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An independent survey has shown a boost in resident satisfaction with Cambridge City Council

Cambridge Guildhall. Picture Keith Heppell
Cambridge Guildhall. Picture Keith Heppell

Over a thousand people had their say on council services over the past five years.

Cllr Lewis Herbert
We are committed to continuous improvement and we will never be complacent

Resident satisfaction with Cambridge City Council’s services has improved by 20% over the past five years, according to an independent survey.

The council commissioned independent research company, MEL Research, to carry out the detailed survey of 1,125 local residents, all of whom were invited at random to participate.

Cllr Lewis Herbert, Leader of the Council, said: “The findings from this independent survey are a welcome endorsement from residents and we take great encouragement from the fact that most people think that we are doing a good and improving job for them.

“Cambridge is very fortunate to have a great team of dedicated council staff who are working hard and all hours to deliver good quality services. These results are a testament to them and their willingness to adapt and to do things differently as we work smarter and more efficiently,

The Results

• 76% of residents are satisfied with the way the council runs services, which is an improvement of 20% since 2011

• 55% of residents agree that the council provides value for money, which is an improvement from 33% five years ago

• 80% of residents agree that the council is accessible to the public, 79% agree that it cares about the environment and 75% agree that the council is easy to contact

• 78% of residents indicate they are well informed about how to contact the council and 64% state the council keeps them “well informed”

• 75% of residents who contacted the council were satisfied with the way their enquiry was handled although this is down by 2% since 2011. This is an issue the council is addressing with improvements in call handling and ensuring better responses

• 78% of residents agree that their area is a place where people from different ethnic backgrounds get on well together, which is 8% lower than in 2008 although fewer people now disagree with this statement also - 13% in 2008 compared with 6% in 2016

• 63% of residents feel strongly that they belong to their local area, which is an increase of 15% since the comparative survey in 2008

“It is particularly pleasing to see this evidence of improved levels of satisfaction in the context of the significant financial challenges we face, including core government grant being cut to zero by 2020.

“We will take time to consider all of the detail from the survey and to look closely at all of the ways in which local people have told us that we can continue to do even better. We are committed to continuous improvement and we will never be complacent.

“Thank you to those who took part in the survey for their help in informing the council’s future decisions.”

The council say the results compare favourably with the last residents’ survey undertaken in 2011 and a survey carried out in 2008.

A postal survey was used for the 2016 residents’ survey. The survey questionnaire, along with a covering letter and details of an online version of the survey, was mailed out at the end of August to a random sample of 4,400 residents.

1,124 completed surveys weren returned: 1,069 as a postal questionnaire and 55 as an online survey. This provides a response rate of 25.5%.

As part of the council’s work to help tackle poverty in the city, through its Anti-Poverty Strategy, an additional workshop was held with people from low income households to get their views about the council and its services.

Residents in this workshop, whilst generally supportive, raised concerns about levels of antisocial behaviour in their neighbourhoods, the cleaning of council housing communal areas and the collection of waste and recycling from communal areas.

The coucnil say that all of the views expressed will help to inform further work to address resident priorities in their areas of Cambridge.

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