New conversations: LGA Guide to Engagement

With councils under increasing pressure to deliver more for less, there has never been a more important time to engage with your residents. But how to you build trust? And how do you ensure your residents have a genuine stake in decisions?


Our guide to engagement helps to find the answers to these questions and more.

To help bring this guide to life, we are offering a series of free New Conversations political leadership masterclasses for councillors. Contact Grace.Collins@local.gov.uk to book on to one of the masterclass.

As a part of the New Conversations project, the LGA ran four pilots with councils across the country:

Hackney – a London borough with a diverse and transient population – needed to build rapport and engagement around tough issues affecting its residents. The council has been using creative digital techniques and innovative engagement approaches to develop the borough's direction on schooling. The pilot culminated in a learning guide with a five step strategy.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) – the proposed authority for the Manchester city-region – reviewed the role of councillors, staff, and how to engage residents and communicate the core messages about devolution. Read the introduction to a longer resource pack written by GMCA to help local councillors to do this.

Staffordshire – a large county council – is using networks, assets and data to be a more responsive local authority. The pilot produced an action guide about the use of community-based engagement activities.

Harlow – a district council in Essex – is creating an organisational culture that local people feel is listening to them, including work to deliver channel shift in a way that includes residents and engages with local issues. Following the pilot, the council developed a tool to help embed changes within the organisation.