Local Pressure Groups: The Exercise of Influence
Most studies of local communities point to an extensive local pressure group universe. Jones (1969) provided an interesting case study of Wolverhampton; Newton (1976, p. 38) identified some 4,264 local organisations in Birmingham; Cousins (1976) in his study of three South London boroughs found a similar high level of organised groupings; Bishop and Hoggett (1986) found extensive group networks even in small district councils. In most local authorities active pressure groups abound; what is less certain is the impact of such groups on the local policy-making process. This chapter sets out to explore the extent, nature and influence of such groups within local communities.
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