Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The responses of Labour-controlled London local authorities to major changes in housing policy, 1971-1983
Author: Passmore, Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 1535
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis explores the relationship between town halls and Conservative governments over two policy changes which reduced local autonomy: the Housing Finance Act 1972 imposed rent increases on council housing, and the 1980 Housing Act gave tenants the Right to Buy. The literature on local authority resistance concentrates on high-profile battles between government ministers and Clay Cross and Norwich councils, but the coverage of London boroughs is sparse, except for that on Camden’s defiance in 1972. This thesis aims to assess the responses of eight Labour-controlled boroughs in the capital to the controversial legislation, including Greenwich, targeted by government ministers for being especially ‘difficult’ over the Right to Buy. The thesis examines the extent to which Labour-controlled local authorities sought to resist the government measures, their strategies and the outcomes; splits in Labour groups over implementation and any differences between 1972 and 1980. Attention is paid to the role of local Conservatives in the controversies. The thesis relies on minutes of council meetings and reports in local newspapers, supplemented by some oral interviews. It was recognised in 1972 that for resistance to be effective, Labour authorities needed to agree a common strategy, but attempts to do so failed. While councillors increasingly feared incurring legal sanctions, the Parliamentary Labour Party urged them to accept a compromise which could lessen the rent increases. Camden rebelled for several months, despite a serious split among Labour councillors, and only complied when ministers made their position financially untenable. Labour groups remained more united over implementing the Right to Buy scheme as they had other priorities and could delay or frustrate individual sales. The boroughs did the minimum necessary to operate the government scheme and resisted pressure from ministers over their performance. After initially refusing to implement the 1980 legislation, Greenwich subsequently survived threats of intervention through negotiation. Overall this thesis demonstrates that there was resistance among the boroughs studied to both policy changes which encroached upon their autonomy, but that the political battles were mainly fought on housing issues with Conservative councillors invariably supporting their party in government.
Supervisor: Kandiah, Michael David; Thane, Patricia Mary Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available