Chapter

The slow road to ‘modernisation’

J. A. Chandler

in Explaining Local Government

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780719067068
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701355 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719067068.003.0007
The slow road to ‘modernisation’

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In Britain, the inter-war years were dominated by a resurgent Conservative Party, many of whose members' sympathies still lay, as regards local governance, on the Salisbury plain of a dual polity. However, fears that urban government might be captured by socialists and used to further ownership of the means of production compelled Conservatives to reluctantly interfere in local politics. Even Conservatives, such as Neville Chamberlain, who sympathised with new liberal values of equality of opportunity tempered their support for the larger enterprising local authorities once poplarism suggested to them the dangers of the cat being in charge of the jug of cream. This chapter looks at the British local government's slow road to ‘modernisation’, the growth and rivalry between authorities, the decline of municipalisation, the ending of the local Poor Law, local finance and the decline of the dual state, the inclusive professional authorities and local government's relations with the central government in the 1930s.

Keywords: local government; Britain; central government; modernisation; municipalisation; Poor Law; local finance; dual state; professional authorities; Conservative Party

Chapter.  7937 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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