A rift between Birmingham's MPs and its business and civic leaders has hindered movement on major projects such as the redevelopment of New Street Station, officials have admitted.
The city's MPs rounded on business groups, including the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the local authority, claiming they had been kept "outside the loop".
At a highly-charged meeting, the MPs, who have in the past been criticised for not lobbying hard enough for the West Midlands, said they were fed up of being regarded merely as Westminster mouthpieces.
The Chamber said urgent action was needed to heal the divide which emerged during the meeting held at Birmingham's W1 London offices.
"It was lively to say the least," said Jerry Blackett, the chamber's policy director.
"What we saw was a lot of frustration from the MPs. They felt outside the loop. They felt we were assuming a level of knowledge that they didn't have.
"They felt we were using them to deliver messages, as if 'here you are, say this and that and you will have done your job'. They are saying they can do a lot more than that."
Mr Blackett admitted the split had been an obstacle to the city's interests being promoted at Government level, adding: "Where other cities like Manchester have beaten us is that they have been much better at having a joined-up approach than we have."
John Hemming, Lib Dem MP for Yardley, said: "There has been a tendency to keep MPs at arms length which isn't good for the city.
"This was a view expressed by MPs of all parties. There were expressions that it is important that you involve everyone at every step of the way rather than at the end.
"Within the business sector there has been a tendency to come up with ideas without talking to MPs and then saying to MPs this is what we want. That is not the best way to do things."
Mr Hemming said it was vital MPs were kept informed. "We have things like phones, emails and the post. There are systems that can be used," he said.
Birmingham's ruling Tory/Lib Dem alliance was also criticised by Labour MP for Northfield Richard Burden who claimed it had failed to live up to pledges to sufficiently liaise with Members of Parliament.
Mr Burden, who described the meeting as a "frank exchange", said: "We used to have regular meetings with the city council under the old administration. That should happen again.
"If you are looking at how to take the region forward, it needs to involve all the relevant bodies. It is not just the business community. It is not just the local authority. The point we were making is that MPs need to be an important part of that."
Andrew Mitchell, Conservative MP for Sutton Coldfield, said: "There is room for improving the communication with MPs from the local authority but especially the Chamber of Commerce. The meeting spent some time looking at that."
The meeting also included representatives from Birmingham Forward, the Institute of Directors, the CBI and the Engineering Employers Federation. As well as the redevelopment of New Street Station, topics for discussion included how to tackle traffic congestion.
Following the meeting, business leaders and the local authority have pledged to improve communication links with MPs and involve them more in the development of strategies. Measures explored include: * Emailing MPs monthly or even weekly with an update of discussions around major topics;
* Re-introducing regular breakfast briefings with the city council; n Appointing one MP to act as a point of reference working with the business community on specific issues to brief Westminster colleagues.