Published on 24th January 2020
A recent independent resident survey has revealed that 84 per cent of Cheltenham residents are satisfied with their local area as a place to live.
Four in five of those asked, said they were proud to live in Cheltenham.
The survey –conducted in summer 2019 by BMG Research – was sent to a total of 5,500 postal addresses, randomly sampled across all Cheltenham wards. It was designed to reveal local residents’ perceptions of living in Cheltenham, their view of local issues and council priorities and their level of satisfaction with the council.
Residents’ satisfaction with the area they live in, at 84 per cent, scored higher than the Local Government Association (LGA) benchmark (80 per cent) and the BMG urban authority benchmark (80 per cent). 86 per cent of respondents scored the council’s parks and gardens highly, saying they were satisfied with the council’s work in this area, with 89 per cent showing support with the council’s move towards more sustainable planting which require less maintenance than traditionally planted seasonal flowers.
When asked to select up to three priority issues from a total of fifteen for the council to focus on, the most commonly selected were:
- Providing more affordable housing (32 per cent)
- Tackling homelessness (30 per cent) and
- Promoting walking, cycling and public transport (29 per cent)
Seven in ten residents said that they were satisfied with household recycling and waste collections, with 61 per cent of residents showing satisfaction with cleanliness of the streets in their area.
The most common reasons for people moving away from the borough related to job opportunities and career progression.
Councillor Rowena Hay, cabinet member for finance said: ‘’Residents’ surveys are frequently carried out by councils to collect a statistically reliable insight into local people’s perceptions about living and working in Cheltenham. The results are pleasing in many respects; overall people are satisfied living here and with many council services. It is worth noting that we have already started to take action to address issues highlighted within the report findings and we will continue to use this resident insight to inform current and future decision making.’’
The council is directly addressing a number of common themes raised in the survey, for example:
- Providing more affordable housing – the authority has recently announced up to £100m funding for Cheltenham Borough Homes to increase its supply of affordable housing
- Job opportunities – the council is working with partners towards making Cheltenham the Cyber Capital of the UK and supporting a number of other initiatives such as Workshop Cheltenham which will create job and training opportunities
- Promoting walking, cycling and public transport – the council’s priority is to continue with the wider programme of high street improvements, as well as implementing ‘Connecting Cheltenham’, the plan for promoting environmentally-friendly transport in and around the town
- Street cleanliness – residents living in the west of Cheltenham expressed some concern with their area and so the council will focus on these areas with the purchase of new sweepers and closer partnership working with the county council, Ubico and social housing providers/landlords
- Tackling homelessness - £2m is available county wide to support rough sleeping initiatives and a variety of projects have started to further support independent living and prevent homelessness. In 2018/19, the council prevented 230 households from becoming homeless, compared with 145 the previous year.
This infographic has been produced to show an overview of key results.
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Cabinet considered the report findings on 17 December and supported subsequent recommendations to: repeat the survey in three years’ time; use the results to inform council service plans; and share results with partner organisations particularly in area where further improvements are needed.
The survey results can be found at: https://www.cheltenham.gov.uk/resident-survey-2019-results