The large, all‐purpose local authorities established by the Local Government Re‐organization Act, 1972, for England and Wales—Scottish local government re‐organization is yet to be completed—are operative; members have long since been elected and organization and staffing, if not complete, at least ready to commence. It is certainly the greatest upheaval since urban and rural sanitary authorities were set up about the middle of the last century. The last change of any magnitude was in 1934; small, however, compared with 1974. At that time, there were 62 county councils, 83 county boroughs and nearly 300 municipal boroughs, 29 metropolitan boroughs, more than 600 urban and about 500 rural districts; roughly 1,600 local authorities. The tremendous reduction in authorities by the present re‐organization illustrates the extent of the upheaval.
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