UK Residents Not Satisfied with Local Council Spending, Services or Communications

UK Residents Not Satisfied with Local Council Spending, Services or Communications

Localise, the consumer profiling arm of DJS Research Ltd, today released figures which suggest wide-spread dissatisfaction among UK residents in relation to the way in which local councils target their services and spending, and the extent to which councils understand the position of local residents.

Only around a quarter of people, from a UK-wide poll of 1,034, actively agreed (i.e. ‘agree strongly’ or ‘agree’) that their council had a good understanding of its residents, compared to nearly two-fifths (37%) who actively disagreed with the statement. This is particularly true in Wales and Northern Ireland, where around half actively disagreed with the statement (49% and 48% respectively).

Similarly, when asked to what extent they agreed with the statement that their local council targeted services in a way which best suited them, only a fifth of residents said that they actively agreed, with more than double that actively disagreeing (43%) and within that more than one in ten strongly disagreeing with the statement (13%). Only around a tenth of 15-24 year olds actively agreed with the statement.

Residents were also asked about their perceptions of how councils spent their budgets. Again, when asked to indicate their agreement with the statement ‘My local Council focuses its budget on the services which matter most to local people,’ fewer than a quarter agreed (23%) – with only 3% strongly agreeing. This statement also had the highest level of ‘strong disagreement’, with almost one in six (14%) choosing that option. Overall, two fifths (39%) disagreed with the statement. Agreement with the statement was particularly low in Wales and Northern Ireland, with just 12% and 10% net agreement respectively.

 An opportunity in disguise?

However, despite the seemingly poor findings, analysis for the three questions above also found that around a third of respondents for each question stated that they neither agree nor disagree – suggesting either that they may lack the information to make a judgement or that they are ambivalent about council services.[responsive]

UK Residents Not Satisfied with Local Council Spending, Services or Communications
UK Residents Not Satisfied with Local Council Spending, Services or Communications – The Majority Support Channel Shifting To Online Technology


The same piece of research from Localise also found that residents across the UK would generally support (52% net agree, 8% net disagree) councils moving their communications channels to a more online approach if savings made could then be applied to other areas. Those aged over 65 were the only group in terms of age where net agreement dropped below half (48%).

Alasdair Gleed, Head of Localise and Public Sector Research at DJS Research, commented on these findings:

‘At a time when local councils are being asked to make large percentage savings year on year, communications channel shifting is something which has the potential to provide a better service at a reduced cost. These findings show that the majority of people are dissatisfied with current council performance, but also that there is a large minority who are unsure how their council performs. This represents an opportunity for councils to look at their communications policies holistically in order to think about how successes can be better communicated, how opinions can be better gathered, and how this can be done cost-effectively to improve services in other areas.’

Verbatim comments provided as part of the survey also outline these facts, with issues around a lack of Council information appearing regularly. You can download the full report from the DJS Research Ltd website, or below, or call Alasdair Gleed directly on 01663 767 857.

The report can be downloaded here: UK Residents Not Satisfied with Local Council Spending, Services or Communications

Localise Provider Receives Highest Combined Score on Government Procurement Framework

Localise Provider Receives Highest Combined Score on Government-Wide Procurement Framework: DJS Research, the company which runs Localise, topped the list on the new Crown Commercial Service market research framework, the results of which were made public today by UK SBS – the organisation responsible for managing the bidding process.

DJS Research Ltd were one of only six organisations who were selected to be involved on every one of the ten Lots within the framework agreement – from a total of 500 companies who initially submitted proposals. Across these, DJS never scored less than 81.2% and secured an overall score of 836 out of 1000 – more than 6% higher than their nearest competitor. The research agency, who developed Localise in the early months of 2014, were never lower than 4th on any lot – some of which include 60 agencies.

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Localise Provider DJS Research Ltd Receives Highest Combined Score on Government-Wide Procurement Framework

Speaking about the success, Danny Sims, Managing Director of DJS Research Ltd, had the following to say:

This assessment was open to every agency in the UK, and was a stringent and detailed examination of every aspect of their offering – including costing, quality assurance, methodological expertise, considerations about the future of market research, complaint handling etc. – carried out by an objective and well-resourced judge (UK SBS).

 To have been successful on every single Lot of this procurement exercise – and to have achieved the highest combined score of any of the 500 agencies who applied –  is a real accomplishment for us.  I cannot stress enough the contribution that everyone at DJS Research makes towards our accomplishments, big and small, every day. We have a fantastic and committed team across every level of the business and this is only underlined by the successes we have had recently, including on this framework agreement.”


UK Census Data To Move Online

UK Census Data To Move Online: A fortnight ago business users across the UK waited with baited breath as the fate of the 200-year-old census was decided. Fortunately for many, the UK’s statistics authorities have opted against scrapping the data and are instead looking to implement an online questionnaire to replace the traditional paper form.

Britain’s 10-yearly census offers the most accurate and sweeping picture of a nation undergoing profound changes. The latest one, in 2011, revealed a country more populous, less religious and more diverse than ever before.

Prior to the roll-out of the 2011 census, the UK Statistics Authority asked the National Statistician and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to review the future provision of population statistics in England and Wales, to inform the British Government and parliament about the options for the next (2021) census.

On the back of this review the ONS reported that considering an online route or using existing administrative data combined with a ‘rolling’ annual survey conducted among 4% of the population could be a possibility.

Jane Frost, Chief Executive Officer of the Market Research Society (MRS), said:

“While the decision to move the Census to a predominantly online format is consistent with technological developments it is not without its risks.  One of the benefits of the Census is that it provides solid evidential data to identify ‘hidden groups’ in society, but these groups won’t necessarily have access to technology…”

While extremely complex, the census can, if used correctly, provide high levels of consumer segmentation, allowing for a greater level of targeting and consequently more relevant marketing for customers, improving the customers experience with a brand or company. This would particularly be the case if 4% of the population were to be surveyed each year, as this would mean that the data was, to some extent, more up to date than simply being correct at the time of the last census.

However, we at Localise must agree to some extent with Jane Frost’s comments, and provision must be made for those groups who may struggle to fill in an online census – for instance, houses without access to the internet. We strongly support the Government’s decision to continue a nationwide survey of the population, as this allows for changes in population make up to be tracked, and also guards against the invisible creation of a ‘hidden-class’ of individuals who are not accounted for within public sector agendas around schooling, healthcare and housing. These people might include those who worked cash in hand jobs and did not have a bank account for instance – people who we would not be able to keep aware of through more traditional channels.

Localise is a regional and sub-regional consumer and customer profiling tool which has the ability to truly understand you customers and target audience, identifying who they are and where they live to levels of detail as precise as a single street.