London County Council

London County Council

Infobox UK local authority
name = London County Council
hq = County Hall, Lambeth
area = County of London
start = 1889
end = 1965
lawstart = Local Government Act 1888
lawend = London Government Act 1963

type = County council

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. [Saint, A.," Politics and the people of London: the London County Council (1889-1965)", (1989)]


By the 19th century the City of London Corporation covered only a small fraction of metropolitan London. From 1855 the Metropolitan Board of Works (MBW) had certain powers across the metropolis, but it was appointed rather than elected. Many powers remained in the hands of traditional bodies such as parishes and the counties of Middlesex, Essex, Surrey and Kent. The creation of the LCC in 1889, as part of the Local Government Act 1888, was forced by a succession of scandals involving the MBW. 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. Shortly after its creation a Royal Commission on the Amalgamation of the City and County of London considered the means for amalgamation with the City of London. Although this was not achieved, it led to the creation of 28 metropolitan boroughs as lower tier authorities to replace the various local vestries and boards in 1900; 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 convert|167|mi|km 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 became known as the Municipal Reform Party.

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.


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.

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.

* Sir Thomas Farrer (March 21, 1889 - March 27, 1890)
* James Stuart (March 27, 1890 - March 9, 1892)
* Charles Harrison (March 9, 1892 - March 10, 1898)
* Thomas McKinnon Wood (March 10, 1898 - March 8, 1907)
* Richard Robinson (March 8, 1907 - March 11, 1908)
* Hon. William Wellesley Peel (March 11, 1908 - March 8, 1910)
* William Hayes Fisher (March 8, 1910 - December 19, 1911)
* Cyril Jackson (December 19, 1911 - March 16, 1915)
* Ronald Collet Norman (March 16, 1915 - March 1, 1918)
* Sir George Hume (March 1, 1918 - March 11, 1925)
* Sir William Ray (March 11, 1925 - March 9, 1934)
* Herbert Morrison (March 9, 1934 - May 27, 1940)
* Lord Latham (May 27, 1940 - July 29, 1947)
* Sir Isaac Hayward (July 29, 1947 - March 31, 1965)

ee also

*Coat of arms of London County Council
*London County Council Tramways
*London County Councillors



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