Local Government I - Structure and Functions

  • S. G. Richards


Government on a local basis has been a part of Britain’s administrative system since Saxon times, but the modern system of local government dates only from the nineteenth century. To deal with the acute social and economic problems brought about by the agrarian and industrial revolutions a number of ad hoc authorities were created. Under the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834., Boards of Guardians were set up to administer workhouses for the poor; the Public Health Act 1848 established Boards of Health to provide water and drainage, while the Education Act 1870 enabled School Boards to be established with power to levy rates to build schools. The Public Health Act 1872 replaced the Boards of Health by urban and rural sanitary authorities which were given greater and compulsory powers to combat public health nuisances.


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  1. P. G. Richards, The Reformed Local Government System(London:Allen & Unwin, 2nd edn, 1975)Google Scholar
  2. Lord Redcliffe-Maud, The English Local Government System Reformed ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1974 )Google Scholar
  3. H. V. Wiseman (ed.), Local Government in England, 1958–69 ( London: R.K.P., 1970).Google Scholar
  4. Lord Redcliffe-Maud (chairman), Royal Commission on Local Government in England, volume i, Cmnd 4040 ( London: HMSO, 1969 ).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© S. G. Richards 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. G. Richards
    • 1
  1. 1.Hammersmith and West London CollegeUK

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