In 1888 the London County Council was established as the primary local authority for the area now known as Inner London. Twelve years later the parishes within the county were organised into 28 Metropolitan Boroughs which, together with the unchanged City of London, formed the second tier of local government. Twenty of the new boroughs inherited library powers because one or more of their constituent parishes had adopted the Public Libraries Acts before 1900. The eight boroughs which started without public libraries were Bethnal Green, Deptford, Greenwich, Hackney, Islington, Paddington, St. Marylebone and St. Pancras. Five of these adopted the Acts within a few years. Bethnal Green, Paddington and St. Marylebone on the other hand held out against the trend. Even the generosity of library benefactors could be rejected by diehards: Paddington refused a Carnegie grant of £15,000 to establish a service.
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