Local Government – Getting it Wrong

  • Iain McLean
Part of the Tranforming Government book series


Local government finance in the UK is one of the dustier corners of social science. Local government has never had very high status in British politics, but in the nineteenth century it had more than now. Between around 1850 and 1914, self-confident cities with buoyant rate income erected the great town halls, such as Leeds (Cuthbert Brodrick, 1858); Manchester (Alfred Waterhouse, 1887); Oxford (T.G. Jackson, 1897); South Shields (Ernest E. Fetch, 1910): cathedrals of municipal self-confidence. The most self-confident English city of all was Birmingham. Joseph Chamberlain was Mayor of Birmingham from 1873 to 1876, in his radical Nonconformist phase. He was an active executive mayor. Under him and his followers, Birmingham became a showpiece of municipal socialism.


Local Authority Median Voter Local Taxation Economic Rent Fiscal Crisis 
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Copyright information

© Iain McLean 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iain McLean
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Oxford UniversityEngland
  2. 2.Nuffield CollegeEngland

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