NEWS26 September 2012

LGA draws up standardised questions for residents’ surveys

Government UK

UK— The Local Government Association (LGA) is hoping to bring a bit of comparability to the residents’ surveys conducted by local councils with a new standard set of satisfaction questions.

The standardised questions relate specifically to issues to do with perceptions of local areas, crime and community cohesion and have been designed based on the findings of a review by Ipsos Mori.

In the document, Are You Being Served?, the LGA notes that: “Although there is demand for some comparative data, there is no appetite within the sector for a fully prescribed survey.

“This is a flexible approach, designed to suit local circumstances and minimise the cost to councils of collecting the data by allowing them to use only those questions that are of interest locally, and fit these questions in with existing survey plans.”

The LGA represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales. The guidance was developed in partnership with London Councils, the body which represents London’s 33 borough authorities.

LGA chairman Peter Fleming said: “Being able to compare resident satisfaction rates against similar local authorities is good for local people, councillors and council workers. It will help boost transparency and strengthen accountability.”

An LGA spokesman said the guidance document should be of particular interest to research companies that work with local government “as councils will increasingly be expecting companies to help them design resident satisfaction surveys that contain the recommended questions and meet all of the quality criteria”.

Are You Being Served? is online here.