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Durham e-Theses
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Local authority policies, industrial restructuring and the unemployment crisis: an evaluation of the formation and impacts of local economic initiatives in Cleveland 1963 - 1982

Etherington, David (1983) Local authority policies, industrial restructuring and the unemployment crisis: an evaluation of the formation and impacts of local economic initiatives in Cleveland 1963 - 1982. Masters thesis, Durham University.



There is a conspicuous absence in the literature on local authority economic policies of any wide searching analysis of local Government as an institution of the state and component of the overall State structure. This research on economic policy development in Cleveland has arisen from the need to undertake a more in depth critical approach to understanding the mechanisms of local economic policy formation in relation to State intervention in the economy. The major objectives of this research are:(1) Analyse and evaluate State economic policy initiatives in the Teesside and Cleveland economy with particular emphasis upon the development of local government policies;(2) From the above analysis, identify central constraints upon the formation and implementation of policies and consider the underlying reasons for there being a gap between policy objectives and outcomes as well as the existence of conflicts and tensions which arise in the course of policy development. The Study concentrates upon two major components of local government economic policy: industrial land allocation (in relation to steel and chemicals), industrial estate provision and urban renewal in Middlesbrough - the latter two policies forming a central plank in achieving objectives for diversifying the local economy. After discussing the emergence of consensus policies about perceived problems and solutions the Thesis concentrates upon the impacts of these policies. These impacts can be identified in the restructuring operations of ICI and BSC which have been facilitated by local authority infrastructural provision, land management policies and Regional Development Grant expenditures. The Thesis argues that with the failure to attract new service and other types of 'growth' industry to compensate for job losses in the base manufacturing industry the local economy is undergoing a severe structural crisis giving rise to unemployment rates the highest in mainland Britain. The current situation owes much to the forces of international competition and changes in the international division of labour in petro-chemical production, the mobility of capital and general responses to the crisis in profitability (in the case of BSC, crisis in financial structure). This crisis has sharpened the conflict of interests over policy objectives - between the environmental lobby, interests representing 'capital intensive' industries, community groups, small businesses, central Government etc. The Thesis concludes by analysing how these developments raise critical questions about whether there is still a consensus around policy objectives and about the possibilities of local and central State economic planning.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1983
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:15 May 2013 15:45

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