Chapter 15 – The appeal of East End councils’ social reform

by Jason Lever

Posted on Sun, 01 Dec 2013 17:28:35 GMT

Influencing Solomon to remain within the Labour fold.

Labour came to dominate many east London councils. The 1919 London County Council (LCC) elections brought strong Labour gains in Hackney, Bethnal Green and Poplar on the back of pledges to improve welfare services and living standards. This included introducing free school milk, abolished fifty years later for the over-sevens by a Conservative Education Secretary, the late Lady (Margaret) Thatcher.

When Solomon Lever was growing up an East End housing crisis saw rents rise sharply. Despite the LCC, but not the boroughs, undertaking some slum clearance, consolidation prevailed at its headquarters at County Hall and working-class, Jewish councillors like Solomon Lever demanded action on housing, inadequate air raid precautions and countering fascism (ref: Weightman and Humphries).

There were some high-profile successes, notably what became known as “Poplarism” under the leadership of George Lansbury in Poplar Council. The pioneering provision of services included baths, free libraries and paying its employees (of both sexes) a minimum wage. From 1932, Mile End Municipal Baths offered a first-class swimming pool, first and second-class slipper baths and Turkish and Russian baths (ref: Weightman and Humphries; Taylor).

Hackney Labour-Party Housing

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Chapter 1 - Introducing Solomon Lever and his l...Chapter 2 - The Jewish East EndChapter 3 - A family history of Solomon LeverChapter 4 - A Jewish East End education for Sol...Chapter 5 - Joining East End cultural and commu...Chapter 6 - Solomon as a cabinet makerChapter 7 – From cabinet maker to trade union g...Chapter 8 – Rise of the London Jewish Bakers UnionChapter 9 – Dealing with the challenges of a de...Chapter 10 – Solomon’s journey to Jewish trade ...Chapter 11 – Interlude of anarchism’s appeal to...Chapter 12 – Solomon Lever finds his home in th...Chapter 13 – The Liberal and Conservative partiesChapter 14 – The Labour Party consolidates its ...Chapter 15 – The appeal of East End councils’ s...Chapter 16 – The rise and fall of communist sup...Chapter 17 – Surging Labourism after the warChapter 18 – The Labour Party’s support for Zio...Chapter 19 – Short-lived Labour-Zionist honeymoonChapter 20 – Solomon Lever’s 1947 broadcast spe...Chapter 21 – Solomon Lever’s 1948 speech from t...Chapter 22 – Solomon Lever’s 1954 speech from t...Chapter 23 – Solomon Lever’s final TUC speech i...Chapter 24 – His Worshipful The Mayor and Mayor...Chapter 25 – Family connections in the Mayor’s ...Chapter 26 – Important social issues raised wit...Chapter 27 – The adbuction of Solomon LeverChapter 28 – Discovery of Solomon’s bodyChapter 29 – InquestChapter 30 – The death of Solomon LeverChapter 31 – Solomon’s funeral and obituaryChapter 32 – The death knell of the London Jewi...Chapter 33 – An appraisalChapter 34 – Bibliography