Catalogue description Welsh Office and predecessors: Local Authorities, General Policy and Case Files (LA Series)

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Details of BD 11
Reference: BD 11
Title: Welsh Office and predecessors: Local Authorities, General Policy and Case Files (LA Series)

This series contains two distinct types of files: general and policy files, and individual case files, relating to the involvement of central government in local government environmental and public health services in Wales. They deal with the approval of capital schemes for loan sanction and Treasury grants and subsidies; approval of compulsory purchase orders and the making of subordinate legislation by statutory instruments.

The main subjects covered are housing, water supply and sewerage, but also include coastal protection, flooding, provision of markets, burial grounds, parks and pleasure grounds, and public buildings. Some files relate to the Aberfan Disaster of 1966 and its aftermath.

The records were successively created in and held by the Local Government Board, the Ministry of Health, the Welsh Board of Health, the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, and finally the Welsh Office. One file (BD 11/534) predates the formation of the Local Government Board in 1871, and this contains a small number of Home Office papers.

Date: 1854-1985


File references that were allotted to Ministry of Health files when they were reregistered by Welsh Board of Health are in three parts:

  • LA, standing for Local Authority;
  • a numerical reference, standing for the local authority, board or company to which the file relates; and
  • a numerical reference that stands for the subject of the file.

Thus in the file reference LA/221/9363, 221 stands for Anglesey County Council and 9363 relates to Water Supply schemes, loans and grants.

The files are listed in numerical order of local authority, board or company. This order groups them by type and then alphabetically by name within each type.


  • 1). The original order has been disturbed when an authority has changed its name or status or when new authorities were created. Rhondda, Colwyn Bay and Barry, for example, were all Urban District Councils which became Boroughs.
  • 2). Case files relating to particular water companies may also be found in the general and policy file series under the numerical file reference 91223 and those for particular burial grounds under the numerical file reference 91202.


General and policy files in the LA series were given separate numerical references in the '90000 series, so-called because all the numbers allotted were over 90000.

Related material:

A few files are registered in BD 35

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Former reference in its original department: LA file series
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Local Government Board, 1871-1919

Ministry of Health, 1919-1968

Ministry of Housing and Local Government, 1951-1970

Welsh Board of Health, 1919-1969

Welsh Office, 1965-1999

Physical description: 3981 files and flat sheets
Physical condition: Many files contain maps and plans
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

From 1979 Welsh Office

Accruals: Series is accruing.
Unpublished finding aids:

Keys to the file series and subject indexes are available in the reading rooms at The National Archives, Kew.

Administrative / biographical background:

Responsibilities of central government for local government environmental and public health services in Wales were originally exercised by the Home Office and, after 1871, by Local Government Board until 1919, when they were transferred to the Ministry of Health and, from 1940 exercised by the Welsh Board of Health.

In 1951 the Ministry of Housing and Local Government assumed responsibility, acting, except for certain financial matters, through their Welsh Office.

In 1964, these functions passed to the Welsh Office.

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