Spring 2009


Welcome to the Spring 2009 edition of our Newsletter and a big thank you to all panel members who completed and returned our Autumn 2008 survey. We hope our new panel members enjoy completing our spring survey as it will help us shape and improve policies and services in Calderdale in the way you would like us to.

Thank you and welcome!

In line with market research practice we refresh the membership of the 'Talkback' panel every three years. We would like to say a big 'thank you' to all the retiring panel members for their invaluable help and participation and wish them well for the future. Equally, a big 'welcome' to all our new panel members, we look forward to hearing your views!

Inside this issue

The Autumn survey contained three topics on issues and initiatives relating to Council services in Calderdale. The results are summarised in the following pages and the topics covered include:

A - Z guide

Once a year, Calderdale Council produces an A – Z Guide to Council services. To make sure we have the format and content of the guide the way you would like to see it, we asked the panel a series of questions about the guide.


Firstly we needed to check how efficient our delivery team are – over 77% of panellists said they received the summer 2008 edition of the guide. We need to look carefully now at our distribution to increase the delivery of the guide – ideally to over 95% completion.

We then asked which parts of the guide you find, or might find, useful. The top five most useful aspects of the guide proved to be:

  • A – Z listing: phone numbers
  • A – Z listing: short descriptions
  • Recycling information
  • Getting in touch information
  • Councillors' details.

The table shows the responses to this question in detail:

Percentage of respondents finding aspects of the guide useful
Aspect of guide  % of respondents
Getting in touch information 64.0%

A - Z listing: short service descriptions


A - Z listing: phone numbers


A - Z listing: feature pages about services


Recycling information


Compliments, suggestions and complaints


Map of the Wards in Calderdale


Councillors' details


Parish and Town Councils


Emergency planning information


Other useful information


No reply



The following chart shows how useful respondents find the guide, with over 90% finding it very or quite useful and under 10% finding it not very or not at all useful.

Chart showing usefulness of guide

Approximately 35% of panellists think it would be helpful to include more email contacts and website links.

At a 45p cost per guide to design, print and deliver to your home, over 80% of respondents think this is good value for money.

Adult learning

Nearly 20% of panel members said they had taken part in adult learning in Calderdale in the last five years. The type of learning that was undertaken was many and varied across the areas of the borough, from cake decorating to yoga, various levels of computer skills to sign language, to name but a few.

When asked what was the purpose in taking up a learning experience the responses were also diverse and informative, including:

  • to improve my skills
  • career development
  • hobby, enjoyment
  • meet people and make friends
  • to give me more confidence
  • get a qualification.

Over 20% of panel members said they would like to share their learning story in a promotional publication for adult learning – we will shortly be in touch with some of these volunteers to learn more of their learning experience.

Road safety seat belt campaign

Calderdale’s Road Safety Team has been involved for about a year and a half in a road safety project to encourage more people to wear their seat belts in the car when they are travelling.

At the beginning of the campaign we asked the panel their views on certain aspects of road safety; we then repeated the questions in the autumn 2008 edition to see how effective the campaign has been. The initial set of questions was about who respondents think are responsible for children/young people wearing seat belts in different situations. The table shows the results of these questions, comparing the answers of summer 2007 to those received in the autumn 2008 edition. The table shows those respondents that answered ‘Yes, Always’ to the questions asked.

Comparison of responses in summer 2007 and autumn 2008

Do you wear a seat belt when travelling? 2007 % saying 'yes' 2008% saying 'yes'
a) in the front of the car as the driver 96% 96%
b) in the front of the car as the passenger 97% 97%
c) in the rear of the car 74% 80%


Who do you think is responsible by law for ensuring people under 14 years of age wear a suitable restraint?

2007 % saying 'yes' 2008% saying 'yes'

a) the child

2% <1%

b) the driver

91% 94%

c) the parent

7% 6%

d) don't know

<1% <1%


Who do you think is responsible by law for ensuring passengers 14 years and over are wearing seat belts?

2007 % saying 'yes' 2008% saying 'yes'

a) the passenger

31% 27%

b) the driver

68% 72%

c) don't know

<1% <1%


We then asked panel members their opinion on the effectiveness of the campaign over the last eighteen months. The graph shows the results of this, with 5% finding it very effective, 31% quite effective, 20% not very effective, 6% not at all effective, and 38% having no opinion on the effectiveness.

A pleasing 36% of respondents think the campaign has been effective – hopefully this will also be reflected in safety statistics.

An important aspect of the campaign of course is the promotion of the scheme, to raise people’s awareness and generally improve road safety across the district. To monitor the effectiveness of our promotions we then asked the panel if, in the last twelve months, they had heard or seen any of our ‘seat belt wearing promotions’.

67% of respondents said they have seen our new Road signs; 63% have seen the advertising on TV; 30% remember seeing the leaflets, booklets and posters we circulated and 34% have seen relevant articles and adverts in the local press.

We then asked which groups of Calderdale’s car occupants you think are least likely to wear a seat belt. The table shows the responses to this question compared to the 2007 responses..

Comparison of 2007 against 2008 responses on those least likely to wear seat belts
Type of car occupant % 2007 % 2008

Children with parents

7.8 10.4

Young adult drivers

45.8 32.2

Teenagers with friends

32.1 44.4

People driving for work

14.2 13.0


From a list of options we then asked your opinion on which means you think would be most effective when it comes to increasing seat belt wearing. The three most effective measures in the view of the panel were:

  • Fines for not wearing seat belts
  • Points on licences for not wearing seat belts
  • Temporary driving ban for not wearing seat belts.

Interestingly, these options all involved punitive measures rather than education.

You provided us with many useful and innovative ideas on both different ways to promote our campaign and also on what might be most effective in increasing seat belt wearing. All your responses will be carefully considered by the team to help inform future projects.

You said, we did

In our Spring 2008 edition of Talkback we asked you your views and perceptions about working for Calderdale Council.

You said: there are definite benefits of working for the Council but steps could be taken to improve our image.

We did.... focus future recruitment campaigns on the benefits we provide and increase the awareness of council job opportunities.

The information collated provided us with an insight into the improvements we need to make to our ‘employer brand’ and how best to ‘sell’ the image of working for Calderdale Council. The results showed we need to focus on the benefits which scored highly, such as travel to work / locality, good pension scheme, holidays and importantly making a difference in the community.

A number of points were raised in the feedback which will help us to improve our recruitment campaigns and more importantly raise awareness of the diverse range of job and career opportunities within Calderdale Council.

Action has already been taken in relation to raising awareness of job opportunities at the Council by attending career and job fairs across the region. A number of suggestions were made in relation to profiling of the different jobs and careers and these again will be addressed as a section of the on-line recruitment system which will go live in early 2009. All of the issues raised and information gathered will be translated into clear actions within the Strategic Recruitment Plan.

In our autumn 2007 edition of Talkback we asked you your views on, and experiences with, CCTV across the borough. The responses received will help us to ensure that funding is used to upgrade the CCTV system in a way that residents will find useful and reassuring.

You said: CCTV should be used more in Calderdale to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour especially in venues such as popular nightlife areas (pubs/clubs/ theatres); public transport (stations, taxi ranks) and car travel (car parks, traffic movement).

We did.... use the information provided to inform the Calderdale CCTV Strategy and Business Plan.

Findings of the survey have been used to inform and support development of the Calderdale CCTV Strategy 2008-11 (i.e. as supporting evidence of the need to monitor principal transport routes, night-life areas, public shopping areas, etc.).

The feedback has also been used in the development of the CCTV Business Plan 2009-14. This will assist in identifying where new CCTV coverage is required, or additional technology could further improve community safety (i.e. use of audio Help Points linked to CCTV cameras for emergency assistance).

The responses from Talkback have also been used to inform the drafting of the CCTV Codes of Practice. This is to ensure that the correct policies are in place for those members of the public wishing to access CCTV footage - using the information provided to understand what types of incident (i.e. damage to cars, property etc.) the public may need to know more about from the recorded CCTV footage.

In our summer 2008 edition of Talkback, we worked with our partners in the Primary Care Trust, to ask the panel their opinions on the ‘Healthy Minds’ project – a new community organisation set up to address issues relating to mental distress in the area. The project organisers hope to set up a wellbeing centre in Halifax to address these types of issues.

You said: the new centres should provide more services such as: Information & advice, Counselling and Support for finding work. Support was also given to open more centres in other parts of the Borough. 29% of respondents feel there are currently gaps in mental health services in Calderdale.

We did.... use the responses to support the bid to set up a wellbeing centre in Halifax.

The Talk Back responses have helped greatly by providing supporting evidence to funding applications, by showing that there is a real need for this service in Calderdale. Not only has it highlighted gaps in the service provision, but it has also shown which areas and specifically what support people would expect to be available from the service. An additional revelation was from the qualitative comments, where it showed the extent of mental health stigma within Calderdale. These results have now been taken to Health Promotion and we are working jointly to address this in a creative way; not to preach to the converted but to the general population of Calderdale – in such a way that we can positively change peoples’ understanding and perception of this misunderstood issue.

Also in the summer 2008 edition of Talkback we posed the question: ‘Where does your money go?’ In this section we asked what sort of financial information, relating to Council services, would be of most interest to you and in what format you would like to receive this.

You said: the following would be of interest - How much the Council spends on running different services; how that breaks down into pay, premises, running costs etc; where the money comes from to pay for this; how much is spent on building projects, upgrading roads etc; and what funds are held to support future expenditure.

We did..... place a two page spread in the December edition of the Council’s magazine – Calderdale Call – detailing assets (things the Council owns and money coming in) and liabilities (money the Council needs to pay out).

The December 2008 edition of Calderdale Call contained the first article we have put together detailing the financial incomes and outgoings of the Council. Having received positive feedback from this article we hope to repeat it on an annual basis. Calderdale Call is delivered free of charge to every household in the borough, which ensures we can get this information readily to those people who are interested in the financial breakdown of the Council.

Calderdale Council is a big business which belongs to all its residents, so we would like to ensure you are kept informed about how carefully we invest and manage your future.

Keep a look out for the October 2009 edition of Calderdale Call for updated information.

Calderdale Engage

If you wish to know more about, or be involved with, other community consultations in Calderdale, visit: Calderdale Engage: Community consultations .

Data Protection and the 'Talkback' panel

As we are bound by law under the Data Protection Act and by the Market Research Code of Conduct, we have to ensure that Talkback is carried out in an ethical manner which ensures confidentiality and protection of personal data.

The printable version of this newsletter is available to download: PDFSpring 2009 Talkback Newsletter [PDF 558KB] .

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