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British Library of Political and Economic Science

SEROTA, Beatrice (1919-2002), Baroness Serota, politician


Reference code(s): GB 0097 SEROTA

Held at: British Library of Political and Economic Science

Title: SEROTA, Beatrice (1919-2002), Baroness Serota, politician

Date(s): 1953-2002

Level of description: collection

Extent: 12 boxes

Name of creator(s): Serota | Beatrice | 1919-2002 | Baroness Serota | politician


Administrative/Biographical history:

Beatrice Serota (1919-2002) was born in London on 15 October 1919, the daughter of Alexander Katz and Milly Witkower. She was educated at the Clapton county secondary school and at the London School of Economics. In 1942 she married Stanley Serota. After wartime service in the Ministry of Fuel and Power, Serota was elected as a Labour member of Hampstead Borough Council in 1945, beginning a long involvement with local politics. In 1954 she was elected to the London County Council (LCC), serving as Chairman of the Children's Committee. When the LCC was abolished in 1965, Serota was elected to the Greater London Council (GLC) which replaced it. She became the Labour Chief Whip on the GLC, and served on the Inner London Education Authority, until 1967. Serota's work for the LCC and GLC led to her being awarded a peerage for services to children in 1967. This enabled her appointment as Minister of State for Health in the Department of Health and Social Security, 1969-1970. Prior to becoming a minister, Serota had served on a number of advisory bodies and commissions. She was a member of the Longford Committee on crime, 1964; the Royal Commission on the Penal System, 1964-1966; the Latey Committee on the Age of Majority, 1965-1967; and the Advisory Council on the Penal System, 1966-1968, and 1974-1979. Following the Labour government's defeat in 1970, Serota served on the Community Relations Commission, 1970-1976; and was Chair of the Commission for Local Administration, 1974-1982; the BBC Complaints Commission, 1975-1977; and was a Governor of the BBC, 1977-1982. Serota also had an active career in the House of Lords, being Principal Deputy Chairman of Committees and a member of the European Communities Select Committee, 1986-1992. she was Deputy Speaker in the Lords from 1985 until her death in 2002.

She was also involved with the National Council for One Parent Families and the Family Service Units until her death in 2002.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Beatrice Serota, 1953-2002, relate to her work in London local government, as a Minister of State, member of the House of Lords and of a number of advisory bodies and committees, including the Advisory Council on the Penal System and the Commission on Local Administration. Includes correspondence, reports, publications, notes, speeches and other papers.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

The papers have been arranged in the following sections: 1. Reorganisation of London Government; 2. Penal system; 3. Commission for Local Administration; 4. Department of Health and Social Security; 5. House of Lords; 6. Advisory bodies and organisations; 7. Social reform and welfare; 8. Portrait.

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

Most items can be photocopied, subject to handling and copyright restrictions. No material may be published without the prior permission of both the copyright holder and the Library. All applications for publication must be made to the Archivist in the first instance, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user.

Finding aids:

Online catalogue available.

Detailed catalogue



Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited by the family in 2003 and 2004.



Archivist's note: Sources: Copied from LSE Archives CALM database by Anna Towlson.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Apr 2008

Local government | Public administration | Government
Politics | Political science
Prisons | Penal sanctions | Administration of justice
Penal institutions
Social policy

Personal names
Serota | Beatrice | 1919-2002 | Baroness Serota | politician

Corporate names
House of Lords