British Residents Dissatisfied With Their Local Council, Study Shows

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2nd July 2014 13:09 - Local Government

A study, conducted by Localise – a consumer profiling team, has highlighted evident dissatisfaction among British residents with their local council.

The UK-wide study polled 1,035 citizens on their agreement levels for several areas: local council spending, targeting of services, understanding of residents and communication approaches.

Just over one quarter (28%) of those surveyed felt their local council had a good understanding of its residents, compared to the 37% who actively disagreed (i.e. ‘disagree’ or ‘strongly disagree’). Dissatisfaction levels were highest in Northern Ireland (49%) and Wales (48%).

When asked if their local council targets services in a way which best suits them, just one fifth agreed with this statement – 17% agreed and 3% strongly agreed. In contrast, more than double (43%) actively disagreed with the same statement, with almost one third (13%) of this proportion strongly disagreeing.

Almost two fifths (39%) of those polled did not think their local council focused its budget on the services which matter most to local people – one quarter (25%) disagreed and 14% strongly disagreed. Less than one quarter (23%) agreed or strongly agreed with this statement. Northern Ireland (10%) and Wales (12%) showed the lowest levels of agreement for this question.

Despite the evidently high levels of disagreement for each statement, around one third of residents answered ‘neither agree nor disagree’ for all three questions, indicating there could be a lack of information and understanding about local councils, thus hindering people’s position to make a judgement.

Furthermore, over half (52%) of the respondents said they would support their local council if it chose to move its communications channels to a more online approach in order to realise savings which could be applied in other areas. Only around one in 10 (12%) actively disagreed with this statement. Residents over the age of 65 were the only age category where net agreement dropped below half (48%).

Click here to view the full report on Localise's website.

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