by Stephen Tall on May 6, 2012
There now follows a public information film… During the 1940s, the British Council produced more than 120 short films ‘designed to show the world how Britain lived, worked and played’. They’re now available online, and here’s the wonderfully of-its-time feature on local government — or, as it’s described in the British Council Film Department Catalogue:
‘A simple description of English Local Government, showing the areas into which England is divided, the system of election and finance, and the many services administered by the local authorities.’
Hark back to a time when local authorities had power over all manner of local services — from public health and education, to the fire authorities and water boards — when councillors were invited to stand for election from every walk of life (“for instance, this businessman or even his wife”), and a little boy would utter the deadpan phrase “I’m going to be a councillor when I grow up, daddy”.