I was at a Policy and Performance event earlier this month, where one of the issues raised in my sub-group was the difficulty councils had in communicating with their citizens. This couldn't be better demonstrated by this snippet from a recent Public Sector Forums Newslletter.
This comes courtesy of the West Midlands Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership (RIEP), in a report of a recent workshop designed to see how it could best use £1.3m of funding being set aside to improve leadership and management skills in councils.
acknowledged that 'understanding the sectoral context' was a
pre-requisite and that the full range of both personal and
organisational capacities were required to underpin any focus and
emphasis attached to a leadership intervention. ...[T]here are two
themes that represent priorities for Local Authorities at the present
 Enabling and supporting community leadership through improved partnership and locality working to ensure the delivery of improved community outcomes.
Working for and with communities in order to understand and meet community needs, through effective community consultation; understanding, prioritizing, influencing and delivering improved quality of life indicators, and recognizing and working with the interdependencies required in place shaping. Encouraging trust by engaging with and enabling service priorities to be shaped by all sections of the community. Leading beyond the authority through effective partnership working; influencing others and building trust; understanding and mainstreaming integrated public services; levering in additional resources through partnerships, and performance managing partnerships which deliver improved community outcomes."
Or, effectively, in other words: "We need to make sure we involve the right people."