The Making and Unmaking of Local Self-Government

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9781855216358: The Making and Unmaking of Local Self-Government

This is a study of councillors as they are today. It focuses upon their responses to changed conditions since 1991, and assesses the significance of what has been termed the "new management of local government" for councillors everyday worlds, their motivations and their satisfactions. Part 1 of the book sets out the changes that have occurred since the 1970s in the social and political environment of local government and their impact upon the ways in which local authorities effect their business. The pressures of change and the measures proposed to adapt local government practice to them, raise fundamental issues about the nature of represenative local government. Part 2 examines the tension between representativeness and efficiecy through a discussion of the concept of councillor "calibre" as it evolved since 1835. Part 3 presents and discusses the empirical evidence of interviews with, and data collected from 250 councillors in 30 contrasting local authorities in Great Britain. The final part of the book establishes that the current concern to reform local government, far from being a recent phenomomon, is simply revisiting dilemmas which have surfaced periodically, particularly since 1945. The evidence presented in this book suggests that nothing short of radical re-organization would shift the pattern of councillor's activities in terms of the dualism of their representative and executive roles. Resorting to such radical change will, however, confront the issue of the sustainability of representive democracy in British local government.

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Rao, Nirmala
Published by Dartmouth Publishing Co Ltd (1994)
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Rao, Nirmala
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