The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead is thanking everyone who took part in an independent survey of residents’ views, attitudes and priorities, as analysis of the results gets underway.
During the summer, Lake Market Research surveyed 1,740 randomly-selected residents on behalf of the council, with quotas set to achieve a representative sample of the whole borough.
Questions were asked over the phone and face-to-face in the street, covering residents’ perceptions of the council, their local area and communities – both strengths and challenges – alongside residents’ wellbeing, welfare and concerns.
People’s valuable feedback will now be analysed over the coming weeks. Insights will help inform council planning, decisions and priorities, feeding into a refresh of the Corporate Plan, assisting with measuring progress on some of the Plan’s goals, and furthering the council’s understanding of key issues, including inequalities.
The headline data shows 89 per cent of respondents are satisfied with their area as a place to live – well above the Local Government Association national benchmark of 81 per cent. 6 per cent are dissatisfied. When asked what makes their area a good place to live, 45 per cent mentioned quality of parks and open spaces, and 34 per cent cited access to nature/the countryside as the top two key factors.
There is a strong sense of community, with 72 per cent of respondents agreeing people pull together to improve their local area. Of all those surveyed, 97 per cent feel very or fairly safe outside in their local area in the day, 82 per cent after dark, and 75 per cent of women feel safe at night.
Residents' perceptions of the council are above the Local Government Association national benchmark. Of those surveyed, 70 per cent have a fair amount or a great deal of trust in the council, higher than the benchmark of 58 per cent.
In addition, 66 per cent are very or fairly satisfied with the way the council runs things – just above the benchmark of 63 per cent – and 52 per cent feel the council delivers value for money, higher than the benchmark of 45 per cent.
The top five things that residents would like to see improved in their local area are road maintenance, rubbish and refuse collection facilities, town centres/high streets/shopping facilities, parking, and traffic/congestion.
Some 84 per cent agree that tackling climate change should be a key priority for the council. When asked about their immediate concerns, cost of living dominates as the top concern, mentioned by 53 per cent of respondents, followed by healthcare access, the environment/climate change, and access to affordable housing.
Councillor Andrew Johnson, the council leader, said: “Thank you to everyone who took part in our independently-conducted survey and shared your valuable insights, which will help councillors and officers with making plans, decisions and performance monitoring. I’m pleased to see the Royal Borough is above the national benchmarks, both as a place to live and a council.
“The council and councillors are constantly in a welcome dialogue with our community. Frequently, we hear a range of different viewpoints, and alongside these individual voices it is helpful to have an up-to-date snapshot of people’s perceptions from a representative sample.
“At this stage, we are simply making these findings available in a timely and transparent manner. There is of course a lot of detail behind these headline figures and the next stage over the coming weeks is to analyse the data to help inform the Corporate Plan refresh and our performance monitoring.”
Read more about the survey and results on our Resident Survey page.