Series in which Shari Vahl meets some of the past, present and future stars of English local authorities who are bidding to blow the cliches and stereotypes out of the water.
Shari meets chief executives who have left local authorities for the national stage, to find out what they have brought with them from local government, and why they left.
Sir Bob Kerslake used to run Sheffield City Council - now he runs the Homes and Communities Agency.
Walking through rainswept central London streets, he takes Shari to see an impoverished part of Pimlico which to him embodies the local causes at the heart of his national job.
Carolyn Downs, meanwhile, went from running Shropshire County Council to becoming Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Justice.
So how different is her new role?
Lin Homer succeeded Sir Michael Lyons as chief executive of Birmingham's huge city council.
Shari visits each of them in their current roles - Homer is now head of the UK Borders Agency, and Sir Michael is chair of the BBC Trust.
Each explains how the sometimes punishing experience of running a city has prepared them for their present work.
And Shari asks Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council, another of the country's biggest authorities, why, even after 40 years with the same authority, he finds the prospect of working in London utterly untempting.
Shari Vahl meets chief executives who have left local authorities for the national stage.