Residents’ thumbs up for council

PUBLISHED: 15:35 31 August 2006 | UPDATED: 10:48 06 May 2010

RESIDENTS rate Bedfordshire highly with 86 per cent saying they are satisfied with the county as a place to live. The issues that matter most are roads, community safety and activities for young people. Those are some of the key findings from a represe

RESIDENTS rate Bedfordshire highly with 86 per cent saying they are satisfied with the county as a place to live.

The issues that matter most are roads, community safety and activities for young people.

Those are some of the key findings from a representative survey of over 1,000 residents conducted by Ipsos MORI, the independent research company, for the county council.

Life in Beds is good because of the open spaces and countryside, good roads and rail links and a good sense of community. Good schools, sports facilities, and leisure activities for children and adults all score highly with residents.

But issues with roads and pavements, the development of the county, lack of affordable housing and worries about community safety and crime, particularly after dark, are the main downsides of life in Bedfordshire.

Among the county council's own services, the top priority is roads and pavements. Three in five, 61 per cent of those surveyed, identify this as their main priority for improvement, along with improving public transport, 34 per cent, improving communications, 26 per cent, managing the growth in new homes, 25 per cent and creating jobs, 25 per cent.

Services most highly rated include libraries, with 91 per cent of users satisfied, one of the highest scores Ipsos MORI has recorded among county councils, countryside sites including country parks, 84 per cent, and lower and middle schools, 82 per cent and 87 per cent respectively.

Customer service at the council is also highly rated with 77 per cent of residents who have been in touch with the county council recently describing staff as helpful.

Just over half of those questioned were satisfied with the way the county council runs things. Dissatisfaction with the council centres on poor roads and pavements, not getting things done quickly enough, and inefficiency.

Cllr John Street, portfolio holder for customer services, said: "Councils which listen to residents can invest in the services which matter most to residents. We are committed to being a listening council.

"It is good to know that services such as libraries and country parks are really popular with customers, and that our customer service standards are very good.

"But most importantly of all is feedback on the areas where we need to improve, such as repairing roads and pavements. We have been getting on with this and residents are starting to notice the difference.


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