Our BIG Survey – what you told us

Our thanks go to everyone who returned our BIG Survey in the second half of 2012. We’ve summarised below some of the key things that you told us:

Council Services:

  • 74% of respondents said they had used household waste recycling centres in the last year. That was the most commonly used service, followed by parks & green spaces (57%) and libraries (44%). 9% of people who responded indicated that they had not used any of the services listed.
  • Responses were split about how the cuts have affected services: 41% of responses indicated that you believed services have got worse over the last couple of years, whilst 49% of you believed they had stayed about the same, and 10% believed they had improved.

Question three asked you to choose your top priority for protection in light of the budget cuts forced on the council this year, however many respondents chose to indicate more than one. The top responses as your priorities were:

  • Support for elderly people in their own homes (42% of responses indicated this)
  • Road maintenance (40% indicated this)
  • Household waste collections (30%)
  • Elderly care homes (24%)
  • Children’s social care (21%)

Then we asked for which areas you would choose to make a substantial budget cut. Understandably there were less responses in this section, but the most common choices were: Trading Standards and Licensing (24% of respondents indicated this), and weeds / hedge / grass cutting (22%, which is interesting in light of the anecdotal comments made amongst responses about the service and less frequent grass cutting). A further 16% of responses indicated that council housing should be cut, although it is worth noting that the costs to the council associated with council housing are overwhelmingly paid for by the rents of tenants.

In response to question five, a majority – 62% – of respondents who expressed an opinion said that they would prefer a small council tax rise to protect £2m of services, rather than a continuation of the council tax freeze.

In touch with your local team:

68% of respondent indicated that they had never contacted either a councillor or their MP previously. However only 7% of respondents said they would never contact a politician about any issue. Face to face surgeries was the most popular preference for making contact with us, although all the options given had some support. We continue to hold four surgeries most months for anyone who wishes to speak to us in person.

Three quarters of responses indicate that you think you receive enough literature, whilst 12% would like to receive more and 8% say you receive it too often. We hope we’re getting the balance about right – we do try to keep in touch all year round but we realise that sometimes the deliveries we and our small team of volunteers undertake don’t always get to everyone.

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