The Government outlined its ambition of strong, safe and prosperous communities in its recent local government white paper. This forum took a broader look beyond the current place-shaping agenda and asked how competition and effective commissioning from the market can be used to improve provision of services to aid community cohesion. A changing UK population and shifts in demographics are creating new demands on local services. Councils and local public services will need to work better with private and third sector partners to improve local well-being, deliver better outcomes, and ensure that local services are ready to cope with challenges seen and unforeseen; this is also crucial to improving efficiency. Speakers set out how action and services can be tailored to meet the needs of each place and the people within it and explored how commissioning and the promotion of best practice should be addressed in the future.