The Bickerstaffe Record
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‘Small town politics’ and lessons for big government from 50 years ago

10.24.09 | 1 Comment

As John Denham MP plans for a radical shake up of local government, and as the Tories plan for an, erm, radical shake up of local government, this  may be appropriate:

‘We have heard a great deal in the past few years about the problems of local government – the problem of areas, the problem of finance, the shortage of able councillors, the apathy of the public, the problm of co-ordination between authorities.  But these problems have often been discussed one by one, and they have generally been observed from the centre rather than from the periphery. Because of this many of the reforms that students of politics have suggested seemed to be unrealistic or irrelevant to local councillors and officials, and in consequence have not been adopted.’

AH Birch (1959): Small Town Politics: A study of political life in Glossop (London: OUP)

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