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Cabinet Decision: 29th November 2012
Title of Item/Report
North East Residents’ Survey
Record of the Decision
Cabinet considered a report relating to the initial findings from a survey of local residents that took place between June and August 2012 and was conducted by Ipsos MORI. It also presented an outline plan for communicating and using the results which would be developed into a more detailed plan, subject to Cabinet approval and receipt of the final report.

Seven authorities, from across the North East, agreed to a consortium approach to commissioning a residents survey, in order to achieve economies of scale, provide data for benchmarking purposes and support the principle of sector-led improvement. The survey captured resident perceptions in relation to a number of aspects including trust in the Council, whether it provided value for money and their priorities for improvement as well as satisfaction with a selection of Council services.

Cabinet was provided with headline findings, relating to Stockton Borough. Overall findings for the Borough were extremely positive, particularly in relation to satisfaction with the Council overall, trust in the Council and perception of the Council providing value for money. Levels of satisfaction with most of the services covered by the survey were good and improved on the whole from the 2008 Place Survey. When compared with the averages of the other Council Consortium participants, Stockton Borough compared extremely favourably.

Members noted that there were a number of steps to be taken in order to add value to the analysis, develop and deliver an effective communications plan internally and externally and to make best use of the intelligence to shape business and improvement plans. These were detailed below:
• Identify any areas that need further or additional work by Ipsos MORI.
• Some internal work needed to be undertaken by the Policy, Improvement and Engagement team to add value to the Ipsos MORI.

• Work with relevant Heads of Service to provide additional context and understanding to the survey findings
• To consider and utilise the full range of analysis and intelligence to shape business plans
A detailed communications plan would need to be developed, linked to the activity identified above including detailed timescales and would include Members, staff, key stakeholders and, where appropriate, the media. Some provisional work in relation to communications had already been undertaken:

• Initial press release planned through Corporate Communications
• Members Policy Seminar for 22nd January 2013 delivered by Ipsos MORI.
• Special Setting the Standards (January 2013)
• Report/presentation to Stockton Renaissance and Area Partnerships (January-March)
• EMT (to add context to the findings and to inform business planning (November- February)
• SBC staff - through KYIT (November)
Part of the intention of a regional approach to the residents’ Survey was to support the principle of sector-led improvement and to be able to identify other Councils that the Survey suggested were performing better, to inform Council-Council conversations and/or peer reviews.


1. the contents of the report be noted, particularly the high levels of resident satisfaction with the borough as a place, increased levels of satisfaction with the Council overall, high levels of trust in the Council and views that the Council provides value for money.

2. the additional analysis to be carried out that will add further value to the research, be noted - namely, identifying any areas that needed further or additional work by Ipsos MORI (including national comparison where it is available), working with Heads of Service to add further context and understanding as well as overlaying other survey data (e.g., Crime and Community Safety).

3. proposals for communicating and disseminating the research findings be noted - including; through a special Member Seminar, reports to Stockton Renaissance, a special Setting the Standards for staff and communication with the local media.
Reasons for the Decision
The recommendations and subsequent actions would ensure that Council and other partners’ services could be improved by using the information contained in the report and that produced through further analysis. It would also inform communications on key issues.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable.
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight on Friday, 7th December 2012

Date of Publication: 03 December 2012

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