Some quick links here. At TCF, where I've commented somewhat, there is this useful post I've already linked to at other sites. Well worth reading for both the post and its associated debate. I'd also like to draw your attention to my own rather tentative toe-dipping exercise in local blogging at Chester Tweet and this post in particular, which explains my reticences on the subject.
Meanwhile, the story of how local involvement can make real and immediate improvements to everyday lives can be tracked here.