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Most famously of all, Chamberlain municipalised both the gas and water companies to benefit the people and generate the money needed to pay for civic improvements.
He also municipalised the town's water supply although he insisted that profits should be ploughed back into the enterprise.
Indeed many of the larger towns municipalised the private ventures or set up their own corporation electricity works and were soon supplying current for traction as well as for lighting and heating.
In 1874 alone the Corporation municipalised the gas industry and effected a hostile take-over of the Birmingham Waterworks Co.
In the Victorian era, Joseph Chamberlain -as a local politician and Mayor -helped introduce compulsory education for all Birmingham children, cleared some of the city's worst slums, municipalised gas and water services and helped create Birmingham University.

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