Structural reform of British local government

Rhetoric and reality

By Michael Chisholm

Structural reform of British local government
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  • Price: £17.99
  • ISBN: 9780719082832
  • Publish Date: Nov 2011
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8283-2
    • Pages: 208
    • Price: £17.99
    • Published Date: November 2011


    During the 1990s, the structure of local government in Scotland and Wales was completely reorganised by Acts of Parliament. Under other legislation, and in response to recommendations from the Local Government Commission, there was a partial reorganisation in shire England. This is the only study which examines these reforms in one volume. Running through this study is the contrast between the rhetoric used to justify replacing counties and districts by new unitary authorities and the realities of local government.

    The book reviews the reasons for the reforms, the processes and outcomes in the three countries, and the nature of the evidence which was available for the advantages and disadvantages of reorganisation. Two chapters compare the prior assessments with the actuality, and the final chapter discusses some important lessons for national governance.

    This is the only study written by someone who was directly involved in the structural review, as a member of the Local Government Commission, and it combines this special experience with a wealth of information from many sources.

    The book will be a key text for teachers and students of local government and also important for those studying public administration, government and politics at the second or third year undergraduate level. There should also be a wide readership in local government circles and among MPs and those concerned with public life.


    1. Introduction
    2. Why structural reform in the 1990s
    3. The roving review of shire England
    4. Estimating the costs and benefits of change in England
    5. Services, communities and private opinion
    6. Parliament legislates for Scotland and Wales
    7. The actual costs of reorganisation
    8. How well are the new arrangements working?
    9. Conclusion
    Appendix 1: Initial directions to the Local Government Commission for England for the review timetable
    Appendix 2: Supplementary credit approvals and capitalisation directions
    Appendix 3: Estimation of 'missing' data for supplementary credit approvals: England


    Michael Chisholm was Professor of Geography at the university of Cambridge until retiring in 1996

    Structural reform of British local government

    By Michael Chisholm

    Paperback £17.99 / $26.95

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