Nine out of ten people living in Brighton & Hove have told researchers that they’re the most satisfied with the city as a place to live that they’ve been for five years.
The annual City Tracker resident satisfaction survey shows that the city’s residents are far more likely than people living elsewhere in the country to feel a sense of belonging to their local neighborhood. They also strongly believe that their community is a place where people from different backgrounds can thrive.
And, in contrast with the rest of the country, people living in Brighton & Hove are more positive about how their local area has improved.
What are people saying they like about the city?
The city’s schools are supported by local residents, backing up Ofsted’s view that all children in the city can attend a good secondary school.
The city’s cultural offer is also a big draw. 2018 saw the highest level of attendance at cultural events since the survey began, with the numbers of people going to libraries, museums and galleries exceeding national averages.
More residents trust the council and believe the council acts on their concerns compared with UK residents as a whole. However, overall satisfaction with the council has dropped from last year’s five-year high which is consistent with most other councils’ results according to the Local Government Association’s national resident satisfaction report.
What needs to get better?
When asked what people would change about the city, residents overwhelmingly told researchers “clean up the city” and “improve the general appearance”. Housing, homes and homelessness was second on the priority list.
Council Leader’s response
Speaking about the survey results Council Leader, Cllr Dan Yates, said he thought the results were understandable at a local level but were also the first real reflection of the impact of national cuts on local government funding which are being felt across the country. He said:
“We had one of the hottest summers on record this year, which was great for most of us, but the lack of rain meant all councils struggled to keep their streets clean. It’s completely understandable that the streets and the number of missed rubbish collections during the summer contributed to people saying they want a cleaner city.
“Councils have enormous responsibilities; we protect and indeed save lives every day. Much of this work goes unrecognised through our less visible services which most of us are fortunate enough not to come into contact with. Services like adult social care and child protection.
“I’m incredibly proud that over the last four years this council has been able to shield the city from a lot of the budget reductions. We’ve protected our most vulnerable residents but it has come at a cost, and sadly most of us can now see the impact of the savings on our more visible services.
“However I’m not in public office to simply manage decline. We’re developing innovative approaches to delivering services and we’re seeing improvements and differences being made to people’s lives every day.
“For example; the new Field Officer Team, bringing council services out to the city’s communities, seven days a week using mobile technology to report and quickly sort issues.
“And the actions and initiatives taking place through the City Environment Modernisation Programme which sees more support for the waste and recycling service and the launch of new systems and processes to enable customers to contact Cityclean effortlessly and for staff to respond quickly and effectively.
“Our new approach to graffiti will also start making a real difference to the city’s appearance too.”
What is the City Tracker Survey?
Brighton & Hove Connected - the city’s Local Strategic Partnership - commissioned Infocorp Ltd to carry out the 2018 annual City Tracker survey of the city’s residents.
The survey took place from 17 September to 9 November 2018. It covers Brighton & Hove’s adult population aged 18 and above and its objective is to find out what residents think of Brighton & Hove as a place to live.