Speaking at the annual Local Government Association conference he said local government lost out because 'the media goes where the power is'. One of the only high-profile local politicians was London mayor Ken Livingstone who 'has recently been famous for all the wrong reasons'.
For all his shortcomings, Hartlepool BC's mayor Stuart Drummond 'did what most local government does not. He attracted the attention of the public and the media and Mr Monkey had a national profile'.
He added: 'Local government needs to do a lot more to engage the public and the media. They need to engage with large personalities who animate issues.