Winter 2011

Introduction

Welcome to the first edition of our Newsletter for 2011 and a Happy and Healthy New Year to all our panel members. At this time your views are even more important to help us shape and improve policies and services in Calderdale in the most cost effective way. A big ‘thank you’ to all panel members who completed and returned our Summer 2010 survey - the results of which can be found in the following pages. Please take time to complete our New Year survey as your views are very important to us.

Inside this issue

The summer survey contained four 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:

Alcohol and drugs awareness

The questions asked in this section were to help provide teams at NHS Calderdale, Calderdale Council and other local partner agencies with an annual picture of how drugs and alcohol are impacting on the residents of Calderdale. This helps them identify if there have been any changes and if issues are getting better or worse.

Firstly we asked those panellists with children how they approached these issues from an early age. We asked if members talked to their children about the risks around alcohol, the following responses were given:

Do you talk to your children about risks associated with alcohol?

Age of child Yes No
8-10 years 66% 34%
11-14 years 81% 19%
15-17 years 85% 15%

 

We then asked if these respondents allowed their children to drink alcohol:

Do you allow your children to drink alcohol?
Age of child Yes No
11-14 years 18% 82%
15-17 years 66% 34%

 

  • 88% of respondents would like to see tougher penalties introduced for those permitting under age sale of alcohol and over 80% would like to see tougher proof-of-age requirements at retail outlets that sell alcohol.
  • 31% of respondents think adults buying alcohol for under 18 year olds is a problem in their local area. 16% do not think it is a problem with 53% unsure if this is an issue in their area.

The following table shows the level of alcohol related problems that respondents see in the Calderdale area.

Alcohol related problems seen in the Calderdale area

Problem % of respondents
Discarded bottles 91.3%
People under 18 years old drinking/buying alcohol 53.1%
People under the influence of alcohol 68.3%
Alcohol related violence or anti-social behaviour 52.3%

 

Similarly we then asked if respondents see any of the following drug related problems in their local area. The results shown are for those who 'Frequently / Occasionally' see the problems:

Drug related problems seen in the local area
Problem % of respondents
Discarded needles/syringes 30.5%
Drug dealing 46.9%
People taking drugs in public 51.6%

 

Over 33% of respondents feel that heroin / crack cocaine use affects their community. 17% have had friends or relations directly affected by heroin or crack cocaine use.

We then asked similar questions around the use of drugs like cannabis, powder cocaine, ecstasy, MCAT and ‘legal highs’. Again 33% said these type of drugs affected their community to some extent and 23% said they had friends or family affected by their use.

  • 22% of respondents said they or a family member had been a victim of drug related crime.
  • 54% of panel members said they would know how to access drug treatment services if they or an adult family member needed help.

If you do need help with drug related issues please contact 0800 0283901.

Equality in Calderdale

Calderdale has a legal duty to promote equality in employment and service delivery. The questions in this section were to understand how well residents think we are doing this.

75% of respondents said they are aware of Calderdale’s Equality and Diversity Scheme and associated policies to ensure equality in relation to race, gender and disability. 52% of those respondents think we are doing well in ensuring equality / fairness in our services; 40% of respondents think we are doing well in ensuring this as an employer. However in both instances over 40% had no opinion on these questions.

We then asked how well informed panellists feel about what we are doing to promote equality and fairness. There was a balance here, with equal proportions (39%) saying they felt they ‘Were’, and ‘Were Not’, well informed on these issues.

Safeguarding adults

Following recent legislation Calderdale is looking at how we can ensure that we improve the way in which we safeguard vulnerable adults.

A vulnerable adult is described as someone aged 18 or over ‘who is, or may be, in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.’

Using this definition any adult could find themselves in a vulnerable position. NHS Calderdale would like to know what residents feel they should focus on to safeguard anyone in this position.

Over 48% of respondents feel we should be doing more to safeguard vulnerable adults, 7% feel we should not do more and 45% chose the ‘Don’t know’ option.

We then asked if they agreed with a number of statements shown in the table below:

Do you agree with the following statements?

Statement Yes No Don't know

Calderdale already seems to have good systems in place to safeguard adults

21% 12% 67%

Staff require more training on safeguarding

30% 6% 64%

More systems are needed to report suspected abuse

42% 6% 52%

We should involve people more to understand what safeguarding means to them

61% 3% 36%

The public should be made more aware of how to report suspected abuse

77% 3% 20%

Information should be shared between services to help safeguard a vulnerable adult even if the information is confidential

78% 3% 19%

It would be helpful to provide more information on how information is shared and under what circumstances

70% 5% 25%

We then asked which 3 things from a given list would be most important to panel members if they were a vulnerable adult. The three most chosen items were:

  • Feeling safe in the environment
  • Getting help quickly
  • Maintaining your dignity.

Below are some responses for what ‘feeling safe’ means to panel members:

  • ‘being safe in my own home’
  • ‘being protected’
  • ‘not being exploited, bullied or abused’
  • ‘being able to walk alone safely’
  • ‘less stress, a better life’.

Safer Cleaner Greener Service

The Safer, Cleaner, Greener Service manages and maintains 350 hectares of parks, open spaces and gardens and over 400 hectares of countryside including woodlands and local Nature Reserves. The service is also responsible for keeping Calderdale clean by sweeping roads and footpaths, emptying litter bins, removing graffiti and fly tipping from Council land, and composting green waste.

The panel were asked how satisfied they are with a number of the services the team manage in their local area. The services which panellists were most satisfied with include:

  • Countryside and Nature areas
  • Trees / woodlands
  • Parks and open spaces.

The services giving least satisfaction were:

  • Keeping streets clean
  • Children’s play areas
  • Removal of graffiti.

We then asked which of these services panellists think most needs improving. The table and chart below display these results:

Services that most need improving

Service % of respondents

Keeping streets clean

48%

Children's play areas

17%

Removal of fly tipping

15%

Parks and open spaces

5%

Sports pitches

5%

Countryside and nature areas

4%

Removal of graffiti

3%

Trees / woodlands

3%

 

Piechart depicting services that need most improving

We then asked the panel if there is a problem with a number of issues listed in their local area. The table and graph below show the responses for those who said a 'Fairly big/Very big' problem.

Problems in my local area

Service % of respondents

Litter or rubbish lying around

19.7%

Dog fouling in parks and open spaces

17.9%

Dog fouling on the streets

16.9%

Fly tipping

11.2%

Vandalism in parks and open spaces

9.3%

Overgrown trees and shrubs

7.6%

Overflowing litter bins

7.2%
Graffiti 6.6%

Maintenance of parks/open spaces

3.6%

Bar chart depicting perceived local problems

We will be looking carefully at this data to determine if we can identify any problem ’hot spots’ - in this way we will try and address the issues that arise.

We also asked if panellists get involved with any of our organised events or outdoor community groups. 45% of respondents said they do get involved with these types of activities:

  • 42% get involved in organised events held in parks, eg. galas and bulb planting;
  • 22% get involved in countryside guided walks and events, eg. Ogden Water;
  • 21% get involved in outdoor community groups or voluntary activities
  • 15% get involved in workshops held in parks and countryside areas.

This is illustrated in the chart below.

Piechart depicting favoured means of involvement

Surprisingly over 13% of respondents said they are not aware of any of these types of events taking place in Calderdale - this tells us we need to advertise or communicate our events/activities more widely.

Panellists were asked to consider Calderdale as a whole and what they would like to see more of in the future. The list below shows the order of importance of the items to respondents:

  1. Educating school children to appreciate the natural environment
  2. Prosecution of dog owners for not cleaning up after their dogs
  3. Targeted clean ups or litter action days
  4. Varied choice of events in parks, open spaces and countryside areas
  5. Opportunity to get involved in local community groups or volunteering.

We then asked how panellists prefer to contact the service if they have a query / compliment or complaint. The following table and chart show the response to this question:

Contact Preference

Contact method

% of respondents

Telephone

36%
Email 19%
Via the Council website 16%
Letter 14%

Directly approach staff working outside

9%

Visit a Council office

6%

Pie chart depicting preferred ways of contacting Council

You said, we did

In our spring 2009 edition we asked questions relating to our Winter Road Maintenance Service. Several issues were raised to help us improve our service – below are a few of these issues and the actions we have taken to improve our service to the residents of Calderdale.

You said: ‘There ought to be more pavements treated and in quicker time. The elderly felt trapped in their homes.’
We did –  From this winter the Council has provided an additional £45,000 to provide additional salting and snow clearance on pavements near schools, nurseries, doctors’ surgeries, residential care homes and other establishments visited by vulnerable people. Additional resources have been placed on standby to ensure that we can respond much faster to clear pavements and pedestrian areas.

It is very important to us that we act quickly and efficiently to clear pavements and areas where the safety of residents is compromised. By putting these additional resources in place we hope to ensure that our streets and pavements are as safe as possible during any snowy / icy weather conditions.

If there are any specific streets or roads in your local area that need attention during the bad weather this can be reported to the Council’s contact Centre on 01422 288001. All calls will be registered and attended to wherever possible.

You said: ‘There should be more salt bins so that people can help themselves to salt roads and pavements.’
We did –  From this winter an additional 100 salt bins have been provided at locations which need them most, bringing the total number up to 600. Over 75 salt bins have been removed from places which do not really need a bin and relocated to more needy locations.

Salt bins and piles are generally provided for drivers of vehicles to spread salt on the carriageway as an aid to traction in icy or snow conditions. The salt is also often used by residents to spread on footways as well. By increasing the number of salt bins and, in some cases relocating them to areas of most need, we hope to improve our service to you.

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, please see Calderdale Engage: Community consultations

The printable version of this newsletter is available to download: PDFWinter 2011 Talkback Newsletter [PDF 887KB]

Contact details

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