‘Modernising’ the system 1951–79

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:
‘Modernising’ the system 1951–79

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The incoming Conservative Government of 1951 had no developed plans for reforming local government. The Butskillist common ground between the Conservative Party and the Labour Party encompassed a tacit consensus on the structure and functions of the system, as it had developed into a more service-orientated approach since 1945. During the first years of Winston Churchill's government, local government became in effect a ministry for housing. Churchill allocated the Ministry of Local Government and Planning to Harold Macmillan in order to fulfil the latter's ambitious pledge made at the 1950 Conservative Party Conference to build 300,000 new houses a year. This chapter examines the ‘modernisation’ of the local government in Britain from 1951 to 1979. It discusses financial reforms, the restructuring of local government, the restructuring of London, the Labour Government during 1964–1970, local government finance, the 1972 Local Government Act, and nationalism and regional devolution.

Keywords: local government; Britain; modernisation; Labour Party; housing; Harold Macmillan; restructuring; Local Government Act; nationalism; devolution

Chapter.  16735 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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