I went up to Westminster today to the Annual Conference of think tank New Local Government Network.
Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government was going to launch her new "Community Contracts" initiative before an audience comprised of public, private and voluntary sector organisations.
Predictably, Hazel Blears was late as she was apparently at a meeting of Gordon Brown's Cabinet. When she did arrive - twenty minutes late - she told us she had been asked to present the concept of Local Area Agreements and Multi Area Agreements to the Prime Minister. On such a critical issue - the means of delivery of future local services - she steadfastly refused to say how long she had been allowed to discuss the issue.
Her challenge, she said, had been to make them "vibrant, exciting and sexy".
Why not just make them work for local people?