Abstracts: July 29th, 2008

Guidance for conducting place surveys has been published by Communities and Local Government. The surveys will seek to capture local peoples’ views, experiences and perceptions, so that the solutions for an area can reflect local views and preferences. The surveys will also track people’s changing perceptions, as a way of determining whether interventions made in an area result in the right outcomes for local people. They should reveal if people
feel happier, healthier or safer.

The surveys are an essential element in improving outcomes for local people and places. This focus on places rather than on processes, institutions or inputs, recognizes that no single organisation can achieve success on the complex issues of improving public health, reducing poverty, tackling crime or sustainable economic development. The challenges are too complex and the needs often too local for all solutions to be imposed from the centre.

Information from the surveys will help councils and their partners to
understand the views of local people. It is expected that local service providers will have many ways both of seeking direct feedback on services and of exploring perceptions of the area. The new performance framework expects councils and partners to use all the evidence at their disposal to build a robust understanding of the area they serve and the people who live there.

The survey is available from DCLG.