Local government I
Provenance and decline
in British politics today
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This chapter explores the provenance of local government and its coming to maturity in the twentieth century, followed by a worrying decline. It presents the historical development of the local governments in Britain, starting from the Poor Law of 1600 through the nineteenth century and the reforms undertaken in the twentieth century. The chapter highlights the functions of parish councils which include youth activities and transport for the elderly and litter collection. In 1997, the Local Government Association was set up to spearhead the interests of all councils above the parish stratum; however it is subject to partisan control. One consequence of party politicisation of local politics is that the fortunes of the national parties influence the local level. The department in the Cabinet at the Westminster responsible for the local government has varied over the years, from Housing and Local Government to the Department of Community and Local Government.

British politics today

The essentials

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