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If we want to understand the future of local government, we must first understand its past. Because while technologies, demographics and social attitudes change, the fundamentals do not: Britain has faced recessions, poverty and budget deficits before, and for the last 150 years local government has done its best to meet these challenges.
This collection brings together four essays on the history of local government. Bermondsey, Birmingham, Liverpool and London provide the stage and politicians from each of the major political parties take leading roles.
We hope today’s council leaders will reflect on the successes of past pioneers. Inspirational examples from local government’s history should serve to remind us of the power of creative ideas.