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Citizens’ Panel’s excellent response to annual performance survey (25/10/10)
The annual public performance survey carried out by The Highland Council in June/July of this year attracted a 67% response rate from the new Citizens’ Panel, the majority of whom are satisfied with Council services.
The questionnaire was sent to the new Citizens’ Panel of 2,354 people, designed to be representative of the adult population. With 1,586 responses, the results can be generalised to the adult population of the Highlands.
High levels of satisfaction continue to be found in contacting the Council and with services provided. 92% of respondents find it easy to contact the Council. 69% of requests are felt to be dealt with on the first point of contact and 67% feel very or fairly satisfied with information provided. Satisfaction levels remain high for most types of contact but there remains room for improvement in the privacy for personal visits, in waiting times for written responses and in handling complaints.
83% of respondents are satisfied with Council services, this high level is sustained from last year. Most service areas (37/42) have positive net satisfaction scores and significant increases (5%+) from 2009 are found in 30 service areas, with many scoring the highest since the survey began. A range of children’s services, culture and leisure provision, outdoor activities, the Registrar’s service and burials and cremations all show 20%+ increases in net satisfaction.
On balance the Council is viewed positively as: friendly; maintaining good quality local services; helpful; environmentally friendly; a fair employer; telling local people what it is doing; and being aware of people’s needs.
The Council is viewed negatively in: treating all residents fairly; listening to local people; providing value for money; being efficient; representing people’s views; and involving people in how it spends its money.
Highland communities are regarded as even more safe and even better places to live in compared to previous years with higher levels of people volunteering.
Convener Sandy Park said: “We are very pleased indeed with the response from the new Citizens’ Panel and my thanks go to everyone who took the time and trouble to respond to our detailed survey. We will be seeking their views in the future on such matters as climate change and equalities and the panel will continue to be used for the annual public performance survey. The results are interesting and encouraging and will shape the way we deliver services in the future.”
The Citizens’ Panel also responded to the Council’s budget consultation and the results will be presented to councillors in the near future along with the feedback from other comments on budget savings.