Before this point, administration in the rural counties was headed by the magistrates of the local Quarter Sessions courts. Since 1835, however, elected borough councils had been set up to provide local administration in towns and cities. Although the Prime Minister at this point was the Marquess of Salisbury, leader of the Conservative Party, they were only able to hold power in a coalition with Joseph Chamberlain's Liberal Unionists. The Unionists pushed for a bill to standardise local government across the country, bringing the system of borough councils to bear on counties as well. The Act also gave London its own city council, and ten of the country's other largest cities (including Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and …
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Editors. "County Councils Act". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=2062, accessed 18 August 2017.]