War and social democracy

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:
War and social democracy

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Undermining the dual-polity ethos of the nineteenth century opened the door to an insidious encroachment of central controls, and manipulation of local government services and structure by central government. During the 1930s, a general mood of modernisation and streamlining attached to economies of scale pervaded radical thinking in relation to service provision. The major utilities – gas, electricity and water – along with transport such as the rail services, were viewed as national rather than local concerns that needed to be supplied under central rather than local guidance. Modernisers during World War II began preparing for a major restructuring of service provision and the organisation to supply those services. This chapter focuses on World War II and social democracy in Britain, along with the impact of the war on local government, local government reform, the government under Clement Attlee, the nationalisation of industries, the national health service, housing and town planning, and financing of local government.

Keywords: local government; Britain; utilities; modernisation; World War II; social democracy; local government reform; Clement Attlee; nationalisation; national health service

Chapter.  11979 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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