Barbara Castle Close, SW6

Place Name

Laid out over Escourt Road in the late 1960s as part of the Clem Attlee Estate compromising of a number of roads commemorating prominent Labour politicians. Barbara Anne Castle (née Betts; October 6, 1910 –  May 3, 2002) later Baroness Castle of Blackburn,  was a Member of Parliament from 1945 to 1979. Regarded as one of the most significant Labour Party politicians of the 1960s and 1970s, she was a close confident of the PM Harold Wilson. After leaving Oxford she became a journalist before entering politics as MP for Blackburn at the 1945 election. In 1968, Wilson promoted her to become First Secretary of State, the second-most senior member of the Cabinet, as well as Secretary of State for Employment. It was in this role that she proposed In Place of Strife, a proposal to reduce the power of trade unions. It was later withdrawn after much opposition. Following Labour’s return to power in 1974, she was made Secretary of State for Health and Social Services, during which time she was responsible for the creation of Carer’s Allowance and the passage of the Child Benefit Act. After serving as an MEP, despite her Euroscepticism, she was created a life peer, as Baroness Castle of Blackburn, in 1990. See also Clem Attlee Court, Hugh Gaitskell Close, Hugh Dalton Avenue, Len Freeman Place, and John Smith Avenue.

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