Four in ten Britons satisfied with their local council, but most in the North of England feel they get less national spending than other areas

Britons are more likely to say they’re satisfied than dissatisfied with the way their local council runs things, according to a new Ipsos MORI poll.

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  • Kelly Beaver Managing Director, Public Affairs
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Britons are more likely to say they’re satisfied than dissatisfied with the way their local council runs things, according to a new Ipsos MORI poll. The poll was conducted with 8,352 people aged 16+ across the United Kingdom. The survey reveals that two in five (40%) say that they’re satisfied with the way their local council runs things while a quarter (25%) say they’re dissatisfied. 

There is little difference when looking at residents in England, where local elections are taking place this Thursday, with 41% saying they’re satisfied and 24% dissatisfied, however, when looking closer at the regions across England some differences are revealed. Those in the South West are the most satisfied with how their local council runs things with just under half (47%) saying they’re satisfied (21% dissatisfied) while those in the West Midlands, London and the North West are the areas with the least amount of residents satisfied (35%, 36% and 36% respectively). While there is little difference in council satisfaction levels between 2019 Conservative and Labour voters (41% vs. 39% respectively saying they’re satisfied), Liberal Democrats are the most likely to say they’re satisfied with their local council (47%).

Other findings the poll reveals are:

  • When asked if the national government in Westminster spends more, less or about the same on their area as it does on other local areas just under half (45%) say it spends less on their area, 7% say it spends more while a quarter (26%) say it spends the same amount. In England 44% say the national government spends less on their area, 7% say more and 27% say about the same. 
  • A majority of 2019 Labour voters believe that the national government spends less on their area compared to other areas (7% say more and 20% say about the same) compared with two in five (41%) Conservative voters (5% say more and 33% say about the same).
  • Those most likely to believe that the government in Westminster spends less on their area than other areas are located in the North of England with 71% in the North East, 59% in the North West, and 56% in Yorkshire and the Humber expressing this feeling. 

 

How much does the local government spend in your local area?

  • Nearly a third (32%) believe their council spends less on their own area compared to other areas in the council while just 5% believed it spends more (46% said the council spends the same amount).
  • Most (56%) however think that their council should spend the same amount on their area as it does on other areas while a third (34%) believe it should spend more and only 4% think it should spend less.
  • The top three most mentioned features people across the UK would like to see improved in their neighbourhood are opportunities and facilities for young people (30%), the range of shops, banks and post offices (30%), and personal safety/crime (29%).
  • The least mentioned features people want improved in their neighbourhood are the appearance and look of buildings (12%), the standard of schools/colleges (8%), and access to city/town centres (4%).
  • There were some regional differences when it comes to neighbourhood improvements. For example in London personal safety/crime was the most mentioned (44%) and followed by housing (37%) and air quality (35%) while in Yorkshire and the Humber availability of jobs was the third most mentioned feature (27%) behind opportunities for young people (36%) and personal safety/crime (35%).

Kelly Beaver, Managing Director of Public Affairs at Ipsos MORI said: 

With elections taking place across England for councils and mayors, Ipsos MORI finds that there are clear regional differences in how people perceive the national government in Westminster spends money regionally, with those in the North East by far the most likely to feel the national government spends less there than on other local areas. Whether this impacts on how people vote in the local elections in the North East will be an interesting point of analysis once all the votes are counted.

 

The author(s)

  • Kelly Beaver Managing Director, Public Affairs

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