Summer 2010

Welcome to the second edition of our Newsletter for 2010 and a big ‘thank you’ to all panel members who completed and returned our Spring 2010 survey. We hope panel members enjoy completing our new summer survey, as it will help us to shape and improve policies and services in Calderdale in the way you would like us to.

Inside this issue

The spring survey contained six topics on issues and initiatives relating to both Council services in Calderdale and services provided by NHS Calderdale. The results are summarised in the following pages and the topics covered include:

Anti -social behaviour

Calderdale Council and the West Yorkshire Police are working together towards reducing anti-social behaviour (ASB) and making Calderdale a better place to live. The questions asked in this section of the survey were to find out what information about anti-social behaviour panelists would be interested in, and how they would like to receive it.

A significant amount of interest was shown in receiving information about what the Council and the Police are doing to combat ASB both locally (79%) and Calderdale-wide (67%).

68% of respondents would like to know when ASB Orders are issued to people locally, with 40% interested in the Calderdale-wide data. 54% would like to know more details about the individuals who receive the ASB Orders. These results show a high level of interest in information about local ASB developments, and somewhat lower interest in the wider aspects.

When asked how often panelists would like to receive this type of data, the results were that 22% of respondents would like the information monthly, 34% would like it quarterly, 17% six monthly, and 9% annually, with the other 18% not wanting the information.

We then asked how panelists would prefer to receive this information. The table below details the preferred methods.

Preferred methods of receiving information on ASB's
Communication method Number of panelists preferring
Newsletter 414
Newspaper 202
Ward forum 39
Internet 248
Radio 24
Library 43


This table shows the two most preferred methods of receiving this information were Newsletter and Internet.

70% of panelists said they would be interested in information on how to report ASB and 63% would like to know how to access services relating to ASB.

Calderdale Council website

The web team are continually looking at ways to improve the Calderdale Council website.

The questions asked in the spring survey were to help us understand more about how and why people use the Calderdale Council website, and how we can better support people to do this.

The table below shows the different ways panellists access the Calderdale Council website:

Access Council website from....
Location % of respondents
Do not use 32%
Mobile/blackberry 2%
From school or college 1%
From home 60%
From work 19%
From the library 5%


Of those respondents who use the website (68%), the next table shows how they rate their experience when using the site:

Website rating
Rating % of respondents
Very good 8%
Good 51%
Satisfactory 38%
Poor 3%
Very poor 1%


Nearly 80% of website visitors said they were able to find what they were looking for. Only 7% said they did not find what they were looking for with 14% visiting the site just to browse.

We then asked panellists if they were aware of certain facilities that are currently on the website. The responses are shown below:

Awareness of facilities on the website
Facility Aware Not aware
Pay parking fines 24% 76%
Pay your Council Tax 36% 64%
Request library books 28% 72%
Request replacement green/black bin bag 26% 74%
Make a planning application 37% 63%
Apply for Housing Benefit 20% 80%


These results show that many of the facilities offered by the Council’s website are under-used as a large majority of Website users are not aware that they are available.

We then asked, if a number of other services were made available, would panellists be interested in using them. The table below shows the responses:

Use of services on the Council Website
Service % of respondents who would use
Receive alerts of planning applications in your area 62.6%
Booking a registrar, registering a birth, marriage or death 36.2%
Finding services and facilities in your area 78.6%
Finding all events and activities across Calderdale 76.4%
Booking a sports facility 34.4%


A number of interesting and useful ideas were also given to help us improve our website – we hope to incorporate some of these when we look at making future upgrades to the website.

Long decision making

The questions asked in this section were designed to help us find out how much panellists know about the opportunities available to influence what happens in their local area.

46% said they would know how to have an influence or say in their area but 40% said they would not. Over 80% said they might want to have a say if the matter in question directly affected themselves, their family or friends, their local area, or a service they may use. Slightly less felt they would want a say if the matter affected their local community (72%).

The table below shows the methods which respondents are most likely to use if they wanted to influence a decision or have a say:

Preferred method of influence
Method Percentage of panellists
Complaints/customer feedback 30.9%
Direct contact with the service 54.4%
Local group (not council-based) 17.7%
Email or Internet 26.0%
Questionnaire/survey 36.7%
Sign a petition 40.3%
Local council forum 13.5%
Councillor or MP 55.9%


These results show that respondents much prefer to have direct contact with either Councillors or with the relevant service. This will help us to understand where we need to concentrate our efforts to enable residents to contact us to have their say on issues which are important to them.

We then gave panellists a list of 12 potential ways they can currently use to influence decisions. From this list ‘the most heard of’ include Councillors (52%), Parish and town councils (49%) and School Governors (49%). Approximately one third of respondents had also heard of the different types of community groups / forums (Council, NHS and police led). 33% had heard of the Ward forums, a similar number were familiar with the Voluntary networks and 27% with Faith groups.

Though the sample sizes are small and care should be taken using this data, of those who had used the channels, 46% said they would use the NHS community groups again, 44% said they would attend the Ward forums again and 29% said they would contact Councillors again.

Again with small sample sizes, of the 12 ways to influence listed in the survey, Ward Forums scored highest in answer to the question “were my views listened to”, with Police Community groups and Council scrutiny panels also being high in this regard.

Responses to the questions which asked for ‘other’ methods by which people might have an influence or say, some of the most popular included writing letters to the local press, use of the Internet eg. Fix my Street  and contacting local Police groups.

We will carefully look at these results to understand how we can help to make it easier for residents in Calderdale to be more involved with local decision-making.

Long term medical conditions

NHS Calderdale is committed to reducing the prevalence of long term conditions locally. The responses to questions in this section will help them to improve services for people living with a long term condition in Calderdale.

93% of respondents correctly identified that a Stroke is ‘an attack’ of the brain. 81% correctly recognised that the recently used slogan ‘act FAST’ stands for:

97% were correct in saying they should call 999 if they were with someone who they thought was having a stroke. The three main factors identified for increasing the risk of a stroke were: Over weight, Smoking, and Stress.

Only 47% of respondents had heard of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). As only a relatively low number of respondents had heard of the disease this was similarly reflected in the questions we asked on symptoms and risk factors for this disease. COPD is a disease of the lungs in which the airways become narrowed and inflamed, the main causes being infections or air pollution. If you would like to know more about this disease you can find more information by visiting British Lung Foundation or ask your GP for further information.

Respondents were much better informed about the symptoms and factors which may increase the risk of diabetes. Diabetes is a common life-long condition where the amount of glucose in the blood is too high as the body cannot use it properly. Again if you would like to know more about this condition please visit Diabetes UK or ask your GP for further information.

Refuse and recycling

In April 2009 Calderdale Council began a new Household Refuse and Recycling Service. The service has been a great success, with recycling levels rising from 25% in 2008 to 42% (provisional) in 2009.

We would like to thank all residents who are using the service and recycling as much as possible. The questions asked in this section were to find out how well panellists think the service is running a year down the line, and how satisfied they are with the service.

66% of respondents have their refuse collected in a wheeled bin with 5% receiving an ‘assisted collection’ service. 90% use the Council’s weekly collection service, with similar high levels using the designated boxes and bags provided. A slightly lower number (80%) use the food waste caddy with only 24% using a carrier bag for recycling textiles.

Of those who do not use the recycling service the 2 main reasons for this are:

  • ‘I take my recyclables to the Household Waste Recycling centre’
  • ‘I live in a flat / maisonette where recycling facilities are not provided’.

The Household Recycling Centres are well attended, with over one third (34%) of respondents visiting one or more of the Centres more than 10 times in the last year.

The table below shows attendance levels at the Centres across Calderdale:

Visits to Household Recycling Centre in the last year

Recycling centre

Percentage of respondents

Not visited the centres


Ainleys, Elland


Atlas Mill Road, Brighouse


Lee Bank, Halifax


Milner Royd, Sowerby Bridge


Eastwood, Todmorden



These results clearly show that the centres most frequently visited are Lee Bank, Halifax and Milner Royd, Sowerby Bridge. Over 15% of respondents have not had cause to visit the centres in the last 12 months.

The table below shows how panellists think the refuse and recycling services have performed over the last six months (except for the bad weather in January!):

Panel's view on performance of services


Recycling collection

Refuse collection

Much improved

24.9% 16.5%

Slightly improved

18.2% 16.9%


38.1% 46.7%

Slightly Worse

9.8% 10.9%

Much Worse

5.3% 7.4%

Don't Know

3.7% 1.6%


It is clear that, following the initial teething troubles involved in such a major change, a significant number of people think that both refuse collection and recycling services have improved over recent months.

We then asked how satisfied you are with the two services. Results for this were:

Panel's satisfaction with services


Recycling collection

Refuse collection

Very satisfied

22.3% 21.6%
Satisfied 56.4% 59.4%
Dissatisfied 11.8% 12.4%
Very dissatisfied 6.3% 5.8%
Don't know 3.2% 0.8%


Pleasingly, over 78% of our customers are ‘Very satisfied or Satisfied’ with our services. By carefully looking at your suggestions for making more improvements we hope to increase your satisfaction with our services even more.

Once again thank you for all your efforts in recycling. We look forward to working with you as we try even harder to improve our refuse and recycling services throughout Calderdale.

Teenage pregnancy

Education about relationships and sex will be part of the national curriculum from September 2011, for every age group in schools. The questions asked in this section will help us make sure that parents of primary school children are happy with the content of those lessons.

We asked the panel which subjects they feel are appropriate for younger children. The results are shown below:

Relationship and Sex Lesson Content

Appropriate for all ages 5 - 11

Only appropriate for 10 - 11s

Not appropriate for 5 -11s

Naming parts of the body


10% 3%

Able to keep themselves safe

83% 15% 2%
Family types (step families, one
parent families etc)
80% 18% 2%

Meeting and making friends

90% 8% 2%

Preparation for puberty

32% 63% 5%

Recognising and resisting pressure

62% 34% 4%

Types of contraception

7% 60% 33%

Understanding and talking about feelings

66% 29% 5%

Reproduction and pregnancy

23% 57% 20%


You said, we did

In our spring 2009 edition we asked questions relating to our Museums and Galleries Service.

You said: it is important to present our local history and we should provide more events with better publicity.
We did.....revised our exhibition programme to reflect a more local focus, initiated more activities and reviewed our promotional material.

Over 97% of respondents said it was important to present Calderdale’s history and heritage. Local history was also flagged up as one of the elements that would make you more likely to visit our museums and galleries. In response our exhibition programme now has a stronger local history focus, with a number of local history exhibitions. In particular we opened “A Rich Man’s World”, a new local history gallery at Bankfield Museum on 6th February 2010. The gallery covers the development of Akroydon model village and its founder Edward Akroyd.

You asked for more children’s/family activities. We now have Saturday Art Clubs running at Bankfield Museum and Smith Art Gallery, aimed at 8- 12 year olds and Mini Maker sessions at Bankfield aimed at the under 5’s. These are in addition to a busy events programme at all sites.

Another area you flagged up was the need for more publicity. We are reviewing our promotional material and have also made some improvements to our website. We hope this now provides clearer and more detailed information about our venues and what they have to offer.

Since we have made these improvements the service has seen a 16% increase in visits for 2009/10. This equates to a rise from 92,319 to 106,997 visitors making an increase of 14,678 visitors in 2009/10.

Thank you for your feedback and to find out more about what is going on in your local museum or gallery, or to find contact details for the individual museums and galleries, visit the web page: Museums and galleries.

Data Protection and You

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.

Calderdale Engage

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

The printable version of this newsletter is available to download: PDFSummer 2010 Talkback Newsletter [PDF 1948KB] 

Contact details

If you have any questions regarding the panel, please let us know by contacting: