9 Local Services
In 2019, 52.6 per cent of adults were satisfied with all three of the main public services, local health services, schools and public transport. This is a composite measure of the three services, and this composite indicator is the Scottish Government's National Indicator on 'quality of public services'. The indicator is based on the percentage of adults who said that they were very or fairly satisfied with all three services, or for one or two services if they chose to express "no opinion" on the other service(s).
Combined satisfaction with the three public services was at a similar level to last year, and down from a peak of 66.0 per cent in 2011 – the largest factor being a fall in satisfaction with local schools over the same period, though this satisfaction has increased slightly in the last year.
The percentage of people dissatisfied with at least one of these three public services has also increased over the period since 2011, from 20 per cent to 27 per cent.
In 2019, 80 per cent of adults were satisfied with local health services, compared to 73 per cent who were satisfied with schools and 68 per cent with public transport.
Satisfaction with schools has fallen since 2011, from a high of 85 per cent in 2011 to the current level of 73 per cent, and this is the biggest factor in the corresponding trend in the combined indicator over this period – though satisfaction with the other two services has also fallen since 2011. The reason local schools satisfaction has fallen is mostly due to a corresponding increase from 11 per cent to 20 per cent in the number of people who are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. The number of people who are very or fairly dissatisfied with local schools has remained fairly stable since 2011, increasing slightly from four per cent in 2011 to seven per cent in 2019.
Adults living in urban areas were more satisfied with the quality of the three public services than those in rural areas – mostly due to greater satisfaction with public transport in urban areas.
Eight out of 10 respondents were satisfied with local health services, independent of whether they used the service or not.
Service users were more satisfied with local schools and public transport than the whole adult population, and satisfaction for these service users has been more stable over time.
In 2019, only one in five adults (18 per cent) agreed that they can influence decisions affecting their local area, while 30 per cent said they would like to be more involved in the decisions their council makes, a decrease from 38 per cent in 2007.
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.
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