A recent paper called 'stepping up' from Forum for the Future, identifies a number of key steps, one of which is:
"Skill up for public engagement - if you think that consensus is time consuming and difficult, try conflict! Build staff capacity for stakeholder engagement and bring your stakeholders on the journey with you."
Before implementing solutions, ensure that you have explained why you have made these decisions to the public and to your staff. There is no need to scaremonger, so be clear and realistic. Prepare the organisation and your partners for change, but be explicit what changes are coming. In the end, those who are not engaged may become inhibitors, and those who are engaged will become advocates or even contributors. It is worth spending time getting as many onboard to help if you are paddling upstream.
"Promote the results of consultation and explain what has happened as a result. Don't shy away from talking about unpopular or controversial decisions." Local Government Improvement and Development Agency (IDEA).
Some useful links and materials