George Freeman and Julian Wolfson of the Local Identity Agency set out a programme for local government to win itself a 'new deal'.
Local government must strengthen the local connection with communities and achieve higher voter turnout which would give it a stronger mandate.
Funding should be strengthened with capping lifted and business rates returned to local control. They proposed annual elections or referenda to prevent spending getting out of control.
Local government is an easy target for government attacks, they said. It should fight back by actively setting the agenda.