@Hoffnung suggest you check your facts in relation to defections. 3 Lib Dem Concillors defected to Labour in protest at the decision to enter coalition. Patrick Macauley defected from Lab to Lib Dem.
The coalition was formed in 2010. Councillor Patrick was first elected to office in 201, a year after. He spent about 18 months as a Labour Councillor, then citing 'financial pressure' he left the labour party, sat as an independent for a short time, then joined the libdem, in fact serving on the Executive. So he didn't object to the coalition - he joined it.
As for the old chestnut about having a full time job and being a Councillor, I have answered that elsewhere on this forum. I manage just fine and is a combination of effective time management, a flexible employer, a very understanding family and modern technology. When I was in Germany this week, I was informed about the fly tipping on Middlewood. I managed to contact Council Officers all the way from Germany and advise them about this and arrange for it to get moved. How is that letting my constituents down?
An effective Councillor needs to be in his ward and around the council in person 15/20 hours (office hours), so that he can engage with officers) once a councillor is established as an 'email councillor' officers will start to fob him off, if not ignore him altogether. Getting a bit of flytip sorted is not an irrelevance but it is a minor issue and well done for managing it although I suspect the other 5 Marple Councillors might feel that they had some influence too.
There will though be issues where in order to manage them you will need to have a series of face to face
meetings with different sets of officers 11am weekday meetings at the town hall, 2pm weekday site meetings and many more. These can't be effectively managed by email from Hamburg.