Development of, and Participation in, Political Organisations in New Towns in the UK

Scope and Content

The study covers the period 1950-1975. The papers are stored in one archival box and are sorted into six folders. Folder one contains interview contextual information; folder two to six contains twenty-eight interview transcripts with local government officials.

Administrative / Biographical History

This study of British New Towns, conducted during the 1970's, yielded both qualitative and quantitative data. This collection includes interviews with social development officers in English and Scottish New Town corporations, and provides a fascinating account of the role of new town corporations in facilitating political participation, the creation of new community groups and easing the integration of residents into their new environment. The interviewees discussed the development of social and political organisations, for example tenant groups, resident associations, sports, religious and voluntary groups, and the role of social development officers in encouraging the establishment of such groups. Information is also provided on the origins of new towns, employment opportunities and amenities. Quantitative data arising from the survey is deposited at the UK Data Archive.

Access Information

By written application to either the Librarian or Deputy Librarian. A letter of introduction may be required and prospective users will be obliged to sign an undertaking outlining the terms and conditions of access to the research materials.


Entry compiled by John Southall of Qualidata, UK Data Archive, University of Essex using descriptions from the NSPSCA information pack and Qualidata's online catalogue record.

Record entered by Nadeem Ahmad of Qualidata, UK Data Archive, University of Essex.

Other Finding Aids

A Collection level record for all paper based materials in the data collection is available via Qualidata's online catalogue, Qualicat.

Conditions Governing Use

No part of the NSPSCA collections may be reproduced, published, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the Albert Sloman Library. This may be obtained by application to the Librarian or Deputy Librarian.

Users may only quote a maximum of 300 words in any subsequent article or 500 words in a book.


The materials held in the collection contain personal and identifying information. It is essential that the privacy of all respondents is not infringed. No real names or any other identifiable information used in the studies may appear in public. No attempt may be made to contact respondents directly. Use of the materials to derive information relating specifically to an identified individual or to claim to have done so is prohibited.

Appraisal Information

In consultation with academic colleagues, the library special collections acquisitions staff evaluate collections by assessing their relevance to the teaching and research interests of the University.

Custodial History

The collection was acquired and prepared for archiving by Qualidata in 1998 and deposited in the NSPSCA.


Additional material is not expected.

Related Material

Quantitative data arising from the survey are deposited at the UK Data Archive.


Baer, M.A. Political participation in new towns, (British Journal of Political Science, April 1978, pp 237-246)

Baer, M.A. Social facets of organisational development in new towns, (Town and Country Planning, April 1978, pp206 - 212)

Baer, M.A. The development of political interest groups in a local environment, (Journal of Voluntary Action Research, July - October 1979, pp57 - 66)

Additional Information

National Social Policy and Social Change Archive (NSPSCA), Albert Sloman Library, University of Essex.