Merton Council has just completed its 2008 Annual Residents Survey – involving face to face interviews with over 1,000 people from different parts of the borough.
Already the positive results are flowing in. Highlighting that Merton is a great place to call home, 85% of respondents felt that Merton is a place where residents get on well together. Three quarters of those questioned thought Merton Council employees were friendly and polite. There was a significant increase in the percentage of residents who think that the authority is efficient and well run. People also continue to think that Merton is doing a good job.
Residents are happier with the activities provided for children, education standards and the work being done to keep the streets clean.
The survey highlights crime as residents’ top concern when considered alongside issues like council tax – which was residents’ top concern last year – health services and traffic congestion. However, when people were asked directly whether they were worried about crime in their local area, there was little change. Crime in Merton has fallen by 6% in the last year and the borough has a lower than average crime rate compared with the rest of London. Continuing to reassure people that Merton is one of the safest places to live in London will be a top priority for Safer Merton – a partnership made up of Merton Council, the police and other agencies.
Three quarters of residents thought the council informed them about what was going on in the borough, and over half of those questioned said that they used the council magazine My Merton as their main source of information.
Merton Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for corporate resources Councillor Samantha George said:
“The Annual Residents Survey is the key tool that we use to help us understand people’s concerns so that we, in turn, can focus on putting their needs first and providing them with value for money.
“I am pleased with this year’s results which show our communities getting on well together and that we are moving forward in providing residents with what they need such as cleaner streets and improved education standards.”