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Publication - Statistics Publication

Scotland's People: Results from the 2015 Scottish Household Survey

Published: 27 Sep 2016
Part of:
Statistics
ISBN:
9781786524416

Report presenting reliable and up-to-date information on the composition, characteristics and behaviour of Scottish households.

287 page PDF

5.4MB

287 page PDF

5.4MB

Contents
Scotland's People: Results from the 2015 Scottish Household Survey
10 Local Services

287 page PDF

5.4MB

10 Local Services

10.1 Introduction and Context

Public services, many of which are delivered at local level, are of great importance to the people of Scotland. The quality of these services is crucial to the shaping of a flourishing, productive and equitable Scotland. Local public services are changing to respond to the social, demographic and economic challenges of the twenty-first century. Scotland's 32 local authorities work closely with other organisations (through Community Planning Partnerships) to plan and deliver a wide range of services that improve the lives of people living in their areas.

As part of the National Performance Framework ( NPF), which is supported by local councils, one of the Scottish Government's national outcomes is that 'our public services are high quality, continually improving, efficient and responsive to local people's needs'. There are also two National Indicators relating to public services: improve people's perceptions of the quality of public services (National Indicator 33) and improve the responsiveness of public services (National Indicator 34). Progress on these two indicators is monitored using data from the Scottish Household Survey ( SHS). Many local authorities also use the SHS to assess progress towards their Single Outcome Agreements (a statement of the outcomes that they want to see for their local area).

This chapter begins by exploring satisfaction with the quality of local services and attitudes to involvement in local decision making. It then reports respondents' views on local authority performance. Breakdowns by urban rural classification and SIMD are provided.

Main Findings

In 2015, 58 per cent of adults were satisfied with three public services: local health services, schools and public transport - down from 62 per cent in 2014.

Adults living in urban areas were more satisfied with the quality of the three public services than those in small towns and rural areas - mainly due to greater satisfaction with public transport.

In 2015, 24 per cent of adults agreed that they can influence decisions affecting their local area, the highest level since the question was introduced in 2007. Just over a third (34 per cent) said they would like to be more involved in the decisions their council makes.

Generally, older adults were more likely than younger adults to say they are satisfied with local government performance and less likely to want to be more involved in making decisions.

Adults living in the most deprived areas were less likely to agree that they can influence decisions in their local area and less likely to want to be more involved in local decision making, compared to the least deprived area.

10.2 Local Service Quality

The Scottish Government's National Indicator to 'improve people's perceptions of the quality of public services' is measured by the percentage of adults who say they are (very or fairly) satisfied with three public services: local health services, schools and public transport. The percentage of adults who said they were very or fairly satisfied with these services decreased from 62 per cent in 2014 to 58 per cent in 2015 (Table 10.1).

Looking at the services individually, adults tend to be most satisfied with local health services, followed by local schools and public transport. In 2015, 83 per cent of adults were satisfied with local health services, compared to 74 per cent who were satisfied with schools and public transport. Satisfaction with schools has fallen over the last 4 years, from a high of 85 per cent in 2011 to the current level of 74 per cent.

Table 10.1: Percentage of people very or fairly satisfied with the quality of public services delivered (local health services, local schools and public transport) by year

Percentages, 2007-2015 data

Adults 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Local health services 81 85 86 86 88 87 85 86 83
Local Schools 79 81 83 83 85 83 81 79 74
Public Transport 69 73 75 74 76 72 71 75 74
% satisfied with all three services* 57.1 61.8 64.9 64.0 66.0 63.0 59.9 61.9 57.5
Base (minimum) 6,270 5,500 5,470 5,000 5,510 5,340 5,700 5,720 5,790

* Percentages reported for all three services combined are those for which an opinion was given. Respondents could express no opinion for up to two of the services. While the base minimum has been quoted here (for the three main services) the base size for the composite "satisfaction with all three services" is for the whole adult sample 9,410.

Table 10.2 shows the differences in people's perceptions of public services by urban rural classification. It can be seen that, overall, adults living in urban areas and remote small towns were more satisfied with the quality of public services than those in accessible small towns and rural areas. However, when we look at the individual services separately , it can be seen that it is the satisfaction with public transport in remote and rural areas that is mainly responsible for these overall results. Satisfaction with public transport in large urban areas was 80 per cent, compared to only 54 per cent in remote rural areas, whereas remote rural areas had higher levels of satisfaction with local schools (83 per cent compared to 67 per cent in large urban areas).

Table 10.3 shows the differences in people's perceptions of public services by level of deprivation, as defined using the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation ( SIMD) and divided into quintiles [55] . Overall satisfaction with the quality of public services is similar across all levels of deprivation, with satisfaction with public transport higher in deprived areas. Satisfaction with schools and local health services is very similar across all deprivation levels.

Table 10.2: Percentage of people very or fairly satisfied with the quality of public services delivered (local health services, local schools and public transport) by urban rural classification

Percentages, 2015 data

Adults Large urban areas Other urban areas Accessible
small towns
Remote small towns Accessible rural Remote rural Scotland
Local health services 85 83 78 82 83 87 83
Local Schools 67 77 77 75 76 83 74
Public Transport 80 76 68 69 60 54 74
% satisfied with all three services* 59.5 59.8 52.5 58.4 50.1 52.7 57.5
Base (minimum) 1,530 1,940 540 430 670 680 5,790

* Percentages reported for all three services combined are those for which an opinion was given. Respondents could express no opinion for up to two of the services. While the base minimum has been quoted here (for the three main services) the base size for the composite "satisfaction with all three services" is for the whole adult sample 9,410.

Table 10.3: Percentage of people very or fairly satisfied with the quality of public services delivered (local health services, local schools and public transport) by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation quintiles

Percentages, 2015 data

Adults ← 20% most deprived 20% least deprived→ Scotland
1 2 3 4 5
Local health services 82 82 85 83 85 83
Local Schools 74 73 74 75 75 74
Public Transport 78 77 69 70 75 74
% satisfied with all three services* 60.1 59.3 55.5 54.4 58.3 57.5
Base (minimum) 990 1,120 1,340 1,330 1,010 5,790

* Percentages reported for all three services combined are those for which an opinion was given. Respondents could express no opinion for up to two of the services. While the base minimum has been quoted here (for the three main services) the base size for the composite "satisfaction with all three services" is for the whole adult sample 9,410.

10.3 Involvement in Local Decision Making

The Commission on the Future Delivery of Public Services report [56] (2011) highlighted the importance of ensuring that our public services are built around people and communities. The National Performance Framework also includes a National Indicator which aims to 'improve the responsiveness of public services'. This is measured as the percentage of adults in the SHS who agree that they can influence decisions affecting their local area. In 2015, 23.6 per cent of people agreed that they can influence decisions affecting their local area, the highest level since the question was introduced in 2007, shown in Table 10.4.

The proportion of adults who agree that they would like greater involvement in the decisions affecting their local area tends to be higher than those who perceive they can influence them. In 2015, 34 per cent of adults said they would like to be more involved in the decisions their council makes that affects their local area, compared to 24 per cent who felt they can influence decisions affecting their local area (Figure 10.1). In 2015, a quarter (25 per cent) of adults agreed that their council is good at listening to local people's views before it takes decisions.

Table 10.4: Percentage of people who agree with the statement 'I can influence decisions affecting my local area' by year

Percentages, 2007-2015 data

Adults 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Can influence decisions 19.6 21.7 21.8 21.3 22.4 21.5 22.0 23.0 23.6
Base (minimum) 10,230 9,250 9,710 9,020 9,660 9,890 9,920 9,800 9,410

10.4 Perceptions of Local Authority Performance

Figure 10.1 shows the percentage of adults who agreed (strongly or slightly) with a number of statements about different aspects of their local authority's performance. The highest level of agreement was around half who said their council is good at letting people know about the kinds of services it provides (46 per cent) and provides high quality services (46 per cent). The lowest levels of agreement were with statements about being able to influence decisions and the council being good at listening to local people's views.

Figure 10.1: Percentage agreeing with various statements about local authority services and performance

2015 data, Adults (base: 9,410)

Figure 10.1: Percentage agreeing with various statements about local authority services and performance

Table 10.5 shows there are some differences by age group in agreement with statements about local authority services and performance. Generally, older adults are more likely than younger adults to say they are satisfied with the performance statements about local government services and less likely to want to be more involved in making decisions. Around half of 60 to 74 year olds and those aged 75 years and over agreed with the statement that their council does the best it can with the money available, compared to around one third of 16 to 14 and 25 to 34 year olds. The strongest desire to participate in local decision-making was shown by those aged 35 to 44, with 43 per cent saying they would like to have greater involvement with decisions affecting their local area.

Table 10.6 looks at differences in agreement with statements about local authority performance by the level of deprivation of the area, as defined using the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation ( SIMD) and divided into quintiles as above. Levels of agreement with most statements were similar across areas, regardless of deprivation levels. Perceptions of being able to influence decisions and the desire to be involved in decision-making were lower in the most deprived areas compared to the least deprived areas.

Table 10.5: Percentage agreeing with various statements about local council services by age

Percentages, 2015 data

Adults 16 to 24 25 to 34 35 to 44 45 to 59 60 to 74 75 plus All
My local council is good at letting people know about the kinds of services it provides 35 40 45 47 53 54 46
My local council provides high quality services 41 46 47 43 47 53 46
My council is good at letting local people know how well it is performing 27 29 34 40 48 48 38
My local council designs its services around the needs of the people who use them 38 40 39 38 41 49 40
My local council does the best it can with the money available 31 35 35 42 49 54 41
My local council is addressing the key issues affecting the quality of life in my local neighbourhood 31 35 33 35 40 45 36
My council is good at listening to local people's views before it takes decisions 24 23 23 23 26 32 25
I can influence decisions affecting my local area 24 24 25 25 22 19 24
I would like to be more involved in the decisions my council makes that affect my local area 35 40 43 34 30 16 34
Base 750 1,210 1,390 2,440 2,380 1,240 9,410

Columns may not add to 100 per cent since multiple responses were allowed.

Table 10.6: Percentage agreeing with various statements about local council services by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation ( SIMD)

Percentages, 2015 data

Adults ← 20% most deprived 20% least deprived→ Scotland
1 2 3 4 5
My local council is good at letting people know about the kinds of services it provides 42 43 46 50 47 46
My local council provides high quality services 42 45 46 49 46 46
My council is good at letting local people know how well it is performing 39 36 37 38 38 38
My local council designs its services around the needs of the people who use them 37 41 40 42 41 40
My local council does the best it can with the money available 37 42 42 43 40 41
My local council is addressing the key issues affecting the quality of life in my local neighbourhood 33 35 36 39 37 36
My council is good at listening to local people's views before it takes decisions 24 27 24 25 24 25
I can influence decisions affecting my local area 21 21 23 26 27 24
I would like to be more involved in the decisions my council makes that affect my local area 30 31 34 35 39 34
Base 1,740 1,900 2,050 2,080 1,640 9,410

Columns may not add to 100 per cent since multiple responses were allowed.


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