Satisfaction with life in the Capital continues to rise

Satisfaction with Edinburgh as a city to live in is the highest it's ever been, the City of Edinburgh Council’s annual residents’ survey has shown.

According to the 2015 Edinburgh People Survey, based on interviews with a cross-section of more than 5100 people across Edinburgh, 96% of citizens are satisfied with life in the capital, with two thirds of respondents happy with the way the Council manages the city.

The research, which is in its ninth year, focuses on a number of key areas, including perceptions of local neighbourhoods, satisfaction with the Council’s delivery of services like refuse collection, roads maintenance and schools and the ways in which the public make contact with the Council.

Amongst the findings, it was shown that 84% of participants feel safe in their neighbourhood after dark – up from 75% in 2008 – while the majority of respondents agree that the Council cares about the environment, rising to 72% from 58% in 2010.

See a larger version of the 2015 Edinburgh People Survey infographic on the Council News Blog

The survey also revealed that more people are contacting the Council using the website than by phone for the first time, demonstrating the positive impact of the Council’s digital channel shift project.

Findings highlighted key areas for improvement too, where satisfaction has decreased or remained low, including street cleansing, refuse collection and road and pavement maintenance.

Councillor Andrew Burns, Council Leader, said: “This year’s Edinburgh People Survey makes for encouraging reading, with positive figures demonstrating the impact of good work carried out by the Council. 

“That said, there are still areas of concern, particularly in light of ongoing financial constraints and an increasing demand for services, and it is our intention to act on the feedback gleaned from the survey to improve the city for everyone.

“Thanks to the survey we are able to take account of public opinion each year when we set our budget, focusing on the key frontline services that matter the most to people, like health and social care and road maintenance.”

Councillor Frank Ross, Deputy Council Leader, said: “Edinburgh citizens’ quality of life is our priority, and through the Edinburgh People Survey we are able to sense where we’re getting it right and where more needs to be done.

“This year, we have continued to see perceptions of the city and the services we provide improve in many areas. However, we’re keen to see satisfaction increase across the board and, by responding to the findings, in particular those areas highlighted for improvement, we hope to see even better results in next year’s survey.”

Key findings in the Edinburgh Peoples Survey 2015 include:
  • Residents continue to be happy with Edinburgh as a place to live with 96% of people satisfied
  • Two-thirds of people are happy with the way the Council manages the city
  • There is a high level of satisfaction with public transport – 88%, which is a 7% increase on last year
  • 75% of people don’t think anti-social behaviour is common in their neighbourhood
  • Satisfaction with education services was consistently high across nursery schools (86% satisfied), primary schools (87% satisfied) and secondary schools (87% satisfied)
  • 78% of survey participants think Edinburgh’s festivals make the city a better place to live
  • 70% of people are satisfied with sports and leisure facilities run by Edinburgh Leisure, consistent with previous years
  • More people are contacting the Council via its website – 17.4% - than by telephone – 16.6% - for the first time
Areas for improvement:
  • Satisfaction with roads maintenance has declined, decreasing from 54% to 51% over the last five years, while satisfaction with pavement maintenance has dropped to 53% from 61% five years ago
  • Street cleaning satisfaction has decreased to 64% from 79% over the last five years
  • Dog fouling continues to be an issue – only 46% of people are satisfied with this

Information gathered by the survey is used throughout the year to inform work with services, while identified areas for improvement will be addressed, with updates on progress fed back to committee mid-year.

The survey is undertaken through face-to-face interviews with residents across the city’s 17 multi-member wards each year, conducted in the street and door-to-door.

Members of the Corporate Policy and Strategy Committee will consider the survey on Tuesday, 12 April.

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