You said, we listened: Community Survey results published
The results of the council’s community survey have been published with 76% of people saying they are satisfied with Darlington as a place to live.
In January, a representative, randomly selected number of residents across the borough received a copy of the survey and were asked for their views on a range of issues, including: satisfaction with the local area and services; community safety; the local economy; health and wellbeing and contact with the council.
In total, 4,714 responses received, enough from each ward to make the results reliable at borough and ward levels.
Among the findings were:
- 61% of people feel safe in their local area after dark
- 65% feel that people from different backgrounds get along
- 49% feel well informed about the what the council does
- 76% said they were satisfied with Darlington as a place to live
- 90% of people were happy with South Park
- 92% of those with children are satisfied with the Dolphin Centre
- A majority of residents were satisfied with key services like waste collection and street cleaning
- 50% said they didn’t feel well informed about why the council has had to make savings
- 60% felt residents can’t influence council decisions
- 37% said they speak negatively about the council
- 29% of people felt the council acts on the concerns of residents
- 44% of people said the council is not efficient, well run or value for money.
Councillor Stephen Harker, Leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “This has been a very hard time financially, with our government grant cut and our duty, which we take very seriously, to provide social care for the most vulnerable adults and children in our communities.
“I understand why some people think the council is not value for money and that their voices haven’t been heard, as we have had to reduce many services and increase Council Tax to ensure that we meet our legal obligations, particularly around social care.
“We are working hard to free up money for the services people want and I hope we can get better at explaining what the financial challenges we are wrestling with, and what shapes the choices we make so people feel more well-informed.
“Despite some of the challenges we have all faced over the last few years, the most pleasing feedback in the survey was that more than three quarters of residents said Darlington is a good place to live. As someone who chose to live and work here, it's great to know that so many of people share my passion for this borough.”
Full details, including a ward breakdown, are available from today at www.darlington.gov.uk/communitysurvey2018