Publication - Statistics

Scotland's People Annual Report: Results from 2013 Scottish Household Survey: Revised October 2015

Published: 13 Aug 2014
Part of:
Statistics
ISBN:
9781784127428

A National Statistics publication for Scotland, providing reliable and up-to-date information on the composition, characteristics, behaviour and attitudes of Scottish households and adults across a number of topic areas including local government, neighbourhoods, health and transport.

217 page PDF

2.2 MB

217 page PDF

2.2 MB

Contents
Scotland's People Annual Report: Results from 2013 Scottish Household Survey: Revised October 2015
10 Local Services

217 page PDF

2.2 MB

10 Local Services

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 2013, 60 per cent of adults were satisfied with three public services: local health services, schools and public transport.
  • Adults living in urban areas and accessible small towns were more satisfied with the quality of the three public services than those in remote and rural areas; satisfaction was higher in the 20 per cent most deprived areas compared to the Scotland average.
  • In 2013, around one-fifth (22 per cent) of adults agreed that they can influence decisions affecting their local area and just over a third (35 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 20 per cent most deprived areas were less likely to agree that their local council provides high quality services, 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 areas.

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 fell from 63 per cent in 2012 to 60 per cent in 2013 (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 2013, 85 per cent of adults were satisfied with local health services, compared to 71 per cent who were satisfied with public transport. The trend since 2011 suggests that the percentage of people who were very or fairly satisfied has fallen for each of the three services.

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, 2007-2013 data

Adults 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Local health services 81 85 86 86 88 87 85
Local Schools 79 81 83 83 85 83 81
Public Transport 69 73 75 74 76 72 71
% satisfied with all three services* 57 62 65 64 66 63 60
Base 10,080 9,160 9,630 8,950 9,610 9,830 9,860

* 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.

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 accessible small towns were more satisfied with the quality of public services than those in remote 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 78 per cent, compared to only 50 per cent in remote rural areas, whereas remote rural areas had higher levels of satisfaction with local schools (84 per cent compared to 78 per cent in large urban areas).

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, 2013 data

Adults Large urban areas Other urban areas Accessible
small towns
Remote small towns Accessible rural Remote rural All
Local health services 85 84 85 80 85 87 85
Local Schools 78 81 83 84 83 84 81
Public Transport 78 72 70 66 58 50 71
% satisfied with all three services* 64 60 60 55 53 49 60
Base 3,290 2,990 900 610 1,050 1,030 9,860

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[94]. Overall satisfaction with the quality of public services is seen to be higher in the 20 per cent most deprived area (64 per cent) compared to the Scotland average, with satisfaction with local schools and public transport also higher in these areas. Satisfaction with local health services is very similar across all deprivation levels, at around 85 per cent.

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, 2013 data

Adults ←20% most deprived       20% least deprived→ All
1 2 3 4 5
Local health services 85 84 84 85 86 85
Local Schools 85 80 79 82 79 81
Public Transport 77 73 68 66 72 71
% satisfied with all three services* 64 61 57 58 59 60
Base 1,880 2,010 2,130 2,090 1,750 9,860

INVOLVEMENT IN LOCAL DECISION MAKING

The Commission on the Future Delivery of Public Services report[95] (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. Typically, just over one in five adults agree with this statement (Table 10.4). In the past seven years, this figure has remained fairly consistent. It was at its lowest in 2007 (19.6 per cent) and at its highest in 2011 (22.4 per cent). In 2013, 22.0 per cent of people agreed that they can influence decisions, which is a 0.5 percentage point increase from 21.5 in 2012.

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

Percentages, 2007-2013 data

Adults 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Can influence decisions 19.6 21.7 21.8 21.3 22.4 21.5 22.0
Base 10,230 9,250 9,710 9,020 9,660 9,890 9,920

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 2013, 35 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 22 per cent who felt they can influence decisions affecting their local area (Figure 10.1). Similarly, in 2013, a quarter (25 per cent) of adults agreed that their council is good at listening to local people’s views before it takes decisions.

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 (48 per cent) who said their council is good at letting people know about the kinds of services it provides. 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

2013 data, Adults (base: 9,920)

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 (49 per cent) 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 31 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds. The strongest desire to participate in local decision-making was shown by those aged 25 to 44, with 42 per cent saying they would like to have greater involvement with decisions affecting their local area.

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

Percentages, 2013 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 37 38 45 51 57 60 48
My local council provides high quality services 41 44 43 43 49 57 45
My council is good at letting local people know how well it is performing 24 31 35 44 53 52 40
My local council designs its services around the needs of the people who use them 40 36 37 39 44 47 40
My local council does the best it can with the money available 33 31 36 42 49 52 40
My local council is addressing the key issues affecting the quality of life in my local neighbourhood 33 32 34 33 43 47 36
My council is good at listening to local people's views before it takes decisions 24 22 22 24 29 31 25
I can influence decisions affecting my local area 20 22 23 25 23 15 22
I would like to be more involved in the decisions my council makes that affect my local area 34 42 42 37 31 12 35
Base 830 1,350 1,450 2,590 2,400 1,300 9,920

Columns add to more than 100 per cent since multiple responses allowed.

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 quintilesas above. In the most deprived areas, 42 per cent of adults agreed that services were high quality, compared with 48 per cent in the least deprived areas. Perceptions of being able to influence decisions and the desire to be involved in decision-making were also lower in the 20 per cent most deprived areas compared to the least deprived areas. Whilst adults living in the 20 per cent least deprived areas were more likely to agree that their council provides high quality services compared to the 20 per cent most deprived, they were less likely to think that their local council was good at listening to local people’s views before taking decisions.

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

Percentages, 2013 data

Adults ←20% most deprived       20% least deprived→ All
1 2 3 4 5
My local council is good at letting people know about the kinds of services it provides 45 48 47 51 48 48
My local council provides high quality services 42 44 43 50 48 45
My council is good at letting local people know how well it is performing 41 41 40 40 38 40
My local council designs its services around the needs of the people who use them 39 40 39 44 39 40
My local council does the best it can with the money available 40 41 42 41 37 40
My local council is addressing the key issues affecting the quality of life in my local neighbourhood 36 34 35 40 36 36
My council is good at listening to local people's views before it takes decisions 28 27 24 24 22 25
I can influence decisions affecting my local area 19 20 22 23 25 22
I would like to be more involved in the decisions my council makes that affect my local area 32 33 33 38 38 35
Base 1,890 2,020 2,150 2,100 1,760 9,920

Columns add to more than 100 per cent since multiple responses allowed.


Contact

Email: Andrew Craik