The quality of public services is part of the bedrock on which our society and future prosperity depends, and is crucial in shaping a flourishing, productive and equitable Scotland. Public services have the power to improve people's quality of life and enhance their opportunities. It is important, therefore, that they are high quality, efficient, continually improving and responsive to the needs of local people.
Responsiveness is a key aspect of the quality of public services, reflecting the extent to which services are designed around the needs of the individual. It relies upon organisations having mechanisms in place for people, particularly users of services, to communicate with service providers and to be heard so that their ideas can go into the redesign of more tailored services.
This indicator will be influenced by the opportunities people have to scrutinise and have their say on how public services are designed and delivered in their areas. The survey on which this indicator is based records the percentage of respondents who agree with the statement 'I can influence decisions affecting my local area'.
The degree of engagement the public have their public services and the ability of those services to adapt in response to the wishes of service users will be key influences on this indicator. The Government believes that many of the solutions to Scotland's major challenges lie locally and many of the best ideas and most effective solutions will come from those with the most direct experience of the problems or opportunities that exist.
Building on existing partnerships with local government and others at community level, Government's role is to continue to look for ways to improve how individuals, communities and front-line staff are able to develop local solutions for local challenges.
Government will promote partnerships - based on openness, trust and honesty - to secure delivery of activities to improve outcomes that would not have been possible otherwise. Public service organisations must come together to design and deliver integrated services, and should involve fully the local public, communities, third and private sectors. Government will continue to focus on outcomes and support public service organisations to overcome boundaries to deliver these effectively and efficiently.
Community Planning is at the heart of the Government's approach with partners working together to agree their priority local outcomes through the development of locally-attuned Single Outcome Agreements. Community Planning Partnerships will continue to have a significant role to play in leading and implementing integrated services in their areas.
People's perceptions of the responsiveness of public services have improved since the baseline year, 2007, when 19.6% agreed with the statement that 'I can influence decisions affecting my local area', compared with 23.1% in 2016; an increase of 3.5 percentage points.
The data is available at the bottom of the page.
The proportion of people who agree they can influence decisions affecting their local area has grown over the last eight years, now at just under one quarter (23.1% in 2016). Within that, however, people aged 75 and over consistently show the lowest level of agreement. In 2016, 18% of people aged 75 and over agreed that they could influence decisions affecting their local area compared to 25% of 35-44 and 45-54 year olds (the highest level of agreement).
Historically, those living in the most deprived areas of Scotland are less likely to agree that they can influence decisions affecting their local area than those living in the rest of Scotland. In 2016 levels of agreement were similar – 22% of people in the 15% most deprived areas agreed compared to 23% in the rest of Scotland.
The data is available at the bottom of the page.
The evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 1.3 percentage points of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 1.3 percentage points or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 1.3 percentage points or more suggests the position is worsening.
Please note that the criteria for this indicator changed before the 2014 data point was assessed. This was because, using Scottish Household Survey data where the figure is around the 20th percentile, a change of around 1.3 percentage points is likely to be statistically significant and not due to sampling error. Given this, the Technical Assessment Group decided that a threshold of 1.3 percentage point is more appropriate for this indicator than the previous threshold of 1 percentage point. Had the criteria not been changed current performance would have been assessed as improving.
For information on general methodological approach, please click here.
Scotland Performs Technical Note
And all organisations providing public services
Wealthier and Fairer
Safer and Stronger