London County Council

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London County Council
Type County council
Territory County of London
HQ County Hall, Lambeth
Civic arms
Created 1889
Local Government Act 1888
Abolished 1965
London Government Act 1963

London County Council (LCC) was the principal local government body for the County of London, throughout its 1889-1965 existence, and the first London-wide general municipal authority to be directly elected. It covered the area today known as Inner London and was replaced by the Greater London Council. The LCC was the largest, most significant and ambitious municipal authority of its day. <ref>Saint, A., Politics and the people of London: the London County Council (1889-1965), (1989)</ref>


[edit] History

The creation of the LCC in 1889, as part of the Local Government Act 1888, was forced by a succession of scandals involving the Metropolitan Board of Works (MBW), its predecessor, which had not been directly elected. While the Conservative government of the day would have preferred not to create a single body covering the whole of London, their electoral pact with Liberal Unionists led them to this policy. A later Government created the 28 metropolitan boroughs as lower tier authorities to replace the various local vestries and boards in 1899; they assumed some powers of the LCC and shared others.

The LCC inherited the powers of its predecessor the MBW, but also had wider authority over matters such as education, city planning and council housing. It took over the functions of the London School Board in 1903, and Dr C W Kimmins was appointed chief inspector of the education department in 1904.

From 1899 the Council progressively acquired and operated the tramways in the county, which it electrified from 1903. By 1933, when the LCC Tramways were taken over by the London Passenger Transport Board, it was the largest tram operator in the United Kingdom, with more than 167 miles of route and over 1,700 tramcars.

Initially, it had been hoped by many that elections to the LCC would be conducted on a non-partisan basis, but in the Council two political groups formed. The majority group in 1889 was the Progressives, who were unofficially allied with the Liberal Party in national politics. Those who allied with the Conservative Party formed the Moderate group. In 1906, the Moderates added the name Municipal Reform.

The LCC was elected every three years. The Progressives were in control continuously from 1889 until 1907, when they lost power to the Municipal Reformers. Municipal Reform control lasted until 1934 when Labour won power, which they kept until the LCC was abolished.

[edit] Headquarters

The LCC initially used the Spring Gardens headquarters of the Metropolitan Board of Works but by 1906 decided to buy three adjoining plots of land on the eastern side of Westminster Bridge as a site for a single headquarters. The County Hall designed by Ralph Knott was built there from 1909–1933 and passed into private ownership following the abolition of the Greater London Council. A London Residuary Body was appointed with the express purpose of managing the transfer of the assets of the GLC after 1985, making the task of re-establishing metropolitan authority rather more difficult for any post-Thatcher government.

[edit] Leaders of the London County Council

The post of Leader was only officially recognised in 1933. This table gives the Leaders of the majority parties on the council before this time, although in the first term this had little relevance in terms of the leadership of the Council.

Council Chamber of the LCC, from the majority benches

[edit] See also

[edit] References


Government of London from 1855 to present

Metropolitan Board of Works (MBW) 1855 - 1889

London County Council (LCC) 1889 - 1965

Greater London Council (GLC) 1965 - 1986

Mayor of London and the London Assembly of the Greater London Authority (GLA) 2000 +

de:London County Council

London County Council

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