A new wave of change is hitting civic institutions demanding they be more responsive and accountable to their neighbourhoods and communities. The ‘empowerment' white paper published on 9 July outlined proposals to make this happen. This event set out how local authorities can demonstrate strong and visible local leadership, whilst at the same time providing more opportunities through neighbourhoods, new forms of consultation and feedback for communities to influence and recall decisions and review or challenge the delivery of services. Asked what he would take from the conference, Michael Ward, Chief Executive of the British Urban Regeneration Association, said: “I think Hazel’s (Blears) comments were vey encouraging – she’s very committed not only to the detail of the white paper but also to the spirit of participation, empowerment, engagement. He did, however, voice his concern over financing of the proposals, asking the question “Will the Government resource these policies adequately…and if they do put cash behind them can we avoid the danger of it being spread too thinly?”.