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Conservative Party Archive: Conservative Central Office - Local Government Department


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Papers of The Conservative Party's Local Government Department.


  • Creation: 1955-2011


315 shelfmarks

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries, Conservative Party Archive [followed by shelfmark, e.g. CCO 130/1/1/1].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

CCO 130/1/1/1/1-36, 1/1/2/1-13, 1/1/3/1-2, 1/1/4/1-5, 1/1/5/1-5, 1/2/1-2, 1/3/1, 1/4/1-3, 1/5/1-4, 1/6/1-3, 1/7/1, 1/8/1-3, 1/9/1-3, 1/10/1-2, 2/1/1-11, 2/1a/1-60, 2/2/1-10, 3/1/1-32, 3/2/1-12, 3/3/1-36, 4/1-3, 5/1-23, 6/1-38, 7/1/1-4, 7/2/1-8, 7/4/1-8, 8/1-3

Collection ID (for staff)



Papers of the Local Government Department at Conservative Central Office, 1955-2011

Biographical / Historical

Towards the end of the Second World War, RA Butler set up a number of sub-committees as part of his Central Committee on Post-War Problems. One of these, the Local Government Reform Sub-Committee, recommended in the course of its report that a local government department be set up at Central Office. Local election losses suffered following the 1945 general election reinforced the need for change, and the Local Government Department was set up in 1946 for the purpose of encouraging co-ordinated effort in the constituencies, not only in the elections, but also in councils by assisting Conservative councillors and workers to be well informed on all aspects of local government, while avoiding any suggestion of direction or interference.

From 1948, an annual Local Government Conference was held in association with the Annual Party Conference. Besides organising the conference, the Department also collated the results of local elections, provided media briefings, and collected information on councils' policies.

In 1976 the Local Government Department was re-constituted to provide a service of information and advice on all matters connected with local government, both policy, administration, legal (where possible) and the conduct and management of elections; a direct two-way link with leaders of Conservative groups and all types of authority; national meetings of leaders of Conservative groups of local authorities of all types; publications such as The Councillor. The department also existed to: - service the National Advisory Committee on Local Government; organise the Annual Local Government Conference; maintain records; and organise the collection of local government results. Finally, the head of the department was also responsible for visiting Area Local Government Committees, Conservative Group Meetings and Area Local Government Conferences. The Local Government Department dealt with relations between the Party and Conservative local councillors.

Custodial History

The archive of the Conservative Party was established as a source for academic study at the Bodleian Library in 1978 by an agreement made between the University of Oxford and the Conservative Party, and brought together surviving historic papers of the Party previously held in various locations including Newcastle University Library and the former Conservative Central Office in Smith Square, London. Since 1996, ownership of the archive has been vested in the Conservative Party Archive Trust. The archive includes records from all three areas of Party organisation: parliamentary, voluntary and professional.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Conservative Party

Conservative Party Archive: Local Government Department
Finding aid prepared by Emily Tarrant
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom