Rutland put back on map after 20 years

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The Independent Online
A TINY part of England was celebrating its 'independence' yesterday when the Local Government Commission backed the people of Rutland's efforts to regain county status, 20 years after it became part of Leicestershire.

Most of the 33,400 population have remained fiercely opposed to the merger, which followed the last review of local government.

The commission recognised the 'distinctive identity of Rutland' - England's smallest county. 'In offering a unitary council to the people of Rutland, the commission has recognised the very strong sense of community felt by local people. The existing district area would have its county status restored.'

But it said Rutland would remain part of Leicestershire for police, fire, magistrates' courts and probation services and co-operate on planning and transportation matters.

One pub landlord was serving a special cocktail to mark the event. 'Rutland's Return' was being offered at the 1974 price of 30p at the Old Plough, Braunston.

The owner, Andrew Reid, 34, said: 'The people of Rutland are very proud of their small county. We didn't like the bigger county taking over and we are very pleased to be having it back.'