This paper explores the impact of different forms of political leadership created through the Local Government Act 2000. The concept of facilitative leadership is used to explore how leaders use powers and abilities to draw citizens and other stakeholders into a shared vision for the locality, and enable local councils and other actors to shape places and improve service performance. The paper also reflects on possible implications for proposals in the 2006 Local Government White Paper.Key points from the paper include the emergence of facilitative leaders who use powers and abilities to draw citizens and other stakeholders into a shared vision for the locality, which draws on their aspirations, and enables the capacity of local councils and other actors to ‘place shape’ and improve service performance.
Leadership powers are developing within the leader-cabinet model and this will assist in producing more visible and efficient decision making. But this does not advance other elements of facilitative leadership in respect of accessibility, partnership or non partisanship.
At the neighbourhood leadership level the evidence suggests that many non-executive councillors have struggled often to provide facilitative leadership in their communities. A role in speaking up for their communities through the Community Call for Action and other developments may add to the levers available to non-executive councilors, but pressures on time, partisan considerations and lack of resources and support for a championing and advocacy role within local authorities may limit the impact of the reform.
The paper is available at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/pub/485/Doesleadershipmatter_id1511485.pdf