Councillors question value of survey

PUBLISHED: 15:43 22 January 2009 | UPDATED: 15:58 11 May 2010

THE MAJORITY of Royston residents are happy with their local neighbourhood, according to a survey. However, councillors questioned the value of the North Herts District Council district- wide survey when it was presented to the meeting of the district cou

THE MAJORITY of Royston residents are happy with their local neighbourhood, according to a survey.

However, councillors questioned the value of the North Herts District Council district- wide survey when it was presented to the meeting of the district council's Royston area committee held last night (Wednesday).

The results of the survey, which was carried out last year at a cost of £26,000, showed that 92 per cent of town residents were satisfied with their neighbourhood, while only two per cent were dissatisfied.

Respondents to the survey were asked about their opinion of key services provided by the district council. Four of these were highlighted areas for improvement; facilities for teenagers, shopping facilities, road/footpath repairs, and refuse collection.

Cllr Tony Hunter said that he found the results of surveys like this, which the district council is required to carry out every two years "difficult to get his head around."

He said: "The sample is only 100 people out of a local population of 15,000. And it's only really scratching the surface and telling us things we know already."

And Cllr Liz Beardwell said: "I don't see the point of such a small sample - the figures have to be taken with a big pinch of salt.

Cllr Beardwell added that she feels Royston are often treated as the "district's poor relations."

"We pay the same amount of tax but get a lower level of service," she said.

North Herts District Council's consultation officer Ashley Hawkins told the meeting that the findings "would not have changed significantly" had the survey sample been larger.

The full results of the survey are available online at www.north-herts.gov.uk.

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