Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
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Public to set local priorities
Local people will have the opportunity to give their views on their priority concerns for their local councils and agencies to tackle, under new plans published by Local Government Minister John Healey today.
Under the new Place Survey, councils will ask local residents their views on a wide variety of issues, ranging from their use of local services to their general health and well-being, from support for older people to tackling crime, as well as information on levels of participation in the local community.
Respondents will also be able to say how concerned they are about the problems affecting their communities, from littering, graffiti or noisy neighbours, to whether they feel the police and local authorities are tackling anti-social behaviour effectively.
The results of the Place Survey will be used to assess how local areas are performing against 20 Citizen Perception Indicators, included in the new National Indicator Set: it follows a reduction in indicators for local authorities from around 1,200 to just 198.
The new system will replace the Best Value User Satisfaction Survey, which every council in England has been conducting every three years since 2000, and will focus less on customer satisfaction with local services, and more with residents' quality of life.
Local Government Minister John Healey said:
"In handing greater powers to councils, we in central government have made clear to those in local government that local people should be actively encouraged to have their say on the key concerns in their communities, both at the ballot box and between elections.
"The new Place Survey will be a significant tool for councils and local agencies not only to measure their performance in important policy areas, but also to gauge people's views on things that should be given top priority. The survey has also been designed to take into account local variations, giving councils and partners the opportunity to set their own questions.
"I am confident that this new survey scheme will bring benefits all round, for local authorities, other agencies and local people."
Notes to Editors:
The deadline for submissions to The New Place Survey Consultation is 8 February, 2008. Details can be found at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/localgovernment/newplacesurvey
Following consultation, it is hoped that the first Place Survey will be conducted in Autumn 2008.
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