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Embargoed until 00.30 am on Sunday 1st April

An exclusive in The Yorkshire Times - Yorkshire's online newspaper - today reveals that there are plans to merge the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire in a bid to cut administration costs. A leaked e-mail reveals that the new county will be renamed "Larkshire" and will be symbolised by a pink rose. It is still unclear where the administrative headquarters will be located, with both York and Lancaster in the running, although many stakeholders are backing a bid by Leeds as a logical central location.

This latest austerity measure following closely on the heels of the controversial NHS overhaul and the beleaguered child benefit changes, is set to cause a northern revolt.

Whilst printers, branding agencies and PR companies are jumping for joy, many Yorkshire businesses are up in arms. "It's an outrage" said Richard Trinder owner of the Yorkshire Times "Many Yorkshire firms, like ours, include...

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