The Development of Local Government
Why have we included an essentially historical chapter in a book on contemporary local government? Why not just concentrate on the present system and structure as we do in Chapter 5? The answer is disarmingly simple. It is just not possible properly to understand the present without at least some appreciation of how that present came about, of how it developed out of and differs from the past. That much would be true for any country. But it is especially true in Britain, where the system of local government, like most other institutions, has evolved gradually and piecemeal over the centuries, uninterrupted by an invasion or violent revolution that might have prompted a formal constitutional settlement.
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