Things are looking up in Brighton and Hove according to City Tracker

Views on 'use of money wisely' by local organisations
Views on 'use of money wisely' by local organisations

The city’s Labour Group claimed the report shows the council is improving under its leadership.

The City Tracker report has been published, and the city’s Labour Group claimed the report shows the council is improving under its leadership.

The percentage of residents who are satisfied with local services from 2012-2015

The percentage of residents who are satisfied with local services from 2012-2015

And it is right - to some extent. Things are certainly better than they were last year, including satisfaction with the council, according to the report.

But residents remain less satisfied than they were in 2012 - 70% of respondents to the survey were satisfied with the council in 2012, compared to 60% this year.

The City Tracker is an annual survey to find out what residents think of Brighton and Hove as a place to live. This year 1,000 people took part.

The majority of respondents - 55% - think the council is now making “wise use of money”, an 18% jump on last year.

Residents' satisfaction with local services from 2012-1015

Residents' satisfaction with local services from 2012-1015

But the 2015 figure is still slightly below that reported in 2012 - which was at 60%. On whether the council demonstrated value for money, 39% of residents agreed, with 29% disagreeing. The remainder neither agreed or disagreed.

A total of 72% are now satisfied with how clean their street is, up significantly from 57% under the Greens last year. Satisfaction with refuse collecting has doubled from 31% to 64%. The figures for recycling are even better with 67% happy, up from 44% last year.

Cllr Gill Mitchell, who chairs the environment committee, said: “These figures prove that the steps we have taken since May are winning approval from residents and hopefully will lead to better recycling levels.”

However, the report did note the effect of industrial action in 2014. It read: “Last year, many residents’ attitudes to life in the city were coloured by industrial action in the refuse and recycling service. This year, satisfaction with refuse and recycling services has improved markedly, although still under-performs the national average.”

The report said this year, nine in ten Brighton and Hove residents are satisfied with their local area as a place to live.

When asked about feeling safe, 97% of respondents felt safe during the day in their local area, and 93% felt safe walking around the city centre. At night, 11% felt unsafe walking around their immediate locality, and 22% of respondents said they felt unsafe walking around the city centre after dark.

Satisfaction with the city council has improved, and residents also think more highly of other local service providers this year, with particularly high ratings for East Sussex Fire and Rescue, local charities/community groups and local pharmacy stores. Local people are now just as likely to trust their local authority as residents elsewhere in the country (59% - up from 52% last year), but the city is still below the national average when it comes to residents feeling informed by the council (55% feel informed).

Cllr Warren Morgan, leader of the city council, said: “We pledged when we took over from the Greens that we would end the drift and division, and get the basics right. This first measure of how the Labour administration is doing is very encouraging, with residents saying that services are getting better, despite the unprecedented cuts being imposed on us by the Conservative government. We have got a grip on council finances by reducing the overspend by £8 million, and now we have evidence that the changes we are making to service delivery are already having a positive effect.”