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									REPORT OF:          CORPORATE STRATEGY AND PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER

TO:                 EXECUTIVE

DATE;               18 August 2005

         FINDINGS FROM THE LAST TWO CITIZENS PANEL SURVEYS


Purpose of Report
To provide an overview of the main findings and policy implications of the last two
Citizens Panel Surveys. Copies of the full reports are included in this report.

Background
Pendle Borough Council has a Citizens Panel of 1,100 members who are surveyed
four times a year. Two of these surveys are done in partnership with the five districts
of Burnley, Hyndburn, Ribble Valley and Rossendale. The remaining two surveys
are Pendle stand alone surveys.

Issues

The Life In East Lancashire Survey
1. Rationale for the research The survey was commissioned by the East
   Lancashire Partnership and Elevate to look at opinions and perceptions of
   residents across East Lancashire on the quality of life, future aspirations, the
   image of the area, leisure attractions, where people shop, and the economic
   vibrancy. Nearly 3,000 responses were obtained to the survey across the six East
   Lancashire Districts (including Blackburn with Darwen). Over 850 came from
   Pendle.
2. Social Cohesion Local community cohesion and a sense of community
   belonging was one of the strong themes coming out in this particular survey.
   There is strong evidence of community belonging in Pendle, and especially within
   neighbourhoods. Over 70% of respondents feel they belong to their
   neighbourhood – rising to over 80% of Asian respondents.
3. A significant proportion of residents (50%) believe their Neighbourhood is a place
   where people from different backgrounds & ethnicities get on (rising to 63% of
   Asian respondents). However, a significant minority of just under a third
   disagreed with this particular statement. Nearly 60% feel that people in their
   Neighbourhood know and would help one another, with less than 15%,
   disagreeing. Interestingly, only 25% of respondents (40% of those from Asian
   origin) feel that their local community is ‘close-knit’.


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4. Nearly half of Pendle respondents say they undertake some form of voluntary
   activity, with activities related to education and religion being the most common.
   There is a relatively small untapped volunteering potential with 75% of
   respondents not looking to undertake some / more volunteering.
5. Local Neighbourhoods The population of Pendle is relatively stable with over
   60% of respondents having always lived in the district and with over 65% still
   seeing themselves as living Pendle in five years time.
6. The majority of respondents rate their neighbourhood as (at least) a good place to
   live, with less than 10% feeling it’s a poor place to live. Factors such as low crime
   & affordable, decent housing were cited as things which make a place
   somewhere good to live, whilst environmental factors such as road / pavement
   repairs and street cleanliness were factors most in need of improving locally.
7. One of the main attributes identified by respondents which make the area a good
   place to live is the ‘Access to / quality of the Countryside’ within East Lancashire.
8. Whilst the image of East Lancashire within East Lancashire itself is perceived to
   be good, respondents still feel that the area’s national reputation is poor.
9. Economic Vibrancy This survey highlights the relatively self contained nature of
    the local economy, with over 70% of Pendle respondents who are in employment
    working in East Lancashire and over 96% of residents shopping for food within
    the area. Even for specialist goods such as furniture, occasion wear and white
    goods at least 60% of respondents buy these within East Lancashire.
10. East Lancashire & Pendle are less favoured for some leisure activities such as
    going to the theatre or concerts and despite it being the main place for work and
    shopping, respondents are not convinced of the economic strength of East
    Lancashire. Less than 10% feel their neighbourhood has a strong economy, less
    than a third feel that it has good shopping facilities, and over 40% of respondents
    feeling that the local economy is declining.
11. Services to the Public Respondents feel disconnected to the local decision-
    making processes, with less than 20% feeling that they can influence decisions in
    their area. A fifth of respondents feel that their local Council doesn't tell them
    much about what it does.
    GP / Family Doctor services are the most highly regarded by respondents, while
    Dental Services have the highest level of dissatisfaction with over 45%
    dissatisfied and over 12% (342 respondents) cited that they found Dental
    Services difficult to access locally.


   The Pendle Panel Survey
12. The survey was conducted during Spring 2005. In total 750 surveys were
    returned representing a very good 68% response rate
13. The Council as a service provider. At least 90% of respondents feel that the
    council’s strategic objectives are important , Around 80% feel the council is at
    least ‘fair’ in delivering these objectives. Reducing crime, Healthcare and
    reducing litter and dog mess were identified as the three most important priorities.
    There exits some confusion as to the services which Pendle Borough Council


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    actually provides locally. Most respondents feel that Pendle performs at least as
    well as other similar local authorities.
14. Attending Council meetings. Around 70% of respondents are aware that they
    can attend council meetings The executive is the meeting which respondents
    were least aware of and the least likely to have been attended Only a quarter of
    respondents feel that the public can influence decisions made at meetings
15. The Council as an employer. Less than 10% of respondents were current or
    former Pendle Borough Council employees. 60% feel Pendle is at least a ‘good’
    employer. Most people who applied for a job at Pendle found the application
    process easy
16. Visiting the Council. Offices based in Nelson are the most frequently visited.
    Most people visited the council offices to make an enquiry or pay for something.
    Over 90% of respondents feel that council offices are easy to get to, clean, and
    populated by friendly staff.
17. The media. Printed media, in particular The Leader Times Group of local
    newspapers, are most commonly used by respondents to find out about the
    council. Most respondents feel that the media they use is accurate in its reporting
    of the council.
18. Pendle’s Parks. Over 80% of respondents have visited Pendle’s Parks in the
    last two years. Those who visit parks tend to do so on a fairly regular basis.
    Three quarters of respondents feel the Parks are well looked after. Parks are not
    perceived to cater well for teenagers. A significant minority of respondents have
    concerns about park security
19. Transport Issues. Around 40% of respondents are satisfied with Public
    Transport. Bus and train stations are overwhelmingly felt to be in need of
    improvement. There appears to be limited support for an integrated public
    transport interchange in Nelson. Few respondents use Hackney Carriages on a
    regular basis. Whilst most respondents are happy with the number of vehicles,
    politeness of drivers, the reliability of services & fares, concerns exist about
    cleanliness, safety and the age of vehicles.

Conclusions

20. Residents have expressed a desire to feel more involved in local decision making.
    We need to ensure that the public are aware of all of the opportunities we offer for
    consultation and to explore how residents would prefer to engage with us on
    issues locally.
21. We need to explore further why respondents feel that nationally the image of our
    area is poor and investigate ways in which we can promote Pendle / East
    Lancashire positively.
22. Publicity and effective communications come out as important issues in the two
    surveys. The local newspapers in particular the Leader Times group are key
    shapers of opinions & we need to maximise our positive news stories and ensure
    that the public are aware of the services which we provide.
23. An action Plan is currently being developed to highlight the activities (summarised
    above) required to tackle the issues identified in the reports.



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Policy Implications
24. Parks Strategy will be shaped by the responses given in the Panel Survey and
    the issues raised by the research – such as the lack of activities for teenagers
    and concerns about security will be built into the strategy.

Local Agenda 21 Implications
25. Environmental factors such as road / pavement repairs and street cleanliness
   were factors most in need of improving locally by the survey. The Panel survey
   supports the recent increase in profile of work in dealing with litter and dog
   fouling.

Community Safety Implications
26. Both of the panel surveys highlight the importance of addressing local Crime as a major
    factor in improving the quality of life for local residents. A previous Panel survey
    (Summer 2004) specifically focused on community safety to feed into the Community
    Safety Strategy

Risk Management/Health and Safety Implications
27. None for this report

Financial Implications
28. None for this report

Recommendation

To note the contents of this report

Town Hall Nelson
Report Author                Christine Collingwood
Tel:                         1614
Email                        Christine.collingwood@pendle.gov.uk


Background papers            a)       Full Report of Life In East Lancashire Survey
                             b)       Pendle results from In East Lancashire Survey
                             c)       Full Report of Pendle Citizen Panel Survey




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