Brenchley is a village and civil parish in the Borough of Tunbridge Wells, England. The name is derived from Branca's Leigh; the parish is located 8 miles east of Tunbridge Wells, 3 miles south of Paddock Wood, includes the neighbouring village of Matfield. Brenchley & Matfield CoE primary school is located in Brenchley. Brenchley parish church is dedicated to All Saints; the village earns some historical fame by being one of the villages, involved in post medieval iron making. The site of the furnace lies within the parish of Horsmonden now. A Market held in the churchyard at Brenchley was granted in 1230 to Hamo de Crevecoeur, to be held on his own land, the day moved from Sunday to Wednesday. In 1233 this was readjusted to Saturday. By 1296 it belonged to Gilbert de Clare, who in 1312 claimed that his ancestors had held it'from time out of mind'. George and John Lewis, early colonists of the Massachusetts Bay Colony arriving aboard the Hercules of Sandwich, England in 1634/5. John Browne, the second holder of the office of King's Gunfounder.
Hamo de Crevecoeur, Norman nobleman who possessed Brenchley and established a market. Gordon Giltrap, was born in Brenchley. Edward Martin, English cricketer, born in Brenchley. Richard Philpott, English cricketer who resided in Brenchley at the time of his death. Sophie Rhys-Jones, wife of Prince Edward, lived in Brenchley. Thomas Thornycroft, lived in Brenchley at the time of his death. Wat Tyler, leader of the Peasants' Revolt, is reputed to have been born in Brenchley. Siegfried Sassoon. Marle Place - local open Garden with a Victorian gazebo, Edwardian rockery, walled Italianate scented garden, modern mosaic terrace, grass tennis court and artist's studio and gallery. F C Clark. Kentish Fire. Rye, Sussex: Adams & Son. Information about Brenchley on VillageNet An Introduction to Historic Kent
Traffic congestion is a condition on transport networks that occurs as use increases, is characterised by slower speeds, longer trip times, increased vehicular queueing. When traffic demand is great enough that the interaction between vehicles slows the speed of the traffic stream, this results in some congestion. While congestion is a possibility for any mode of transportation, this article will focus on automobile congestion on public roads; as demand approaches the capacity of a road, extreme traffic congestion sets in. When vehicles are stopped for periods of time, this is colloquially known as a traffic jam or traffic snarl-up. Traffic congestion can lead to drivers becoming engaging in road rage. Mathematically, congestion is looked at as the number of vehicles that pass through a point in a window of time, or a flow. Congestion flow lends itself to principles of fluid dynamics. Traffic congestion occurs when a volume of traffic or modal split generates demand for space greater than the available street capacity.
There are a number of specific circumstances which aggravate congestion. About half of U. S. traffic congestion is recurring, is attributed to sheer weight of traffic. Traffic research still cannot predict under which conditions a "traffic jam" may occur, it has been found that individual incidents may cause ripple effects which spread out and create a sustained traffic jam when, normal flow might have continued for some time longer. People work and live in different parts of the city. Places of work are located away from housing areas, resulting in the need for people to commute to work. According to a 2011 report published by the United States Census Bureau, a total of 132.3 million people in the United States commute between their work and residential areas daily. People may need to move about within the city to obtain goods and services, for instance to purchase goods or attend classes in a different part of the city. Brussels, a city with a strong service economy, has one of the worst traffic congestion in the world, wasting 74 hours in traffic in 2014.
This means that the city’s transportation facilities are not capable of handling the amount of traffic it receives, such as the lack of alternative routes on roads, a lack of public transportation where buses and trains are overcrowded and infrequent. In Mumbai, trains are filled to many times their capacity. Buses caught in traffic congestion are filled with passengers. Therefore, many people turn to driving their own cars to have a more pleasant commute. Thus, many people turn to driving their own cars; some traffic engineers have attempted to apply the rules of fluid dynamics to traffic flow, likening it to the flow of a fluid in a pipe. Congestion simulations and real-time observations have shown that in heavy but free flowing traffic, jams can arise spontaneously, triggered by minor events, such as an abrupt steering maneuver by a single motorist. Traffic scientists liken such a situation to the sudden freezing of supercooled fluid. However, unlike a fluid, traffic flow is affected by signals or other events at junctions that periodically affect the smooth flow of traffic.
Alternative mathematical theories exist, such as Boris Kerner's three-phase traffic theory. Because of the poor correlation of theoretical models to actual observed traffic flows, transportation planners and highway engineers attempt to forecast traffic flow using empirical models, their working traffic models use a combination of macro-, micro- and mesoscopic features, may add matrix entropy effects, by "platooning" groups of vehicles and by randomising the flow patterns within individual segments of the network. These models are typically calibrated by measuring actual traffic flows on the links in the network, the baseline flows are adjusted accordingly. A team of MIT mathematicians has developed a model that describes the formation of "phantom jams," in which small disturbances in heavy traffic can become amplified into a full-blown, self-sustaining traffic jam. Key to the study is the realization that the mathematics of such jams, which the researchers call "jamitons," are strikingly similar to the equations that describe detonation waves produced by explosions, says Aslan Kasimov, lecturer in MIT's Department of Mathematics.
That discovery enabled the team to solve traffic-jam equations that were first theorized in the 1950s. Congested roads can be seen as an example of the tragedy of the commons; because roads in most places are free at the point of usage, there is little financial incentive for drivers not to over-use them, up to the point where traffic collapses into a jam, when demand becomes limited by opportunity cost. Privatization of highways and road pricing have both been proposed as measures that may reduce congestion through economic incentives and disincentives. Congestion can happen due to non-recurring highway incidents, such as a crash or roadworks, which may reduce the road's capacity below normal levels. Economist Anthony Downs argues that rush hour traffic congestion is inevitable because of
Kent Fire and Rescue Service
Kent Fire and Rescue Service is the statutory fire and rescue service for the administrative county of Kent and the unitary authority area of Medway, covering a geographical area south of London, to the coast and including major shipping routes via the Thames and Medway rivers. The total coastline covered is 225 km; the FRS provides emergency cover to a population of nearly 2 million. The area meets the boundaries of the London Fire Brigade to the north of the county, Surrey to the north west and East Sussex to the south west of Kent; the first fire brigade appeared in Kent in 1802 when the Kent Fire Office formed an insurance brigade in Deptford. In the same year, separately from insurance companies, Hythe became the first town in Kent to set up its own fire brigade, followed by Ashford in 1826. By the 20th century, it was quite fashionable for local authorities to have their own fire brigades. Maidstone had seen the formation of its borough fire brigade in 1901 when the Royal Insurance Company provided a new Shand Mason horse-drawn steam fire engine, named The Queen.
This company had taken over the Kent Fire Office in the same year disbanding their own brigade. Things became competitive between individual town and village brigades, in many instances, each one trying to outdo its neighbour. In 1910, Bromley became the first town in Kent to house motorised fire engines, with two new Merryweather vehicles being stationed there; until 1938, the provision of a fire brigade was a discretionary power, there were a few local authorities that regarded it as an unnecessary expense. However, due to the threat of war, Parliament enacted the Fire Brigades Act 1938 and made it a duty and so created over 1,600 individual fire authorities across the nation, it was these local brigades and the Auxiliary Fire Service – formed in 1938 – that valiantly coped with the consequences of the Battle of Britain and much of The Blitz. In August 1941, local brigades and the AFS were absorbed into one organisation called The National Fire Service, it was in 1941 that the current Headquarters house The Godlands was requisitioned for war-time use by the National Fire Service and it has remained with the fire service since.
World War II brought dark days indeed for Kent fire-fighters. Fire-fighting has been and will always be a dangerous occupation, the Roll of Honour 1899-1990, compiled by Geoffrey Cooper, an ex-Kent fire-fighter, details the deaths of Kent fire-fighters while on duty. Of the 122'Kent' names listed, 15 were pre-1939, 16 were post-1939 and 91 died during World War II. Nationally, well over 1,000 fire-fighters died during World War II, with stories of fire stations and the water supplies needed for fire-fighting being targeted by German bombers, to maximise the damage caused by incendiary bombs; the last death on duty of a Kent fire-fighter was in 1990. The fire service was returned to local authority control on 1 April 1948 under the Fire Services Act 1947, with responsibility in England and Wales being given to the 146 counties and county boroughs of the day; the County of Kent and the City and County Borough of Canterbury combined to form Kent Fire Brigade, taking over 79 fire stations from the National Fire Service.
Subsequent local government reorganisations have had their effect upon the brigade, most in 1965 when eight fire stations in the northwest of the county were transferred to the newly created Greater London area. Further reorganisation in 1974 saw Canterbury lose its county borough status and the fire brigade became the exclusive responsibility of Kent County Council. In 1998, the structure of local government changed again and Kent combined with the new Medway Towns unitary authority for fire brigade provision. On 1 October 2003, Kent Fire Brigade was renamed Kent Fire and Rescue Service to better reflect the requirements demanded of it for many years; these changes were reflected nationally by the enactment of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 which came into effect on 1 October 2004. In the spring of 2011, Kent Fire and Rescue underwent changes to its structure, these included restructuring from three divisions to 5 area groups: North Kent, East Kent, West Kent, South Kent and Mid Kent.
Each group consists of a number of clusters, which are made up of a number of certain stations where resources are locally managed. The Letter prefix for each division was dropped in the station call sign, for instance Swanley, under the old system was named as Station S31 the S standing for South Division, now it is just Station 31. Water Tender: P1 Rescue Pump Ladder: R3/P1 Rescue Pump Platform: R1 Aerial Ladder Platform: A1 Turntable Ladder: A1 Swift Water Rescue Unit + Inshore Rescue Boat: B1 Command Support Unit: C1 Fire Fogging Unit: M1 Animal Rescue Unit: R2 Line Rescue Unit: R2 Water Carrier: W1 Water Management Unit: W1 General Purpose Vehicle: T1/T2/T3 General Purpose Vehicle + Breathing Apparatus Support Unit: T1 Light 4x4 Vehicle + All Terrain Vehicle: T1 Personnel Carrier Vehicle: T1/T2 Prime Mover + High Volume Pump: T8 Prime Mover + High Volume Hose Layer: T9 Prime Mover + Incident Command & Control Unit: T1 Prime Mover + Incident Support Unit T4 Detection, Identification, & Monitoring: H8 Incident Response Unit: H9 Prime Mover + Mass Decontamination Disrobe: T9 Search & Rescue Dog Unit: R9 General Purpose Vehicle: T1 Prime Mover: T5/T6/T7/T8/T9Pods: Module 1 - Technical Search Equipment Module 2 - Heavy Transport, Confined Space & Hot Cutting Module 3 - Breaching & Breaking Equipment Module 4 - Multi Pu
Kent Police is the territorial police force for Kent in England. The force covers an area of 1,443 square miles with an approximate population of 1,660,588; the Chief Constable is Alan Pughsley, QPM, appointed in 2014. Kent Police was the first force in the United Kingdom to be led by a black Chief Constable, Michael Fuller QPM, in office from 2004 to 2010. Due to the Channel Tunnel, Kent Police is unique among English forces in having a police station outside of the country, in Coquelles, staffed by Kent Police. Kent Police work with other UK and European forces as part of the Cross Channel Intelligence Community, helping to tackle cross-border crime; the cross channel traffic causes Kent Police and the Highways Agency to enforce Operation Stack, controlling the freight flow on that part of the M20 motorway closest to the ports. Kent has the largest strategic road network of any force in the UK, covering four motorways. Proposals made by the Home Secretary on 20 March 2006 saw Kent Police stay as a standalone strategic force for Kent.
The Port of Dover maintains its own independent police force, the Port of Dover Police, Kent Police has statutory responsibility for policing the entire county and will take over primacy of serious investigations and incidents within the port when appropriate. On 14 January 1857, a 222-strong Kent County Constabulary was formed under Chief Constable John Henry Hay Ruxton; the first headquarters was at Wrens Cross, Stone Street and was rented for use by the police until 23 November 1860 when the force purchased it for £1,200. It was responsible for policing those parts of the county not under the jurisdiction of local Borough police forces. In 1860, the initial uniform of a frock coat and a high hat was replaced by a long uniform tunic and shako hat and constables were issued with a rattle and truncheon. In 1885 whistles were introduced and in 1897 the recognisable custodian helmet was introduced. On 1 April 1889, Kent County Constabulary absorbed the borough police forces of Deal, Faversham and Tenterden, five of the fourteen local police forces that policed boroughs within the county of Kent.
The remaining nine were absorbed on 1 April 1943, these being the borough forces of Dover, Gravesend, Margate and Tunbridge Wells, together with the Canterbury City Police, the Rochester City Police. Ruxton retired on 14 August 1894 and died on 20 April 1897. In terms of mobilisation and communication, Kent Constabulary purchased 20 bicycles in 1896, a number which rose to 129 by 1904. Telephones were given to village police constables in 1925 and by 1931, 29 motorcycles had been introduced, along with one police car; the constabulary employed horses until 1943. In 1965, the force had an establishment of 1,988 attested constables and an actual strength of 1,766, making it the third largest county force in Great Britain. Kent County Constabulary was the last British force to keep the word "county" in its official title, it changed its name to Kent Police in 2002. The main argument for the change was that the large number of visitors coming through the Channel Tunnel and the ports would understand the word "Police" more than "Constabulary".
The Kent Police headquarters are located at Maidstone. Kent Police College is located to the rear of the headquarters site; the headquarters houses the Kent Police Museum. After years of personnel cuts announced in 2010 and starting in 2011 that saw officer numbers fall from a peak of 3,800 in 2010 to under 3,200 by 2016, it was announced in March 2018 that Kent Police would launch the largest recruitment campaign in its history aiming to recruit over 200 more officers over the next one to two years; this was made possible due to an increase in the tax funding the police receive from county residents. The campaign has so far been successful with dozens of new constables passing out in 2018 with dozens more undergoing training into 2019. Once completed the campaign should bolster the number of sworn constables in Kent to over 3,400.. It was further announced in January 2019 that the PCC Matthew Scott was proposing another tax increase in the 2019/20 period in the amount of money Kent Police receive from county residents in order to recruit a further 180 officers by 2020.
If this proposal is approved and additional officers are recruited this would take the total number of sworn officers in Kent to upwards of 3,600 by 2020.. This tax increase for 180 additional officers was approved in February 2019. X26 Tasers were introduced to Kent police in 2009 for rank and file officers, although only Response vehicle drivers were issued with them; each Response vehicle had to be double crewed with both crew members carrying Taser due to the safety implications, to allow proper care and control of a Tased individual. In March 2019 it was announced that all frontline officers in a public-facing role who could face violence in the course of their duty will be able to volunteer to undertake taser training and carry a taser whilst on duty if they choose to; this would mean at least all officers who conduct patrol and emergency response duties would be able to undertake taser training. This measure is due as a result of a large increase in weapon crime in Kent and throughout the country as a whole.
In 2017 new two-shot X2 tasers were approved for use by officers and have replaced the older single-shot X26 models. Until November 2011 the force was formed into six BCU's, as shown below: North Kent South Kent East Kent (Canterbury, Herne Bay
BCA Marketplace PLC British Car Auctions, is a used vehicle marketplace. It is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. In 1946 Royal Navy officer David Wickins decided to sell his Riley Lynx tourer. Placing an advert in the local newspaper, he offered to sell the car to the first person who turned up at his mother's house in Farnham, Surrey with £200. Arriving home late, he found a crowd of eager buyers, so auctioned the car off for £420. Wickins rented a farmer's field at Frimley Bridges, now under junction 4 of the M3 motorway, set up his first public auction; the 14 cars auctioned sold for a total of £8,250. Wickins and one of his brothers founded Southern Counties Car Auctions, after exiting the Royal Navy shortly afterwards, he expanded across the UK by selling surplus ex-British Army and Royal Air Force vehicles for the Ministry of Defence. Renamed "British Car Auctions", Wickins expanded the company across Europe and the United States through acquisition; this included the purchase of the car auctions division of British conglomerate Hawley Goodall, owned by Michael Ashcroft.
This proved to be the start of a lifelong friendship between Wickins and Ashcroft, through his Bermuda and Belize based holdings in various banks, Ashcroft would finance a number of Wickins' business ventures. The company had head offices at the Frimley Bridges site, but moved to purpose-built premises at Blackbushe Airport, Yateley to accommodate the now closed aviation division, which it still occupies. Employing 160 at its head office, Wickins built the company into the largest car auction business in the world before retiring in 1990. A near-scratch golfer, through this and his long association with the Conservative Party, Wickins met and befriended Denis Thatcher. Wickins agreed to sponsor Mark Thatcher's motor racing activities in the 1980s through BCA. Denis Thatcher served on one of Wickins' company boards, while Mark Thatcher served as chairman of Lotus Cars and BCA in North America, which Wickins had led from near-bankruptcy to survival. In the late 1980s, Belize-based Hawley Goodall had undertaken a reverse takeover of ADT Security Services, renamed itself ADT.
As a result of its focus on security systems, ADT sold the North American and European arms of BCA in separate deals. While the residual North American arm was broken-up and sold to trade buyers, the European arm was acquired by a consortia of some 40 private investors, including Lord Ashcroft via his Belize-based investment company, in 1995. In September 2006, the European arm was bought by the investment banking arm of private bank Samuel Montagu & Co. a division of HSBC. In February 2010, BCA was acquired by the private equity investment firm Dubilier & Rice. In March 2015 Haversham Holdings, an investment business, undertook a reverse takeover of BCA and renamed itself BCA Marketplace; the company operates the largest vehicle auction site in Europe and auctions over 50% of all cars sold by auction in the UK. Official site
Kent is a county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Surrey to the west and East Sussex to the south-west; the county shares borders with Essex along the estuary of the River Thames, with the French department of Pas-de-Calais through the Channel Tunnel. The county town is Maidstone. Canterbury Cathedral in Kent has been the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England, since the Reformation. Prior to that it was built by Catholics, dating back to the conversion of England to Catholicism by Saint Augustine that began in the 6th century. Before the English Reformation the cathedral was part of a Benedictine monastic community known as Christ Church, Canterbury, as well as being the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury; the last Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury was Reginald Pole. Rochester Cathedral is in Kent, in Medway, it is the second-oldest cathedral in England, with Canterbury Cathedral being the oldest. Between London and the Strait of Dover, which separates it from mainland Europe, Kent has seen both diplomacy and conflict, ranging from the Leeds Castle peace talks of 1978 and 2004 to the Battle of Britain in World War II.
England relied on the county's ports to provide warships through much of its history. France can be seen in fine weather from Folkestone and the White Cliffs of Dover. Hills in the form of the North Downs and the Greensand Ridge span the length of the county and in the series of valleys in between and to the south are most of the county's 26 castles; because of its relative abundance of fruit-growing and hop gardens, Kent is known as "The Garden of England". Kent's economy is diversified. In northwest Kent industries include extraction of aggregate building materials and scientific research. Coal mining has played its part in Kent's industrial heritage. Large parts of Kent are within the London commuter belt and its strong transport connections to the capital and the nearby continent makes Kent a high-income county. Twenty-eight per cent of the county forms part of two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: the North Downs and The High Weald; the name Kent is believed to be of British Celtic origin and was known in Old English as Cent, Cent lond, Centrice.
In Latin sources Kent is mentioned as Canticum. The meaning is explained by some researchers as "coastal district," or "corner-land, land on the edge". If so, the name could be etymologically related to the placename Cantabria a Celtiberian-speaking coastal region in pre-Roman Iberia, today a province of Spain; the area has been occupied since the Palaeolithic era, as attested by finds from the quarries at Swanscombe. The Medway megaliths were built during the Neolithic era. There is a rich sequence of Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman era occupation, as indicated by finds and features such as the Ringlemere gold cup and the Roman villas of the Darent valley; the modern name of Kent is derived from the Brythonic word kantos meaning "rim" or "border", or from a homonymous word kanto "horn, hook". This describes the eastern part of the current county area as coastal district. Julius Caesar had described the area as um, or home of the Cantiaci in 51 BC; the extreme west of the modern county was by the time of Roman Britain occupied by Iron Age tribes, known as the Regnenses.
Caesar wrote that the people of Kent are'by far the most civilised inhabitants of Britain'. East Kent became a kingdom of the Jutes during the 5th century and was known as Cantia from about 730 and recorded as Cent in 835; the early medieval inhabitants of the county were known as the Kent people. These people regarded the city of Canterbury as their capital. In 597, Pope Gregory I appointed the religious missionary as the first Archbishop of Canterbury. In the previous year, Augustine converted the pagan King Æthelberht of Kent to Christianity; the Diocese of Canterbury became England's first Episcopal See with first cathedral and has since remained England's centre of Christianity. The second designated English cathedral was in Kent at Rochester Cathedral. In the 11th century, the people of Kent adopted the motto Invicta, meaning "undefeated" or "unconquered"; this naming followed the invasion of Britain by William of Normandy. The Kent people's continued resistance against the Normans led to Kent's designation as a semi-autonomous county palatine in 1067.
Under the nominal rule of William's half-brother Odo of Bayeux, the county was granted similar powers to those granted in the areas bordering Wales and Scotland. Kent was traditionally partitioned into East and West Kent, into lathes and hundreds; the traditional border of East and West Kent was the Medway. Men and women from east of the Medway are Men of Kent, those from the west are Kentishmen or Kentish Maids. During the medieval and early modern period, Kent played a major role in several of England's most notable rebellions, including the Peasants' Revolt of 1381, led by Wat Tyler,Jack Cade's Kent rebellion of 1450, Wyatt's Rebellion of 1554 against Queen Mary I; the Royal Navy first used the River Medway in 1547. By the reign of Elizabeth I a small dockyard had been established at Chatham. By 1618, storehouses, a ropewalk, a drydock, houses for officials had
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K