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Conservative CenturyThe Conservative Party since 1900$
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Anthony Seldon and Stuart Ball

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202387

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202387.001.0001

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The Party and English Local Government

The Party and English Local Government

(p.403) 11 The Party and English Local Government
Conservative Century


Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the local government – the relationship between the Conservatives and the structure and functions of local government itself. It points to generally successful attempts between the wars to adjust the legacy of the Salisbury era to demographic and technological change. The chapter explains that in the reorganization of London in 1963 and the Local Government Act of 1972, the balance between central control and local autonomy was ruptured. It clarifies that legislation under Thatcher and Major since 1979 has tried to reverse some of these changes, but that at the same time Conservative cabinet ministers have found themselves in conflict with local authorities on key policy issues. The result of this change has been a crisis of confidence and loss of purpose in local government, with criticism and rebellion from the Conservative councils and councillors, who, by the early 1990s, were suffering the consequence at the ballot box.

Keywords:   local government, Conservatives, reorganization of London, Salisbury era

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