The research survey 'Releasing people for council duties', published by local government minister Hilary Armstrong, is based on interviews with almost 2,000 councillors and 1,000 employers.
Ms Armstrong said:
'This research will help people to understand the role of councillors and the pressures placed upon them. It shows that most employed councillors do not experience great difficulties balancing the demands of council duties and those of employers.
The research shows that most employed councillors spend about 16 hours a week on their duties. Permission for time off is rarely refused. Time taken off work is generally subsequently made up.
Most gain as much if not greater satisfaction from their council duties as from their jobs - and employers acknowledge the benefits of having a councillor on their staff, eg increased knowledge of local issues and the political awareness brought to organisations by councillors.
The research survey The Impact of Releasing People for Council Duties was carried out by Social and Community Planning Research. Price£30, it is available from Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions Publications Sales Centre, Unit 8, Goldthorpe Industrial Estate, Goldthorpe, Rotherham S63 9BL (tel 01709 891318 fax 01709 881673).
Copies of the research summary Releasing People for Council Duties are available from Richard White, Local Government Research Unit, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London SW1E 5DU (tel: 0171 890 4124).
see LGCnet (July 7): 'THE IMPACT OF RELEASING PEOPLE FOR COUNCIL DUTIES - SUMMARY OF SURVEY'