- Created on Tuesday, 24 March 2015 21:01
In 1959 Dr Anthony H Birch published a study of the political life of Glossop. Small Town Politics was a collaborative research project sponsored by the Department of Government of the University of Manchester. With research expenses of £200, Dr Birch and his colleagues picked what was then a small industrial town with a population of about 18,000 people.
Between 1953 and 1954 80 people holding influential positions in the public life of the town and about 30 members of each of the local political parties were interviewed, together with 600 Glossopians who were interviewed in their homes. The work prompted a paradigm shift in the study of local government and community politics, although it was eclipsed by his later works. He moved to Canada in 1977 and died in December 2014.
"Tony Birch was one of the most productive and innovative British political scientists over the past sixty years. Although widely read and respected, he never quite received the recognition he merited. Invariably his publications were pioneering; he was a true lateral thinker" - Lord Trevor Smith.