Wessex Regionalist Party

From Academic Kids

The Wessex Regionalist Party is a minor political party that seeks the establishment some form of legislative and administrative devolved system for the area known as Wessex, in the south-west of England. It was formed by Alexander Thynn in 1974 in response to growing demands for home rule in both Scotland and Wales, arguing that devolution there would necessitate a coherent federal system across the United Kingdom as a whole.

They have contested some constituencies in most elections since they were established, but without much success. They have actively participated in the Wessex Constitutional Convention since its establishment.

They currently use Thomas Hardy's definition of Wessex as consisting of the traditional counties of Berkshire, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire (which includes the Isle of Wight), Somerset and Wiltshire. The party is currently considering a proposal to add Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire to this list, which would bring their definition into line with that used by the Wessex Constitutional Convention and Wessex Society.

Their political ambitions are roughly equivalent to that of Mebyon Kernow's proposals for the future of Cornwall. Their document, The Statute of Wessex, details those powers which they believe should be devolved to a Wessex parliament or "witan", a list largely modelled on the powers which were exercised by the devolved administration in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1974. They are not happy with the plans by the government to give South West England some form of assembly along the lines of the London Assembly because the proposed Eastern boundary of the region bisects the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and would leave out the heart of Wessex, Hampshire, including its traditional capital, Winchester. It also divides two major transport corridors, the M4 corridor and the South Coast Metropole which the party argues would have adverse economic effects on those regions.

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