Acknowledgements from Kath
I am indebted to David Black for his support and collaboration in the early days of this book’s gestation. Also for his comments and corrections to early draft chapters and for his considerable input in relation to the Housing and Social Services chapters, from which I plagiarised shamelessly. I must also thank John Shiers 1 for his unstinting support and encouragement to carry on when I felt (many times) like giving up.
This book could also not have been written without the considerable contributions from the many current and former councillors and council officers who have willingly talked to me at length about their experiences during the years covered here (and suggested amendments to drafts). There are too many to list, but most of their names will be found in these pages – except where they have expressly wished to remain anonymous. I have tried to give an accurate report of events, but if I have misreported some or misrepresented anyone’s views, I take full responsibility and apologise. Not everyone involved will agree with my perspective on the events recorded or on my choice of what to include or omit, but I hope they will respect my views, as I respect theirs.
I must also thank Steve Platt and Tony Dale for their editing suggestions for many of the chapters, some of which I rejected because I had done too much research to willingly leave things out, so for any parts which readers find too detailed and boring, the fault is entirely mine. Finally I have to thank my son and daughter, Peter and Karen Cropper, for their tolerance and encouragement during this long task, and Karen as well for all the work associated with final publication, without which this book would not have seen the light of day.
From my years as secretary (and minute keeper) of the City Labour party, and my natural proclivity towards ‘hoarding’ documents, I appear to have become the main archivist for the period of time covered here. All these documents have been deposited in the local studies library of the council’s central reference library so that they are available to future researchers and writers.