People feel less empowered, but believe cohesion in their neighbourhood is increasing according to the Citizenship Survey from Communities and Local Government.
In the year ending March 2009, 39 per cent of people felt they could influence decisions in their local area compared to 44 per cent in 2001. At the national level 22 per cent of people felt they could influence decisions affecting Great Britain compared to 25 per cent in 2001.
Communities are now seen as more cohesive with 84 per cent of people perceived their community as cohesive, agreeing that their local area was a place where people from different backgrounds got on well together. This figure has increased from 80 percent in 2003- 2005 and 82 per cent in 2007-08.
There is also a growing sense of belonging with 77 percent of people feeling that they belonged strongly to their neighbourhood. This is an increase on 70 per cent in 2003, 74 per cent in 2005 and 75 per cent in 2007-08.
Satisfaction with the neighbourhood has remained constant with 82 per cent of people satisfied with their local area as a place to live. Older people were generally more likely to be satisfied with their local area than younger people. For example, 87 per cent of those aged 75 years and over were satisfied with their local area compared to 78 per cent of those aged 16-24 years.
The Citizenship Survey is available from DCLG. http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/corporate/statistics/citizenshipsurveyq4200809