Professionalism and alienation

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:
Professionalism and alienation

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The 1972 Local Government Act and its Scottish counterpart were the culmination of continuous pressures throughout the twentieth century for change in terms both of the size of local authorities and of their inclusivity and professionalism. Social and economic trends such as improved transport, the creation of national mass media and competitiveness among political parties began to eclipse local as opposed to centralised management of services and economic development, and arguably decreased the relevance of local government as an institution central to each individual's well-being. The emergence of the Labour Party to become, by the 1920s, the major opposition to the Conservatives had profound effects on the composition of urban local governments. The arrival of working-class Labour councillors in large numbers destroyed the town halls as gentlemen's clubs and, for many local patricians, the whole character and value of local political activism. In nineteenth-century Britain, even after the formation of the county councils' local notables, there were many elite leaders who dominated their local councils and at the same time defended their position in Parliament.

Keywords: local government; Britain; inclusivity; professionalism; Labour Party; councillors; Parliament; transport; mass media; political parties

Chapter.  10695 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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