People, places and things. These three words are the cornerstone of public sector service delivery. While people remain a constant wherever local authorities operate, geographical idiosyncrasies affect what we do and how we do it. In this issue, we explore the unique challenges facing Norfolk and Shropshire. Less of A tale of two cities and more like an issue of Town and country, we ask how each flexes and adapts strategically to ensure innovation and better outcomes for people stay at the top of the tree.