Building stronger communities

As well as direct relationships between councils and the community, high levels of trust can also benefit relations between different groups within the community.

When the council doesn’t inspire trust – when decisions aren’t explained, or grievances are ignored – the result is poor cohesion and suspicion of other groups.

Conversely, the idea of ‘collective efficacy’ shows how, if people feel that others in their community are engaged, they’ll be far more willing to engage themselves.

Evidence in the past and during the pandemic has shown that when residents understand the pressures the council is under, they step up. Listening properly and explaining fully and honestly can build resilience and involve people who are harder to hear.