Councils take heed of residents' views, new survey reveals

Residents believe that councils are increasingly taking account of their views, as local authorities continue to launch cuts consultation programmes.

Residents: LGInsight survey polled people
Residents: LGInsight survey polled people

An LGInsight survey into perceptions of local councils revealed that 48 per cent of residents agreed that their local authority listened to their views when making decisions.

This was up by eight per cent from figures taken in June this year, and up one per cent from last September.

LGInsight chairman Neil Wholey explained this may be due to the current period of consultation occurring in many councils as they weigh up which services to cut.

Wholey said: 'Councils are reviewing most of their services and it's the most important time for them to talk to people. What residents are seeing is that councils produce a lot of services from adult social care to libraries.'

Recent consultation exercises include Harrow Council's Let's Talk campaign, which saw the council hit the streets with a pop-up living room and asked residents to help set its priorities. That campaign preceded a dramatic rise in resident satisfaction - up from 29 per cent to 43 per cent.

Other findings revealed that overall satisfaction appeared to be up, with 70 per cent of residents now saying they were happy with their council. This was up three per cent from June's figures. Eighteen per cent of residents believed the media's coverage of councils was positive overall, up from nine per cent in June.

Twenty-nine per cent said their own council had been portrayed positively by the media, up from 16 per cent.

Populus interviewed 1,003 residents by phone between 19 and 24 August for LGInsight, the research arm of LGComms.

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