert. Don't take it as a hostile. I don't belive in revert-wars, but I do have the first-hand material.)

Howard Alexander (talk) 22:42, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

I've re-re-reverted this as I believe MRSC is right. Your edits introduced a number of unsourced claims which goes against several core principles of Wikipedia. See WP:A and WP:NPOV for the most relevant policies. You must cite your sources with reliable materia not promises or personal perspective. -- Jza84 · (talk) 22:50, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

As above, the earlier version contained errors in the ABC's published Aims and Objectives. The source is the very ABC webpage the earlier wording referred to and mistook! The one citation which MRSC requested (quite rightly) was on the dat the ABC was founded. I happen to know the founder chairman so I telephoned him this evening. If you know a better source than someone who was there at the time and chaired the organization for 15 years, tell me!

This exercise is meant to be about ensuring that readers of Wikipedia have the most accurate informatiuon possible. I do not want to put my interpretations there, but when we say "the ABC believes..., why not rely on their own statements? My corrections have been simply to copy those from those pages. I have not added any opinion about the merits or failings of the organization in question nor its beliefs.

If you believe I have actually misinterpreted something from the original source, tell me where; please don't just revert every word, good and bad.

Howard Alexander (talk) 22:58, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

You're clearly quite new to Wikipedia, so I'm trying not to bite. I'm afraid however that you've misinterpreted the verification process. Anybody can claim to have had a conversation with somebody, but we cannot verify this. You as a specific user are not reliable as a source. Indeed I could say I had a conversation with him since you and he's changed his mind! A published source is only allowed here.
Also, we cannot rely on their statements because, 1) we don't write from the pespective of the group, but report on them as an impartial outsider 2) we must adhere to a neutral point of view per policy and 3) to use ABC as a source about ABC (in this context) is a conflict of interest.
Wikipedia is built on verifiability, not accuracy. This aside however, you've introduced several deadlinks, weasal words and biased terminology. Please take note too that we do not take the minority view that the historic counties still exist with the former boundaries. You must self-revert here I believe until you provide better sources. -- Jza84 · (talk) 23:07, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
I have also nominated the page List of British Traditional Counties for deletion for breach of WP:POVFORK and WP:PLACE. I believe you created this in good faith however. -- Jza84 · (talk) 23:15, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
I see this has been reverted a third and fourth time without so much as an edit summary. MRSCTalk 23:41, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Right-o. What I'll do in a bit, if it's all right with you chaps, is to correct the foundation date from "1986" to "1989" (which was my error in the first place) and to fix the deadlink.

If I come across any primary sources to fill citations I can look at filing them in. It's all fascinating stuff.

Howard Alexander (talk) 20:57, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

External links[edit]

This edit added some links that are just other domains registered by ABC with similar content, not relevant for the purposes of the article. MRSCTalk 00:27, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Indeed. At least one of these was exposed as a front for ABC (see here). The addition of the others seem to breach points 2 and 4 of Wikipedia:External_links#Links_normally_to_be_avoided and present a conflict of interest. -- Jza84 · (talk) 00:36, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
A front for ABC? Please get a sense of perspective. They are obviously relevant. The gazetteer at least is discussed in the article. Lancsalot (talk) 00:40, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
The gazetteer is a promotional tool for ABC. For the purposes of an encyclopedia article describing this group it is not required. MRSCTalk 00:44, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
The database has been licensed by the Royal Mail for the "traditional county" field in the alias file so you are wrong again. It also contains up-to-date information on local government. Please try to restrain your POV. Lancsalot (talk) 00:51, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
It sounds very effective. MRSCTalk 00:59, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

I appreciate you are only interested in which authority empties the bins etc. But others are culturally rather more sophisticated. Please try to understand this. Lancsalot (talk) 01:07, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

This does not help Lancsalot. You have been warned about being more courteous to others within the last 24 hours([16]). Please take note of WP:CIVIL. Implying that others are not cultrally sophisticated is neither helpful, or acceptable and a breach of Wikipedia's standards. -- Jza84 · (talk) 01:11, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Insider or outsider[edit]

This gets removed from time to time. Here are the definitions:

Insider pressure groups have strong links with decision makers and are regularly consulted. Insider pressure groups are the groups that the government - local or national - considers to be legitimate and are, therefore, given access to decision makers. For example, insider groups might be included in regular meetings with ministers or civil servants and they might be included on lists for circulation of new government proposals. The fact that insider groups are part of the consultation process enables them to use direct methods in order to exert influence. Insider groups tend to be very powerful and long-term in terms of political influence. It is more common for sectional rather than promotional groups to be insiders, although this is by no means always the case.

Outsider pressure groups have none of the advantages of insider groups. They cannot expect to be consulted during the policy-making process, nor can they expect to gain access to ministers and civil servants. Rather, they have to work outside the governmental decision making process and, therefore, have fewer opportunities to determine the direction of policy.

I've also added they are "single-issue" group - these are also known as a "promotional" group. Either wording is ok. MRSCTalk 05:04, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Ah, well in that case let us honour them with that name, recognizing as it does that they are not part of the tax-drinking state nomenklatura!
I will however slightly adjust the internal link so that we who are not sociologists can interpret the phrase in question.
Howard Alexander (talk) 12:37, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Four Conservative PM's have made proposals in regards to ABC's suggestions, referenced in the section of "Parliamentary support" section. The term "outsider pressure group" in relation to ANY pressure group only has 85 hits on Clearly a total neologism and it carrys negative connotations (in this case, intentionally, as the whole article has a bitter, negative tone against this group). - Yorkshirian (talk) 06:15, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
You need to look at academic texts, not a general google. [17] MRSCTalk 06:23, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
You forgot to put "" around the words. "outsider pressure group" returns only six results[18], it fails WP:NEO. "pressure group" with no derogatory qualifications returns thousands of results.[19] Also, please provide a reference where ABC is itself described as your neologism "outsider pressure group"? We both know that this is intented with derogatory conotations, thats why so many editors remove the word, while a minority of two editors constantly add it back. - Yorkshirian (talk) 06:29, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
Yorkshirian, please remember to assume good faith. Attacking others by way of insinuating motives simply isn't going to help facilitate the change you want. I don't think you're coming to this page with a neutral perspective. I'm quite satisfied with the logic and sourcing done by MRSC and I'm very much inclined to agree. --Jza84 |  Talk  11:18, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
Jza, it is amusing that you should be talking about people not coming to articles with a neutral perspective considering your edit history on the traditional counties and even this very article. No sourcing has been provided by MRSC in the first place, to describe ABC specifically as an "outsider pressure group". A violation of WP:CITE. And the term is still a neologism and thus in violation of our manual of style at WP:NEO. Now, I've directed you towards why the wording is not appropriate for Wikipedia and I don't mind report this to the incidents board if the "tag team" bully boy tactic is used once again. Numerous editors have removed the word "outsider" due to it having derogative connotations and violating our policy and guidelines. The fact that MRSC has not return to the talk, yet continues to revert, speaks volumes. - Yorkshirian (talk) 18:36, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

The reasons editors retract from discussions with Yorkshirian is well documented in the various attempts at dispute resolutions in a variety of forums that have failed, and are now progressing to a higher level. It is your abusive, adversarial and confrontational talk page and edit summaries that have caused editors to be wary of discussions with you.

It is unclear how a perfectly well understood academic term of political science is a "neologism". The link I provided to Google Books was not intended to be used in a "numbers game" of hits. It simply shows that it is an academic term. In political science terms, this group are known as an "outsider" group based on their influence and a "promotional" group based on their objectives. This is not POV. As for third party commentary, it is hard to find *anything* written about this group as they are so inherently non-notable to academic and wider discourse. MRSCTalk 18:48, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Just a note to say I share these sentiments through-and-through. Perhaps we can ask a few other users Yorkshirian, if you have concerns about "tag teaming"? I think that should nullify any such concern. --Jza84 |  Talk  18:53, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

I would add that outsider or insider are technical terms and they cannot be derogatory, unless you want to read it that way. Outsider groups have less influence, but are more able to be independent and critical of government. Insider groups on the other hand have strong influence, but cannot be as outspoken. This is clearly a group in the first category. MRSCTalk 19:08, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

To Yorkshirian: I note the personal attacks you have made in this discussion. I took a look at your editing history today as a result, and found numerous examples of bad-faith assumptions in material you have edited and edit summaries, including an allegation on a TfD comment that was certainly unacceptable. I am advising you publically now that if you persist in doing this, you will be blocked until you give an undertaking to stop your personal attacks. I will copy this message to your talk page. If you feel the need to send a message to me, it should necessarily include as a major part of it words to the effect of "I apologize" and "I promise not to indulge in personal attacks again", and such sentiments should also be included in messages you leave to the editors you have treated like this.  DDStretch  (talk) 22:29, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

This should not be an argument about tone of responses but of accurate, balanced, encyclopedic contect. The ABC is the only organization across the whole of Wikipedia which has been tagged "outsider pressure group". The term might be technical in some circles, but its usage is questionable.
If the "insider" / "outsider" terminology were used across many articles on various interest groups, pressure groups etc, then there would be no argumennt. It is not even hinted at in articles on, for example, Greenpeace, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Countryside Alliance or the Freedom Association, nor indeed in any other article whatsoever. This will lead to honest suspicion of motives.
Can someone justify this unique treatment of the Association of British Counties, or is "outsider" in the process of being inserted in other articles too?
Howard Alexander (talk) 12:17, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
They would probably benefit from the term at least at some point in their respective pages too AFAICT. I do think the term is appropriate here - it is an outsider group afterall, and I think that helps our readers, old and new. I'd even go as far as to say it would help some of our editors, particularly ips, who are (mis-)lead into thinking this is an "official" authority on the geography of the United Kingdom (when infact their chairman is an editor here on Wikipedia and who has misquoted a number of commentaries!). --Jza84 |  Talk  12:27, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

The group's name implies to me an official status so the term 'outsider' is of a definate use. I broadly support the ABC's aims and do not see the term as being derogatory far from it in fact. If can be established whether presure groups are insider or outsider it ought to be added. Bevo74 (talk) 12:34, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

(e/c) reply to Howard Alexander: The "honest assumption about motives" argument would only hold water if it could be demonstrated that the editors using the terms here have read and been actively involved in editing those articles you mentioned, but have deliberately decided to not include "outsider" as a descriptor. Until you can demonstrate deliberate intent, the suspicion about motives won't hold water. Editors of whom these "honest assumption about motives" are concerned could even have edited the article, yet overlooked it by means of a simple error or blunder, and not through any deliberate intent, which is necessary for a justified accusation about motives. I accept that you may think it is a honest assumption about motives, but I hope you can see that this is a blunder on your part (if you do have this assumption), which I have attempted to explain. In any case, having a honest opinion about motives, and expressing it on talk pages and edit summaries, against wikipedia policy concerning personal attacks, is always to be avoided. This is the kind of thing with which the assumption of good faith is concerned. I hope that clears that matter up.  DDStretch  (talk) 12:44, 27 June 2008 (UTC)


Slightly odd question, but does anyone know the ABC's position regarding the status of Hexhamshire (the only traditional county to be abolished before 1965)?The flying pasty (talk) 16:11, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Not sure, but there are others that were abolished pre-1965; Cromartyshire being one example. There were also some "traditional boundaries" amended during the mid-19th century, e.g. Islandshire. --Jza84 |  Talk  19:09, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

OK this is a bit old now, but I emailed them using the address on their website a couple of weeks ago to try and get this cleared up. No reply yet (I'm not expecting one)The flying pasty (talk) 20:08, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
and guess what, I checked my emails this evening and found this reply;

"Our definition of the historic counties matches that in the Historic Counties Standard produced by the Historic Counties Trust 9see for full details of this. We also list this in précis in our AIMS and Objects which can be found on our web site. Essentially, we don’t consider the counties to have been altered by any LG legislation (from 1888 onwards), but consider them to be as first mapped by OS in the nineteenth century. The counties had been stable for many centuries prior to that. Under our definition Hexhamshire isn’t considered a traditional county. This, of course, does not mean that we don’t value its historic identity".

I think this should clear this up.The flying pasty (talk) 17:30, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

The "Historic Counties Trust" is a website run by the Association of British Counties. I also wonder if they vaule the identity of Merseyside, or the alteration to city and borough boundaries after 1888 (e.g. Manchester extentions into Cheshire), which altered counties too. :S --Jza84 |  Talk  17:44, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

If they clash with the 1888 boundaries they won't value them. Bevo74 (talk) 19:55, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Crazy. That means Baguley, Burnage, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Didsbury, Fallowfield, Levenshulme, Longsight, Northenden, and Withington (all added to the city post-1890 through legislation) are not in Manchester, according to ABC's mastery of British geography. I wonder where they are? I jest of course. ;) --Jza84 |  Talk  12:50, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree it is crazy. I think some of these (Baguley and Northenden), or possibly others in a similar situation may have still suffered from, or be at risk of, sporadic attempts to place them in Cheshire, for example. Others may well be occasionally placed in Lancashire (the rest which I haven't already mentioned of the list you gave.) What I find most worrying is the move by some to encourage other newly-registered editors to engage in editing to mis-describe their current status, and even more worrying is the criticism one gets from certain quarters when one tries to counter that.  DDStretch  (talk) 13:33, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I can't see a problem with towns over boundaries though: assume good faith even in the real world outside Wikiworld. Newmarket has crossed the Suffolk - Cambridgeshire border since its very foundation. Thetford is marked on nineteenth century maps as split by the Norfolk-Suffolk border but with a borough boundary encompassing both sides. As for Glasgow or London, enough said. Manchester can spread over Lancashire and Cheshire too without causing metaphysical problems. You're taking about different concepts.
Still, none of this helps us to get this article straight.
Howard Alexander (talk) 13:53, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Lead sentence[edit]

Please refer to the ABC website. Their own description of the orgainsation is "The Association of British Counties (ABC) is a society dedicated to promoting awareness of the continuing importance of the 86 historic (or traditional) Counties of Great Britain." This is my suggestion for the lead;

"The Association of British Counties (ABC) is a non-party-political outsider pressure group that promotes the Historic counties of England and Wales, and the Counties of Scotland."

Here is Jza84's preferred version;

"The Association of British Counties (ABC) is a non-party-political outsider pressure group that promotes what they assert to be the traditional counties of the United Kingdom."

There is no need for "what they assert". It is self-evident that they are asserting it and the phrase is used here to suggest that there are some other entities that are the true traditional counties - which there aren't. The phrase is being used in a POV attempt to undermine the organisation (of which I am not a member or supporter). My version is referenced directly to the ABC website. Unless the "what they assert" can be adequately referenced I will revert to the first-listed version in due course. Blacklans (talk) 18:11, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

I object, and No consensus = no change. You have no evidence to support your change. --Jza84 |  Talk  22:23, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
What sort of evidence might be acceptable? Blacklans (talk) 22:37, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
See WP:WELCOME. A third-party neutral source would help you achieve consensus. --Jza84 |  Talk  22:44, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
Terms such as "traditional" and "historic" are both open to a wide range of interpretations. Although many of the so-called "historic" counties do have their origins around the 9th century or earlier, many others date from as recently as the 16th century. The ABC list derives from their particular interpretation of "tradition" and "history", and thus represents an assertion of a specific non-neutral POV. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:28, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Web site gone?[edit]

The ANC website seems to have disappeared. Before we remove the dead link, does anyone know what's happened - is this just temporary? --15:26, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

I've updated a couple of the links to - haven't changed the text. Ghmyrtle (talk) 18:55, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Ireland (or at least Northern I.)?[edit]

The map only shows Great Britain. What about county broders on the green island? John Anderson (talk) 12:24, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Although the ABC's aims and objectives state: "ABC exists to maintain, enhance and promote the identities of the Counties of the United Kingdom...." none of their other material or maps seem to make any reference to Ireland, only to GB. The article on Counties of Ireland doesn't suggest that any parallel organisation exists in Ireland. Ghmyrtle (talk) 12:32, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
Their current map on their website does include Northern Ireland, but it is not free of copyright. The Historic Counties Trust uses an ABC map with Northern Ireland included[20], but I can't see if there is copyright permission to use it here. If someone wants to e-mail them to ask if it can be used, it might solve that ambiguity. Howard Alexander (talk) 19:32, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

Insider / outsider - again[edit]

I removed the word "outsider" as it appears no longer to be correct. Previous objections to it concerned the tone: no other advocacy body is labelled "outider" and it suggests a mocking tone. It was argued however that "outsider" is a technical term. I am no sociologist, but it was given as:

Outsider pressure groups have none of the advantages of insider groups. They cannot expect to be consulted during the policy-making process, nor can they expect to gain access to ministers and civil servants. Rather, they have to work outside the governmental decision making process and, therefore, have fewer opportunities to determine the direction of policy

Now however the founder and patron of the ABC, Russell Grant, is a voluntary adviser to Eric Pickles and his Department, the Department for Communities and Local Government, borrows county flags from the ABC for its weekly flag displays. Whatever the arguments before, the ABC is "outsider" no longer.

Howard Alexander (talk) 16:50, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

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