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Residents’ satisfaction with Stroud District Council well above national average – and business backs us too

Published: Monday, 3 December, 2018

Residents’ satisfaction with Stroud district as a place to live and with the way the council is run are well above the national average and on the rise, according to independent research.

Some 96% of residents questioned in an annual budget survey for Stroud District Council are satisfied with their local area as a place to live (95% in 2017), and 80% are satisfied with the way SDC is run (79% in 2017). And 94% of businesses questioned said they were satisfied that the district is a place to do business.

The Local Government Association national average for satisfaction with the way councils are run was 61% in June 2018. And the LGA national average of satisfaction with where people live was 79% this year – Stroud District Council scored significantly higher than both this year and last.

Council services have been backed on the whole by respondents as well - 73% (72% in 2017) of businesses and 79% (74% in 2017) of residents agree that ‘services have been maintained to a good standard.’ The percentage of businesses satisfied with how Stroud District Council runs dropped slightly from 70% to 68%.

Council leader Doina Cornell (Labour) said: “Stroud District is a great place to live and this survey shows us how much that means to local people. It is good to see that local residents and businesses continue to be satisfied with the services Stroud District Council provides, bucking the national trends.

“I see how much people prioritise the quality of services and value for money, so we need to ensure we keep those as a top priority and use the views of local people to inform our policies and priorities for the coming year.”

Both residents and businesses feel informed about the services SDC provides with 80% of residents and 69% of businesses very well/fairly well informed, the survey found.

The results also show general consistency between residents and businesses in the level of priority given to each element of the Council’s main objectives in its Corporate Delivery Plan - to help create a sustainable and vibrant economy that works for all, provide value for money and high quality services, provide affordable energy efficient homes for our diverse and changing population/provide affordable and decent housing, promote health and wellbeing, and adapt to climate change/recycle more.

The most valued services were refuse collection (76%), recycling (71%), street cleaning (57%) and pollution control (54%). Waste and recycling (66%) was the service considered to be most important need of funding followed by leisure centres/parks/open spaces (36%).

Green group leader Councillor Martin Whiteside said: “It is great to see refuse collection and recycling right at the top of the list of ‘most valued services’, these are core services important to all residents that also help protect our environment.

“Helping to create a sustainable and vibrant economy that works for all was rated as the top priority from our Corporate Plan (89% very high or high).  Local support for minimising our carbon footprint, adapting to climate change and recycling more was also very highly rated by residents (86% high or very high priority) which provides a strong endorsement of our work on climate change across the district.”

The research consists of ten minute telephone interviews with 500 local residents randomly selected from across the district, broken down into clustered wards reflecting the population and demographics; and 200 local businesses, 140 of which have 10 or less employees. The survey was conducted by an independent market research company.

The business survey was conducted from August to September and the residents survey in September and October.

When businesses were surveyed, their three top priorities were value for money and high quality services (96%, the same as in 2017), helping create a sustainable and vibrant economy that works for all (88%, 89% in 2017), and 85% rated provide affordable and decent housing as a very high/high priority (89% in 2017).

Liberal Democrat group leader Ken Tucker added: “It is pleasing to note that residents and businesses continue to appreciate the hard work that SDC officers and local councillors put in to making our environment and our district a better place to live.

“From those surveyed, 96% of residents said they were satisfied living in their local area, and 94% of commerce adding that Stroud district was a good place to do business. Although these levels are significantly higher than national averages, we need to ensure that we all work together to maintain, and hopefully further improve, this high standard for our all residents and businesses.”

The full report is available at: https://www.stroud.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/about-the-council/have-your-say/consultations/annual-residents-and-business-budget-consultation-survey-2018

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