More than eight out of 10 Hertsmere residents remain happy with the area as a place to live, according to our latest independent survey.
One thousand residents took part in the telephone survey, conducted every three years by an independent opinion research company with a random but representational sample of participants. Our survey was conducted at the same time as one of a regular set of Local Government Association (LGA) public polls on resident satisfaction, providing direct comparisons with the national picture on some key questions.
Whilst our survey's figures have fallen back when benchmarked against our 2014/15 survey, its findings are generally at similar levels to other council areas in the country evidenced in the LGA poll and, in some cases, better.
Eighty-three per cent of participants said they are satisfied or very satisfied with their local area as a place to live, compared with 81 per cent in the national poll. Sixty-six per cent said they are satisfied with the way the council runs things, compared with 64 per cent nationally.
Councillor Morris Bright MBE, Leader of the Council, said: "A huge thank you to all the residents who gave up some time to give their views when contacted by the independent researchers. This is a very valuable exercise for the council which gives us a good indication of how people feel about living in this fantastic borough and their views on the services we provide as a council.
"We're facing significant challenges in the current financial climate, in common with local authorities and public bodies nationally. We've seen a planned reduction in our Revenue Support Grant and in the New Homes Bonus, putting strain on our resources. There's also a sense of uncertainty generally across the country around the terms being negotiated for the EU exit, levels of employment, business growth and demand for affordable housing.
"All these factors help to explain the fall back in figures nationally and in Hertsmere, but we're still doing well and people clearly still feel upbeat about living in the borough which is great news.
"Particularly noteworthy is that 85 per cent of those who responded agreed that their local area is a place where people from different ethnic backgrounds get on well together. Hertsmere is a very diverse borough and we should be very proud of the strong sense of cohesiveness within our communities."
Chief Executive Donald Graham added: "We will be continuing to look closely at the findings of this important and detailed survey over the coming months to see what further improvements can be made to the services we offer. We're an enterprising council that's looking at innovative ways to generate income to offset the financial challenges we face, for the benefit of all our residents.
"As well as saying thank you to those residents who took part in the survey, I'd also like to take this opportunity say how grateful I am to our workforce here at Hertsmere Borough Council for their hard work and commitment."
Some results for specific service areas:
88% of residents were satisfied with parks open spaces and children's play areas (91% in 2014/15)
74% were satisfied with our doorstep recycling (84% in 2014/15)
77% were satisfied with refuse collection (83% in 2014/15)
69% were satisfied with street cleaning (75% in 2014/15)
75% were satisfied with grass cutting (81% in 2014/15) - this service was handed back to Hertfordshire County Council this Spring.
Ninety-three per cent of respondents reported that they use the internet, an increase of six per cent since the last survey. Hertsmere Borough Council is working to ensure that its website is as user-friendly and accessible as possible. Volunteers are currently being sought to join a web testing panel to give feedback on early versions of council web pages and services, particularly around content and design. More information on web testing
Read our full residents' survey report
Posted on Thursday 19th July 2018