Citizens Advice Bureaux have a good relationship with local authorities, but are not effective in shaping council policies, according to research from Mori.
The postal survey, commissioned by umbrella body Citizens Advice, found that 80 per cent of councillors and local authority officers believe their relationship with their local bureau was good.
But while nearly nine out of 10 councils think it is important for their local bureau to influence the council's policies, only a third think it is effective in this. And less than half are satisfied with the information they receive about the bureau's activities.
Simon Bottery, director of communications at Citizens Advice, said: "These findings demonstrate the value that councils place on their Citizens Advice Bureaux - but they also show us where we must improve, particularly in learning to communicate more effectively.
"The results suggest that we are not doing a good enough job of demonstrating the full impact of bureaux in their communities."