Book News: November 24th, 2004

A MORI survey for the Local Government Association found that clean streets and effective communication are more likely to impress residents than council tax level comparisons. The report highlights the need for local government to communicate better what it is delivering for local communities. It concludes that the key drivers of people’s perception of their councils are: the visible streetscene and ‘liveability’ services; effective communication and explanation; caring responsiveness; and residents’ views on whether they are getting value for money.While education and social care are seen as very important by the public, public and user perceptions of these services have relatively little impact on the overall rating of authorities as only minorities experience these services directly, even though they absorb the majority of top-tier council budgets. The report explains why recent improvement in council services is not yet fully reflected by news coverage or by much of the public’s perception of Local Government.

The report is published by the Local Government Association at 20 pounds (10 pounds for members) and is available from 020 7664 3030.