Published: December 28, 2013
Residents 'feel unable to influence council decisions', finds survey

Satisfaction with Sedgemoor District Council has reached an all-time high level despite many residents feeling unable to influence the council on decisions affecting the local area, according to a new survey.

The conclusions come in a Sedgemoor District Council survey published this week that has been conducted as part of its latest budget consultation exercise.

A total of 1,210 completed forms were filled in from a random sample of residents across the district, which includes the Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge area.

42.5% of respondents say they are 'fairly' or 'very satisfied' with the opportunities for participation in local decision-making provided by the Council, which is slightly higher than last year's 39.9%

However, 51.8% disagree that they can influence decisions affecting their local area, while 14% say they 'definitely disagree' and just 31.7% say they can influence decisions.

Other results of the consultation show 49.9% of respondents say the average £135 of Council Tax per household per year kept by Sedgemoor to run its services represents 'value for money'.

Of the council's budget priorities, 'efficiency and value' is identified as being the most important for residents. Waste collection, community safety and economic development and regeneration are identified as the most important services.

37.1% of respondents are in favour of reducing or stopping local services rather than increasing Council Tax, while 29.9% are against this.

The survey has also found the level of overall satisfaction with the district council is 73%, which is the highest ever recorded in its consultation surveys. The figures show 56% are 'fairly satisfied' while 17% are 'very satisfied'.

The full committee report on budget consultation can be found here.

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