Richard and Trish are always seeking new ways to consult local people
Almost 8 in 10 people feel Sutton Council is doing a good job and 9 in 10 are satisfied with their local area as a place to live, an independent borough-wide survey has found.
The data comes from an independent bi-annual survey commissioned by the council to analyse public perception of the borough. This year the survey was carried out by M.E.L Research, which surveyed 1,022 residents aged 16+ with quotas set on age, gender and work status to match the profile of the population of Sutton.
The percentage of respondents satisfied with how the council runs services in the borough has risen two percentage points in the past two years to 78 per cent. The satisfaction rate for the local area as a place to live has been maintained at 90 per cent compared to 2013.
This is despite the council having to save £74m from its annual budget between 2011 and 2019 due to unprecedented Government cuts to its annual budget.
So far the council has saved £43m from its annual budget, with the majority of the saving (£32m) being made without frontline services being affected. However the remaining £31m will result in services being changed, reduced and in some cases stopped which is likely to have an effect on future surveys.
The council launched the Sutton’s Future campaign in July 2013 to involve residents in making the savings. So far there have been more than 10,000 responses.
The campaign looks to have had an effect with a rise in:
· the percentage of people saying they feel informed about how council tax is spent (48 per cent in 2013 to 65 per cent in 2015)
· the percentage of people feel informed about Council services and benefits (49 per cent in 2013 to 64 per cent in 2015)
· the percentage of people that they feel they can influence council-run services (44 per cent in 2013 to 51 per cent in 2015)
Other survey results included:
· Most residents (98 per cent) feel safe walking alone during the day in their neighbourhood. After dark, three-quarters (75 per cent) feel sale, compared with 71 per cent in 2013. The level of worry for burglary and antisocial behaviour has continued to decrease since 2011 (48 per cent and 41 per cent respectively to 37 per cent and 35 per cent in 2015).
· More than half of residents want to know what the Council is doing but do not wish to be involved beyond that, with only 13 per cent wanting to be more involved or have a say in what the council is doing. Of those who want to be more involved or have a say, just over a third (34 per cent) would be willing to complete a questionnaire, 25 per cent to submit their views through an online channel and 28 per cent to attend a public meeting arranged by Sutton Council.
· The satisfaction level with Sutton Council has risen consistently since 2009, when just under three-quarters (72 per cent) of residents thought the council was doing a good job. Just over six in 10 (61 per cent) agree that the council provides value for money, up from 54 per cent in 2013.
· Residents on the whole appear to be reasonably satisfied with Council services. Since 2013, resident satisfaction has increased for services such as borough theatres, the arts and events, historic places and museums, playgrounds, sport and swimming facilities, and pavement and road maintenance.
· However, resident satisfaction has decreased in recycling, down from 85 per cent in 2013 to 77 per cent in 2015, street cleaning from 76 per cent in 2013 to 69 per cent in 2015, refuse collection from 88 per cent in 2013 to 82 per cent in 2015, and parks and open spaces, from 87 per cent in 2013 to 82 per cent in 2015.
· But resident satisfaction remained the same in 2013 and 2015 in parking (46 per cent), libraries (73 per cent) and street lighting (81 per cent).