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Survey shows importance of local democracy

At the same time, the survey reveals that while people feel they have little influence on the decisions affecting their area, many would like to be more involved.

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.

“The opportunity for councils to gain new powers in future will depend on increasing public confidence in their role as well as the efficient and responsive delivery of services.”

As part of the Government’s wider drive to personalise services around the needs of the individual, Communities and Local Government is taking forward the Total Place project. The pilot project is being tested in 13 areas and will reveal how all public money is being spent on services in those places, what it is delivering, and how expenditure can be better shaped around what people want.    

The 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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