Survey shows dissatisfaction with local councils

THE majority of people in Suffolk and Essex are dissatisfied with their county and district councils, according to a major new survey on what people in the East of England think of their area which has just been published by the Government.

Graham Dines

THE majority of people in Suffolk and Essex are dissatisfied with their county and district councils, according to a major new survey on what people in the East of England think of their area which has just been published by the Government.

This “must do better” message will be used by ministers to shape future policy and to encourage county and district authorities to drive up the standard of service.

While 83.5% of Suffolk residents are satisfied with the county as a place to live, just 46.2% are happy with the council and only 34.9% think the county council provides value for money services.


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In Essex, 84.2% of people survey think the county a great place to live, but only 48.9% are happy with the council while just 37.5% believes the county council offers value for money services.

Colchester, Braintree, Tendring, Mid Suffolk and Babergh top the regional table as the ideal places to live, but again residents expressed unhappiness with the council and its services.

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Communities Secretary John Denham said the results of the National Place Survey - based on more than 500,000 people's views and perceptions about where they live - demonstrates the importance of listening to all people and delivering what they want for their local area.

Mr Denham said: “This survey gives us an important and comprehensive insight in to what people think of where they live and their local authorities.

“The good news is that most people are generally positive about where they live and their quality of life. However, the improvements we've seen in local services are not being reflected in people's perception of their council.

“There is a challenge here for both local and central government. I want to see local councils do more - and gain more power - to shape the services offered in their area. There is an untapped demand for local people to have more say in what goes on.

“Improving services is a good end in its own right, but it needs to be matched by increased public satisfaction and increased confidence in local councils.”

Today's first ever national Place Survey shows responses from over half a million people aged 18 or over from all across the country to questions about their local community, the public services they receive, their views on their councils, and how engaged they feel in decisions affecting their lives.

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