Census of Local Authority Councillors 2013

Liz Phillips, Kelly Kettlewell

09 June 2014

Executive summary

The findings from the councillors' census 2013 are now available on line. NFER carried out this seventh survey of local authority councillors in England for the LGA. The 2013 Census collected data between September and November 2013 and updates the previous censuses in 1997, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010. Findings are based on responses from 6,902 (38.1 per cent) councillors in office in England.

Key Findings

  • The average length of service of councillors in their current council in 2013 was 9.5 years, similar to that seen in 2010 (9.4 years).
  • Councillors’ gender profile, ethnic origin, disability status and caring responsibilities have changed very little between 2001 and 2013. In 2013, 67.3 per cent of councillors were male, 96 per cent were of white ethnic origin, 13.2 per cent had a long-term health problem or disability and 27.9 per cent had one or more caring responsibilities.
  • 90 per cent of councillors cited a desire to serve the community as their reason for wanting to become a councillor.
  • 69.8 per cent thought that listening to local views was the most important thing for councillors to do. A similar proportion (64.8 per cent) believed that representing local residents’ views to the council was the most important thing that they do as a councillor.
  • 82.4 per cent of councillors would recommend taking on the role to others.
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