CHANGES in the occupational composition of Town Councils have been regarded as indicating a decline in the quality of the elected representatives. Fewer people, it is said, with experience of administration and the responsibility for taking executive decisions have been coming on to the Councils, while an increasing number of middle-aged housewives, trade union officials and old-age pensioners has lowered the tone and the efficiency of local government. L. J. Sharpe has disputed this exclusive concentration on occupation as a measure of the ability of the Councillor: he has advocated the consideration of such intangibles as ‘integrity, political nous, will power, judgement and local knowledge’, but he still believes that ‘a person’s occupation can tell us something, but certainly not everything about his likely qualities as a councillor’.1 Yet doubt can be cast on even his guarded claim by the experience of Wolverhampton.
KeywordsLocal Government Council Work Labour Party Committee Work Town Council
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