One of the wonderful things about Web 2.0 is that it enables everyone to publish, and hence to have a voice. Here's one way to encourage citizens to have their say:
FixMyStreet is a website that keeps local governments/councils "on the ball" by enabling residents to publicise the problems that affect their neighbourhood. Residents can upload a photographs of the problems, e.g., a broken street light, an abandoned car, rubbish in the street, etc., and specify exactly where the problem is located. The website team informs the relevant council and logs the complaint. The web site publishes a tally of complaints and responses, so everyone can see which councils are responsive and which are not. A bit of "public shame" goes a long way to getting action.
The following video - Citizen's Voices in Local Governance Series - Marketing Culture and Environment: Bohol Investments Promotions Center - shows how local government can assist in cultural maintenance and in providing local employment.
More on local governance.