City residents 95 per cent satisfied says council study

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NINETY-FIVE per cent of Capital residents say they are happy with life in the city – the highest number in two years, according to a new council survey.

Locals also reported a slight rise in satisfaction over the way the city is being run, with 69 per cent saying they are content with the local authority’s management of the Capital – up three per cent on last year.

The vast majority of Edinburgh residents are satisfied, according to a council survey. Picture: TSPL

The vast majority of Edinburgh residents are satisfied, according to a council survey. Picture: TSPL

The vast majority of respondents said they were happy in their neighbourhoods, while residents acknowledged improvements to waste management services as 72 per cent reported satisfaction with bin collections.

However public confidence in the council’s road management services took a knock as less than half of cyclists surveyed – 47 per cent – reported feeling safe on city roads, a six per cent decline on the 2016 figures.

But the opinion of the council’s road and pavement maintenance teams remained broadly the same, at 51 and 53 per cent satisfaction ratings respectively.

Over 5,000 locals were quizzed on everything from community safety and refuse collection to their use of green spaces and attendance at the city’s festivals as part of the Edinburgh People Survey 2017.

Just 40 per cent of participants felt the local authority offered value for money – around ten per cent below the UK-wide average, according to the Local Government Association’s survey of British households.

The majority of responders felt the authority kept them well informed on issues surrounding the performance of council services, the performance of local schools and community safety and crime statistics.

But 37 per cent said they “wanted to know more” about how the council spends its money.

The authority says the results gathered by the annual study will be used throughout the year to inform local services and identify areas for 
improvement.

Eighty-nine per cent of respondents said they felt satisfied with their neighbourhoods, the same level as last year.

Overall happiness with life in the city was up by one per cent on the 2016 figures, but one down on the rating for 2015.

Council leader Adam McVey said: “Each year the Edinburgh People Survey gives us a real insight into the public’s perception of Edinburgh, the services we provide and the areas in which we can improve. I’m pleased to see that, once again, residents are satisfied with life here – with satisfaction with the way the council manages the city up three per cent – and that the vast majority feel safe and included in their communities, making Edinburgh the welcoming place it is.”

Cllr McVey continued: “That said, we are also well aware of the areas for improvement and these results will prove invaluable to our work prioritising services as we move forward.”

Deputy council leader Cammy Day, added: “We do recognise that there are a number of areas that scored lower than previous years, and we fully intend to take these concerns into account as we work to improve the city.”

The survey found the number of people who felt they had a say on local issues increased by two per cent, but still only sits at 39 per cent of the population.

And for those that contacted the authority, 79 per cent felt they were “fairly treated” in their dealings with council services – five per cent down on the 2016 rating.

Eighty-four per cent of survey participants revealed they felt safe in their neighbourhoods “after dark”. matching the figure from last year, while community happiness also received a high rating, with 85 per cent of respondents saying they “got on” with neighbours.

Participants also recognised Edinburgh as an inclusive and diverse city, with 85 per cent perceiving neighbourhoods as a place where people from different backgrounds can get on well together and the vast majority, 94 per cent, agreeing that the Capital is welcoming and accessible to people of all ages.

But satisfaction among residents over the handling of crimes including antisocial behaviour and vandalism in local areas saw slight falls, while others reported being unhappy about the amount of dog fouling.

Only 43 per cent of those surveyed felt the council was doing enough to combat the problem – a four per cent fall from 2016.

The survey was carried out by market research company Progressive Partnerships Ltd at a cost around £58,000 and recorded a sample of around 300 people from each of Edinburgh’s 17 council wards.