Greater London Council

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The Greater London Council (GLC) was the top-tier local government administrative body for Greater London from 1965 to 1986. It replaced the earlier London County Council (LCC) which had covered a much smaller area. The GLC was disolved in 1986 by the Local Government Act 1985 and its powers were devolved to the London boroughs and other entities.



The GLC was established by the London Government Act 1963. The Labour Party had controlled the London County Council from 1934 and by the 1950s the Conservative Government considered that elections were becoming one-sided, since the LCC covered only the inner (generally Labour-voting) districts. The government sought to create a new body covering all of London.

A Royal Commission was set up under Sir Edwin Herbert in 1957 and reported in 1960, recommending the creation of 52 new London boroughs as the basis for local government. It further recommended that the LCC be replaced by a weaker strategic authority, with responsibility for public transport, road schemes, housing development and regeneration.

The recommendations were accepted in most part, but the number of new boroughs reduced instead to 32. Greater London covered the counties of London and most of Middlesex, plus parts of Essex, Kent and Surrey, a small part of Hertfordshire and the County Boroughs of Croydon (Surrey), East Ham and West Ham (both Essex) which had been independent of county control.

Some areas on the boundary of the area fought successfully to be excluded from it, notably the Sunbury-on-Thames Urban District, Staines Urban District and Potters Bar Urban District of Middlesex, fearing increased local taxation. Other areas in the Report that were not eventually made part of Greater London included Epsom and Ewell, Caterham and Warlingham, Esher, and Weybridge.

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