The three challenges of community leadership

Helen Sullivan*, James Downe, Tom Entwistle, David Sweeting

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


The ongoing reform of UK local government emphasises the development of local authorities as 'community leaders'. Both the definition of the term, and local government's fitness for the role are, however, contested. Previous research suggests that to fulfil this role local government will have to meet three challenges: engage citizens in the determination of community priorities, provide strategic leadership and develop the collaborative potential of other local agencies. Drawing on case study evidence gathered in six local authorities in England, this paper finds that while local authorities can report some successes in strategic leadership, the development of community engagement and collaborative advantage present more of a challenge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-508
Number of pages20
JournalLocal Government Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006


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