This book is concerned with the organisations of government and administration that exist away from Westminster and Whitehall. Until relatively recently this sub-national system was not seen to be particularly important or interesting for British politics: the ‘real’ cut and thrust of political debate and the ‘real’ decisions were believed to be located firmly at the central, national, level. Recent events, dating back to the reorganisations of local government and the National Health Service (NHS) in 1974 and 1975, have served to explode this myth quite effectively. Without, for example, the fall-out from the attempt to reform local government taxation by introducing the Community Charge it is by no means certain that Margaret Thatcher would have resigned as Prime Minister in 1990, showing a political potency of events at the local level that the old, centralist, perspective simply could not cope with.
KeywordsLocal Government National Health Service Central Government Public Expenditure Public Sector Employment
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