Residents give council best ever scores

More residents than ever before have told Merton Council’s Annual Residents’ Survey that it is efficient and well run.

Since the council started commissioning an annual residents’ survey in 1999, the 2013 results published today show several “best evers”.

More residents than ever before agree that Merton Council offers value for money. And, since 2011 more people than ever think the council is doing a good job. Also on the up is the number of people who think the council is making the area a better place to live.

With council tax being frozen for three years in a row – and Cabinet proposing to freeze it again this year – concern about council tax has fallen to its lowest ever level. Concern over lack of jobs has also fallen.

Merton’s award-winning libraries continue to enjoy success with greater satisfaction amongst residents in Merton than in the rest of the capital and 81% of library users rating the service as good to excellent – another “best ever”. More people than ever before also rate the leisure and sports facilities as good to excellent. Satisfaction with street lighting is also at an all-time high.

Crime remains a top concern but has been falling year on year since 2008 and has fallen again this year. Satisfaction with policing has gone up significantly in the borough and compares very favourably with the rest of London.

One area of concern for improvement amongst residents is people littering on Merton’s streets. To tackle this, the council has rolled out over 200 new “butt and gum” bins across the borough to fight cigarette and chewing gum litter. Along with fly tip and graffiti removal, this costs Merton £5million a year to clean up. The council has also been working with Love Wimbledon to encourage people using the borough’s busy town centres to bin their refuse.

The survey results show young people’s concerns are similar to those of adults. Young people continue to view the council positively with 74% saying they get the services they need and 85% agreeing that Merton is a good place to live. Compared with the London-wide average, significantly more young people in Merton feel the council listens to their concerns.

Leader of Merton Council Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: “We were voted best achieving council for 2013/2014 and these results reinforce the reasons we won that award.

“Merton residents are less worried about levels of council tax than at any time since the annual residents’ survey began. And the highest number ever say we give them value for money for their council tax. This shows that residents back our council tax freeze.

“We are never complacent and will always work to improve what we do. In these difficult economic times, we have reviewed how we deliver our services and provide our council tax payers value for money. We know the difference freezing council tax, keeping our libraries and leisure facilities open and working with the police to keep this borough safe, can make to residents’ quality of life.

“The annual residents’ survey is important to us because it’s one way for us to hear directly from residents what they think of us and the services we run. Their responses help guide us in our decision making and the work we do to make Merton the best it can be for the people who live and work here.”

The complete Annual Residents’ Survey can be viewed at www.merton.gov.uk/residentssurvey

-ENDS-

The annual residents’ survey is conducted with more than 1,000 adults, covering a broad range of ages, ethnicities, tenure, residence and family compositions. In addition to this, a specific survey of 200-300 young people aged 11-17 is also conducted.