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Durham e-Theses
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Local government and leisure:: A study of two local authorities and their responses to the growth of leisure

Liddle, Joyce (1992) Local government and leisure:: A study of two local authorities and their responses to the growth of leisure. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Local authorities have a long history of providing recreation and leisure services, but since the 1970s leisure departments have expanded with a corresponding growth in the number and importance of professional officers to run them. Growing affluence and improvements in the quality of life have led to a recognition of the social importance of leisure provision, and more recently its economic importance has been established with the introduction of schemes aimed at rejuvenating local areas. This thesis investigates the internal workings of two neighbouring local authorities in the North East of England. It is a comparative study of the District Councils of Wear Valley and Chester-le-Street, focusing primarily on the importance of leisure services in the public sector. It draws attention to the importance of leisure to justify local government as elected bodies concerned with the overall well-being of their local communities. After considering historical, philosophical and sociological perspectives on leisure, and examining the role of public bodies in the provision of leisure, the thesis proceeds with a detailed analysis of leisure services in Wear Valley and Chester-le-Street in a period of dramatic change. An evaluation of the differences in each District and their responses leads to a consideration of the 'Enabling' role now expected of all local authorities. Although local government is an important element in the British political system, it has been subjected to a plethora of legislation since 1979, aimed at reducing public spending and questioning and controlling the role and purpose of local authorities. The comparison of the two Districts involves an investigation of their internal conduct and business. It finds that leisure services are an increasingly important reasons for maintaining elected local authorities.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1992
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Nov 2012 10:56

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