Council does not listen to residents - survey

PUBLISHED: 09:55 21 June 2013 | UPDATED: 10:48 21 June 2013

Weston Town Hall

Weston Town Hall

Archant

EDUCATION and recycling are two of the best council services according to its own survey, although it has been criticised for not listening to residents' views enough.

Only one third of those surveyed believe the authority takes residents’ views into account when making decisions, while a similar amount said the council provides value for money.

Substandard road surfaces, a failure to promote the local economy and a lack of youth services for teenagers also drew criticism from the 2,469 people who took part in the questionnaire.

The survey, run at the end of last year, was presented to councillors on Tuesday.

The council however was praised in a number of areas, in particular for its rubbish and recycling collections and the quality of education it provides.

In response to the findings, councillors have prepared an action plan to improve performance.

Nearly £2million in extra funding has been allocated to improve roads in North Somerset while the authority will continue with its Weston Showcase enterprise work to promote economic growth at Dolphin Square and other areas.

Only 28 per cent of people are happy with the condition of roads, while the way the council involves local people in its decision-making was also slammed.

Less than a quarter of those who participated in the survey said they were satisfied with how they can get involved in shaping local services, whereas 38 per cent answered positively to the same question in 2006.

The report also revealed more people find the Mercury more useful to find out what the council is doing, than its own North Somerset Life magazine or website.

The 67-question survey, which cost more than £14,000 to compile, highlighted several areas where people were happy with its performance.

Schools and children’s centres scored best among parents, while a record 86 per cent said they were happy to live in North Somerset.

While only 37 per cent of people believe the council provides value for money, the figure is nearly double that recorded in 2008.

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