ABSTRACT

What interpretation can be given to the reversal of plans in Manchester and Birmingham; the interminable delays in reaching a decision about Gloucester city; the deadlock in Newham and Liverpool; inertia in Hereford and Worcester; the inconsistency of accepting York and rejecting Sherborne; of approving Stockport and tampering with Sheffield; and what sense can be made of the most meticulous planning in Manchester juxtaposed with continuing and corrosive uncertainty? Arguably, the period of the 1980s reorganization is characterized by greater disorder and meddling than the episode of the 1960s. How do we interpret such events, which seem to make little sense?