8 December 2017

Survey shows residents view of council improving

Nine out of ten Brighton & Hove residents say they are satisfied with their local area as a place to live and are happier on the whole with their neighbourhoods than other UK residents.

In a new survey on what residents think of the city as a place to live, overall satisfaction with the council is at a five-year high, with residents more likely to believe the council is spending its money wisely.

Residents also feel the council is making a better job of managing the environment, reflected in increasing satisfaction with how well the council looks after local streets, and how it handles waste collection and recycling.

These are just some of the findings from the council’s latest City Tracker report, designed to find out what residents think of Brighton & Hove as a place to live. The report also includes tracking key performance indicators which monitor essential city services.

The report shows 63% of users are satisfied with council services, with 14% saying they are very satisfied, an overall increase of 3% on last year's figure of 60%. 

According to national organisation the Local Government Association, nationwide figures for neighbourhood satisfaction stand at 81%, while the government’s Community Life Survey figure is 78%, well below the 90% reported for Brighton & Hove.

When the survey's findings for Brighton & Hove residents are compared with national figures for the UK as a whole, local people are more engaged with the place they live than elsewhere in the country.

City residents are also more likely to feel they belong to their local area, are more likely to feel they live in an area where people from different backgrounds can get on well together and are also more likely to feel they can influence local decisions.

Cllr Warren Morgan, leader of the city council, said the survey showed a pleasing pattern of positive change and improvements. But he also said he was not complacent and would be addressing the areas of concern raised by residents in the survey.  

He said: "Improving the quality of life for all of our residents is always our aim and our intention. So it’s encouraging that more people feel the council is making a better job of getting the basics right, which is reflected in the increased satisfaction with how well we look after streets, and how we handle waste collection and recycling.

"With huge reductions in funding for local services, it's important we spend every penny wisely and I'm pleased that more and more residents have faith in us to do that."

Cllr Morgan added: "Improving customer satisfaction and peoples experience whenever and however they contact the council and use our services is a priority for us. Customers are at the heart of everything we do."

Similar to last year, the survey also shows that the vast majority of Brighton & Hove residents feel safe during the daytime when outside in their local area, with 69% feeling very safe and 26% fairly safe (95% overall) and just 2% feeling unsafe. After dark, 80% feel safe outside in their local area, although 11% do not feel safe, again similar to 2016.

Although 64% of residents do not think air pollution is a problem in their street, 10% see it as a big problem and 25% a fairly big problem.

Cllr Morgan added: "Although air quality across the city is improving overall, there has been a noteworthy increase in the number of residents concerned about air pollution in their street which we will be looking into further."

Read the full City Tracker 2017 report (PDF 718KB).