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Felixstowe: Public to be asked views on services in townwide survey

10:00 01 March 2014

Felixstowe Town Hall

Felixstowe Town Hall

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People in Felixstowe are to be asked for their views on a wide range of community services to help the town council allocate funding in the future.

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A questionnaire is to be sent out to households asking about the importance of services run by councils and those managed by a variety of other organisations, including voluntary groups, to establish the priority people put on them and how well they are used.

Councillors have stressed that the results will not necessarily mean they invest in certain activities, but will give them guidance when considering how to target resources.

In the past two years the council has started a community fund to help pay for services, facilities and activities which may be lost if other councils or groups wield the cost-cutting axe, or could be divested to the town council.

The fund is expected to stand at around £285,000 by 2018.

Town clerk Gordon Mussett said the questionnaire would go to house number one in every street at the resort, ensuring that all areas were covered and targeting a cross-section of people of all ages and family groups.

He said: “The aim is to see how residents value services, whether they currently use those services and whether they feel they should be supported in some way or another.

“Whether to fund activities will be an analysis undertaken later.”

The town council has agreed to press ahead with the project but councillors stressed that care needed to be taken with the wording of the questionnaire and it was decided that councillors Jan Garfield, Andy Smith and Kimberley Williams should form a task group to deal with the detail.

Mr Smith said he felt the survey should ask people to judge the importance of each activity listed as either “essential, desirable or unnecessary”.

Ms Williams said: “We represent all the people of Felixstowe and should be encouraging feedback from our residents, not just when we are campaigning on the doorstep for the ballot box.

“We should be asking their opinion on a regular basis to find out what services they require, what we should be providing, and what they aspire to, and this will become increasingly important as we move towards localism.”

Councillor Mike Deacon said: “I welcome this initiative – it’s a very good idea and very relevant.”

Not everyone agreed though. Councillor Stuart Bird felt there was a danger the survey would create expectations and the council would make itself a hostage to fortune, while councillor Doreen Savage also felt people might assume the council would take action.

Mr Bird said: “If we go ahead with this, I think we should make it clear which services this council provides at the moment so that people have a clear understanding.”

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6 comments

  • A good answer to the questionnaire would be 'stop wasting your limited funds on pointless pr stunts and do your job'. These people are paid or elected to take decisions - so do it!

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    paul

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • It is my continuing belief that public bodies use "research" like a drunk uses a lamp-post - for support rather than illumination.

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    cwayconslt

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Particularly amused that Mrs Savage is "concerned that people would assume the council will take action". I suppose there's a first time for everything.

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    Marc Turner

    Sunday, March 2, 2014

  • What is the point of this because the residents are not listened to on anything. Its a total waste of money.

    Report this comment

    Elise Moreton

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • I was thinking 'this sounds like a good idea' until I read it will only go to one household per street. Factor in that probably only half will return the form and you end up with a handful of responses! Would it really take much to deliver the questionnaire to all houses, perhaps with one of the freebie publications or the newsletter sent to all homes by the Lyon council! Couple that with the fact they are making it clear that it's only for guidance I think this hasn't been thought through and is just there to say 'well, we asked you what you wanted' providing it fits with their plans! They put together on online survey very easily and I'm sure that would generate more responses and a good cross section of society... Just saying

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    Homeofstowe

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • What I want to know is - why, just after WW2 when there really was no money did children get a good education, bins were emptied weekly, Felixstowe looked neat clean and tidy with attractive sea front gardens, there were cinemas and theatres, a fire service that cold be relied on and a relatively crime free environment (ok, maybe bikes did go missing and were found abandoned at the nearest RAFArmy camp) These days we pay huge amounts in Council Tax to get a much worse service.

    Report this comment

    Suffolk Sue

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

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