English village to defect?

An English village is holding a referendum on defecting to Wales – for benefits such as free prescriptions and free hospital car parking.

Residents of Audlem, Cheshire, nine miles from the Welsh border, have organised an online poll asking villagers whether it is time to break away from England.

The village is unlikely to come under the control of the Welsh Assembly any time soon, reports the Daily Telegraph.

But residents say the poll will tell politicians there is an issue of increasing inequality between countries in Britain that needs addressing.

Residents have so far voted 63% in favour of joining Wales with 37% opposed. To date 154 people have voted.

Bob Cartwright, the resident behind the website that started the poll, said: “Early voting is showing strong support for the idea, with a two to one ratio in favour.

“Becoming part of Wales would bring major benefits: free prescriptions, free parking at NHS hospitals and a Grand Slam-winning rugby team.”

Mr Cartwright added: “The poll will be seen, we hope, as a humorous way to make a serious point.”

However, one resident was unimpressed by the notion, describing Audlem as quintessentially English.

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