University of Leicester
2013DockerillRPPhD.pdf (5.31 MB)

Local Government Reform, Urban Expansion and Identity: Nottingham and Derby, 1945-1968

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posted on 2013-09-20, 09:20 authored by R.P. Dockerill
This study examines changes in the governance of Nottingham and Derby in the period 1945-1968 from a local and national perspective. In so doing it foreshadows the changes wrought by the Local Government Act 1972, which usually receives greater academic attention. Post-war, local authorities became the nation’s principal landlords, while utilities, such as electricity and gas, were nationalised. In fulfilling their new responsibilities, urban authorities were forced to build estates on the periphery of, or outside, their boundaries. The relocation of residents resulted in an exportation of urban identity and greater urban-ness, but was not accompanied by a corresponding redrawing of administrative boundaries. Nevertheless, when urban authorities sought boundary extensions they were fiercely contested by county authorities, local associations, and residents’ groups. Such associations and groups claimed to possess characteristics distinct from the authorities that wished to incorporate them. There was also a fear that democratic accountability would be lost in the creation of larger units of governance. The local feelings aroused by boundary extension proposals demonstrate that local government is more than merely an agent of central government. It is a living organism: changes to it affect not only services, but also the identity of that place. The expansion proposals of the county boroughs of Nottingham and Derby differed markedly. Uniquely amongst county boroughs nationwide, Nottingham sought no expansion under the review initiated by the Local Government Act 1958. The thesis assesses the political motivations behind this and the wider reactions to reconfiguration proposals for both county boroughs. The role of conurbations is considered in terms of local governance, including the extent to which Nottingham and Derby could be classified as one. The thesis concludes that the maintenance of existing party political strengths outweighed local sentiment, and that only those proposals for reform which benefited the former were enacted.



Snell, Keith; Gunn, Simon

Date of award


Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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