From waste collection to leisure facilities - South Northants residents rate life in the area

Residents were asked whether they thought South Northamptonshire Council was 'value for money'.Residents were asked whether they thought South Northamptonshire Council was 'value for money'.
Residents were asked whether they thought South Northamptonshire Council was 'value for money'.
Eighty-three per cent of residents are ‘satisfied’ with South Northamptonshire Council, a figure which is 10 per cent down on figures from 2017.

A survey of more than 1,600 residents was carried out, the first in three years, with questions varying from satisfaction with the area they live in to thoughts on waste collection, planning applications and views on leisure facilities.

Of the respondents, 91 per cent were satisfied with the South Northamptonshire area, compared to 98 per cent in 2017 and 95 per cent in 2016. Eighty-three per cent of respondents were satisfied with the council as a whole, which was down from 93 per cent in 2017 and 96 per cent in 2016. And 68 per cent thought the council was value for money, down from 71 per cent in 2017 but up on the 66 per cent figure from 2016.

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All of those figures however scored above the national averages of 81 per cent (satisfied with area), 63 per cent (satisfied with council) and 48 per cent (value for money).

The survey was carried out by Marketing Means Ltd during January and February 2020. Roughly 4,650 residents were invited to participate, and 1,652 completed and returned the questionnaire. It allows for a ‘confidence level’ of 95 per cent that the figures are accurate and representative to a degree of within three per cent for each score.

Residents were also asked about different aspects of life in the South Northamptonshire region. The highest scoring response was a whopping 91 per cent of people who were satisfied with their household waste collection, while 89 per cent were satisfied with the way the neighbourhood ‘looks and feels’. Leisure facilities were ranked at a 75 per cent satisfaction rate, while 81 per cent were pleased with the parks and play areas.

Not scoring so well however were people’s perceptions on how town centres looked and felt (58 per cent satisfaction) while only 56 per cent of people were satisfied with how a balance is achieved between protecting rural environments whilst managing new developments.

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The lowest scoring metric by far was the number of people satisfied with the location and availability of homes to rent or purchase at an affordable price, with just 45 per cent of respondents satisfied on that front.

It is estimated that 96 per cent of the respondents were white, with 52 per cent being women, while the biggest age demographic to respond were those aged between 45 and 54.

The results of the survey were discussed at a virtual cabinet meeting earlier this month (June 8). A report to the cabinet stated: “There are overall very few surprises in these results.

“Further valuable use will be gained from these results as providing a solid evidence base for use in the ongoing discussions leading to bringing together SNC with Daventry, Northampton and (half of) the County Council into the new West Northants Council in April 2021. For example, the discussions about waste services can be informed by these results, as can broader cross-cutting discussions about Council Tax and budget levels.”