Public trusts local councils more than Government when it comes to Covid-19, reveals poll

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9th December 2020 15:20 - Local Government

Public trusts local councils more than Government when it comes to Covid-19: A survey of the British public has found that when it comes to issues around Covid-19, they have more trust in their local council than they do the national Government.

The research by the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE), which is the largest voluntary public sector benchmarking service across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, found that respondents were 4.5 times more likely to trust their local council than they were the Government (54% vs 12%) when it comes to making decisions about how local services are provided.

More than half the respondents polled (56%) said they trust local councillors to make decisions about the local area, compared to just 6% who said they trust Government ministers.

When it comes to providing local services, 55% said they trust councils compared with 11% who said they would trust a private company,and the same percentage (11%) who said they would trust the Government.

Satisfaction levels increasing

The research also found that public satisfaction with local services is higher than it was in 2019, with the top satisfaction scores being recorded for local parks, street lighting, waste and recycling and school meals.

Respondents were asked where they would like to see government funding allocated locally, with waste and recycling featuring top of the list, followed by local parks and school meals. Climate change and social care came further down the list than in 2019.

Asked in more depth about climate change, the survey found that when considering local objectives, making homes more energy efficient was a top priority for respondents (61%), followed by a greater proportion of taxes given to local councils for tackling climate change (54%). Almost two-fifths (39%) said that they believe that councils should be given authority to implement local measures to help reduce climate change - compared to 31% who said the Government should oversee the task.

Speaking about the poll results, APSE Chief Executive Paul O’Brien said: ‘Many in local government will be cheered by the high level of trust placed in local councils, delivering the services the public want and need, especially during the pandemic."

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