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Between the World Wars 1919 – 1939

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The Leyton Ratepayers’ Association

The Leyton Ratepayers’ Association’ was the strongest force in Leyton local politics for most of the period between the Wars, opposing new financial commitments for the Council and campaigning forcefully against Labour Party candidates 1.  

1  Thirty Years, A Generation of Service, The Record & Romance of the Borough of  Leyton  Ratepayers' Association 1903-1933 (VHM Pamphlet L32.5)

The Leyton Ratepayers Association did not have as strong a membership after the First World War as it did before.  Its leadership, without R J Tallack after 1920, detested the Labour Party, and the Ratepayers Association was the main opposition to Labour candidates for the Council, its publications bitterly hostile, even though it complained of “the development of a political virus in municipal affairs – an unhappy latter-day infliction, for which the Labour Party is primarily responsible”.  The Association had a majority in Leyton Council from 1922 to November 1926, the first Borough Council election. Labour was in control from 1929 to 1932. The Association opposed the purchase of Leyton football ground and construction of a covered stand there, opposed public baths near the Bakers Arms (unsuccessfully but their opposition did result in the budget being reduced from £ 179,000 to £ 110,000), and successfully opposed an arterial road through a residential area (the scheme which in modified form became the section of the A12 through the area). 1

On a more positive note, the Leyton Ratepayers’ Association’s activities included erecting plaques to notable local people, former buildings and events.

Leyton Ratepayers’ Association’s plaque commemorating direct action to keep the Leyton marshes open to the public

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