Bartlett UCL research highlights challenge with community involvement and Localism

Communities report being overwhelmed by the amount of engagement with service providers that comes with their participation, yet they remain underwhelmed by the 'quality' of this engagement and by the influence it appears to bring."

Policy stakeholders often see local views as partial and at some distance from market realities and strategic priorities. Nor do they always see communities as equal partners in decision-making processes, with some regarding them instead as subjects to be educated and persuaded. Some even argue that community participation is a threat rather than a benefit to democracy on the basis that it is the voice of the vocal minority that is heard

http://www.esrc.ac.uk/news-and-events/press-releases/20109/empowered-citizens-or-hopeful-bystanders.aspx