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WELSH DISTRICT MEMBERS 'WORK FULL TIME'

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District councillors spend on average 109 hours every month on council activities, according to a new survey which ...
District councillors spend on average 109 hours every month on council activities, according to a new survey which is claimed to be more accurate than previous enquiries for the Maud, Widdecombe or Robinson committees. The Council of Welsh Districts asked 100 members to complete a structured diary of their activities every day throughout October this year. It is using its findings to support its case for a minimum of 1,250 elected members to serve on the proposed new unitary authorities - a position now endorsed by the government.

The key CWD finding is that despite regarding their work as voluntary and part time, members on average spend the equivalent of a full time job on council work. An average of 59 hours per month was spent on internal council business - 27 hours actually attending committee meetings and the rest preparing for and travelling to them.

And members reported spending 50 hours a month, or 46% of their time, on external business, of which 28 related to dealing with enquiries from the public and 15 to attending external meetings. The CWD has consistently argued that too great a reduction in the 1,976 members currently serving on district and county councils in Wales will jeopardise their representational role and lead to the neglect of local needs.

Previous Maud, Robinson and Widdecombe inquiries tended to rely on a council member's recall of activities, the CWD said.
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