Donald Chapman, Baron Northfield

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

William Donald Chapman, Baron Northfield known as Donald Chapman, (25 November 1923 – 18 April 2013)[1] was a British Labour politician.


Chapman was educated at Barnsley Grammar School and Emmanuel College, Cambridge where he graduated with a degree in economics in 1948. He was the college's senior researcher in agricultural economics from 1943-46.[2]

He took part in local politics in Cambridge town, where he was a member of the City Council from 1945–47, and concurrent Secretary of Cambridge Trades Council and local Labour Party from 1945 to 1957. Nationally, he was Research Secretary (1948–49) then General Secretary (1949–53) of the Fabian Society.[2]

He was Member of Parliament (MP) for Birmingham Northfield from 1951 until he stood down in 1970. He was a Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford from 1971 to 1973, Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Contemporary Economics at the University of Sussex from 1973 to 1979, Chairman of the Rural Development Commission from 1974 to 1980 and Special Adviser to the ECC Commission on Environmental Policy in 1981.[2] From 1985 to 1988, he was Director of Wembley Stadium.

After being initially Deputy-Chairman,[3] from 1975 to 1987 he was Chairman of the Telford Development Corporation at a time of extensive development of the Telford New Town, in which he demanded better designed council housing and office developments. He lived during his time in post within the new town, once describing the land within which it was to sit as "21 square miles dominated by a coalfield in final decline".[3][4] After retirement, he emigrated to Hawaii, U.S.A. but continued to have interest in the area as Chairman of the Maxell Educational Trust which was formed by Hitachi Maxell, one of the industrial companies he encouraged to move into Telford.[3]

He was created a life peer as Baron Northfield, of Telford in the County of Shropshire on 20 January 1976. Lord Northfield never married and died in Honolulu aged 89.[3]


  1. ^ "House of Lords announcement 3 June 2013". House of Lords Hansard. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Who's Who, 2000. A and C Black. p. 1521. ISBN 0-7136-5158-X.
  3. ^ a b c d "Chief made vision for new town a reality, Tribute to pioneer who created Telford". Shropshire Star. 3 May 2013. p. 20.Report by Toby Neal.
  4. ^ "News Briefing. Lord Northfield dies at age of 89". Shropshire Star. 3 May 2013. p. 1.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Raymond Blackburn
Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield
Succeeded by
Raymond Carter
Party political offices
Preceded by
Andrew Filson
General Secretary of the Fabian Society
1949 – 1953
Succeeded by
Bill Rodgers