The Councillors Commission, launched by the Local Government Research Unit in partnership with the De Montfort University and the Municipal Journal, has produced an interim report on the role of councillors based on the 20 round tables and 147 written submissions.
The report identifies the constant themes with which councillors are continually engaging, such as their political and policy roles, relationships with constituents, tasks at the council, time commitments and the various pressures generated by both the wards they represent and the broader council of which they are members.
The report also highlights new challenges to the councillors traditional roles and work – such as austerity, devolution, government policy change, and the demands on councillors to engage in various partnerships are reshaping expectations on councillors.
Based on the interim findings, councillors do not expect adoration from the public, the media, or the government, but would like those bodies to understand councillors’ roles, powers, functions, and tasks along with the limited nature of the resources available to them. The report strongly argues that providing councillors with enough support and resources is a vital component in assuring that councillors are able to meet the current challenges, and that reducing the amount of the available support would constitute a “false economy”.
The Interim Report can be read here: cc-interim-report-oct-16
The Councillors Commission will continue to receive written evidence and is expected to conduct several more round tables prior to publishing the final report at the end of January 2017.