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Exploring the politics of housing during 1890-1990, this fascinating study examines the interaction not only of national and local politics but also of local influential factors such as civic culture, key local players, local discourse and geographical and demographic problems. Unlike other housing histories, this book also looks at the position of the tenant. Local discourse, it argues, reflects the growing dissatisfaction of the tenant and, from that, a partial shift in local political values. Increasingly, tenants acted as consumers of a public service. This argument will have a significant impact on the way we view political discourse and how notions of consumerism increasingly shaped responses to the housing debate. The first section provides the national context by looking at the changes and impact of twentieth century legislation on housing policy in different cities across the country. The second and third sections provide a more detailed account of the politics of housing in Manchester. Section Two focuses on the dreadful Victorian legacy, the development of civic culture, the impact of the voluntary sector, the emergence of local government intervention, slum houses, tenants, slum clearance and the post-war policy of creating overspill estates. Section Three looks at the building of new system-built flats and their rapid deterioration, rising tenant anger and protests, the rise and demise of the New Left s control of the council and the beginning of a new approach based on consultation and partnerships.The book will be of value to anyone studying urban history, politics, governance, civic culture, social policy and society.
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This book highlights the importance of locality in understanding social policy. It takes a unique approach, as it includes the tenant in the politics of housing and explores the rise of the language of consumerism into social policy. It explores the century of change rather than a narrow time span, allowing for the indentification of pressures, problems and shifts in policy.About the Author:
Peter Shapely is lecturer in Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Wales, Bangor
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