Understanding our customers
In Autumn 2008 a national survey – the Place Survey – was carried out by every Local Authority to help us understand the views of residents about local public services and the place in which they live. We now want to explore further the reasons why residents have concerns about certain issues.
Section A: Local services
Firstly we asked what one thing panellists would choose to improve their satisfaction with three specific services. The most popular responses for each service are shown below:
- Bins, chewing gum, graffiti
- Increased, regular cleaning
- Natural / seasonal waste clearance.
- Anti-social behaviour / security
- Improved facilities
- Improved maintenance / cleaning.
- Better facilities / accessibility
- Fine as they are
Over 81% of panellists said they are satisfied with their local area as a place to live. When asked what one change would make them more satisfied with their local area as a place to live the two most common themes were:
- Better street cleaning, less rubbish, dog fouling, recycling.
- Council and residents take pride in the area, less new housing, building on green belt, tidy up buildings / gardens.
Similarly we then asked what one factor they think would lead to people from different backgrounds getting on well together. The most common theme here was linked to better education to counteract any lack of understanding together with more relevant events and activities.
The things that panellists said they believe would help them feel that they can influence decisions affecting their local area were (2 most popular themes):
- Councillors: need to be more accessible, to listen more and respond to queries; more surgeries.
- Councillors: be able to set aside party politics and focus on customer issues.
Just over a quarter (27%) of panellists believe that Calderdale Council provides value for money, with 34% disagreeing with this. Almost 35% said they were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with the value for money aspect. Two of the main reasons for dissatisfaction were:
- Councillors should ask the public first, listen to what they say and then take the decisions; Councillors should be more accountable and transparent.
- Council tax too high and not put to best use; pay consultants / executives too much; poor financial management.
Panel members were then asked to consider - taking everything into account - how satisfied or dissatisfied they are with the way the Council runs things. Over 40% said they are very or fairly satisfied, 27% are very or fairly dissatisfied with 31% saying they are neither satisfied or dissatisfied.
We once again then asked what one change the panellists would make to make them more satisfied with the way Calderdale Council runs things. Listed below are the two most cited changes respondents would make:
- issues with Councillors and their decisions; more accountable.
- listen to what the public say; be transparent and more accessible; use more consultation.
Section B: Children & Young People’s Services
Firstly panellists were asked how important it is to them that there is provision of activities for teenagers and facilities for young children, both in their local area and Calderdale-wide.
The answers, illustrated in the graphs below, show that both these issues have attracted strong support with providing activities for teenagers being the stronger. This reflects the results of the Place Survey of 2008.
The detailed responses are: provision of activities for teenagers in the local area was rated very important by 54.0% of respondents, 23.2% rated it fairly important, 6.9% rated it not very important, 2.5% not important at all and 13.4% don't know.
In Calderdale, 55.0% rated activities for teenagers very important, 22.6% fairly important, 5.2% not very important, 2.2% not important at all and 15% don't know.
Activities for young children in the local area were considered very important by 41.1%, fairly important by 24.1%, not very important by 14.8%, not important at all by 2.3% and 17.7% don't know. In Calderdale, activities for young children were rated very important by 40.8%, fairly important by 25.2%, not very important by 12.9% and not important at all by 2.1%, with a don't know response from 19% of respondents.
39% of respondents feel that parents take sufficient responsibility for the behaviour of their children. Just over 47% feel that teenagers hanging around the streets is a problem in their local area, compared to 64% who feel this is a problem Calderdale-wide. A significant proportion of those who think this is a problem say this happens in the evening rather than the day time, but the day time occurrences almost double at the weekends.