Highland Council’s Citizen’s Panel have their say

Feedback from Highland Council’s annual citizen’s panel survey has highlighted the welcoming nature of people living in our communities.

This was just one of many findings included in the latest Citizens’ Panel 2019 Performance and Attitude Survey which was considered at the Council meeting on 31 October 2019.

Each year the Citizens’ Panel are surveyed on their views on performance and attitudes and the results are used to help inform Council redesign and continuous improvement activity across the organisation.

This year 1137 responses were received from the Panel of 2,593 adults, providing an excellent 43.8% response rate. A smaller survey of 16-34-year olds (targeted using social media) garnered 363 responses in order to collect the views of younger Highland residents who have been traditionally been under represented in Citizen’s panel responses.

This year’s survey again highlighted how safe people feel in Highland. In terms of community safety, 94.4% of respondents considered the area within 15 minutes walk of their home to be very or fairly safe.

Maintaining good quality services continues to be the quality most valued by respondents while 63% of the panel continue to say they were satisfied overall with Council services, which mirrors the findings from 2018.

The top three most important services for the public continue to be road repairs and pot holes; winter road maintenance; and refuse/bin collection.

A set of questions was aimed at gathering views on the Council’s approach to budgeting and involving communities in discussions around how local services are provided.

80% said they would participate in their community by choosing the projects they liked most and 72% said they would be very or fairly interested in taking part in discussions about how local services are provided and making choices about these within our budget limits.

Deputy Councillor Leader Alistair Christie said: “The results from this year’s annual citizen’s panel survey highlight Highland as an inclusive and welcoming place to live, work and invest.

“This survey gives us a good steer in identifying areas which the public prioritise and helps us to support and focus on continuous service improvement.  I am particularly pleased that people are more aware of how cruel hate crimes can be and that people want to live in a place that is diverse and welcoming.

"We need to build on this report, to learn from it and to remember there are things we can be proud of. As always, our thanks go to the panel members who continue to support us by responding to the survey.”

The full 32-page survey report can be accessed on our performance web pages 

31 Oct 2019