A research contract has been awarded to Professor Robin Hambleton of the University of the West of England, Bristol, and will evaluate how different models could be introduced to this country.
An ADC spokesman said:
'It is felt that the local government should have more choices about the forms of local political management of their areas. Most other countries have several different models available - and there are lessons to be learnt from their experiences. This will include, as one of a number of options, looking at how elected mayors operate in other countries.'
'None of us in local government should pretend that our current system of local political leadership cannot be improved upon.
'If there are benefits to be gained for local communities from fresh thinking and fresh approaches, then we should research these and promote the most promising models.'