Satisfied Londoners draw the line at complaints

1 Mar 01
Londoners' major gripe with their councils' services is their complaints procedures, according to a new survey.

02 March 2001

Although a majority – 52% – were happy overall with local authority services, 61% found no satisfaction when they had to complain.

The survey, Listening to Londoners, was carried out by Mori for the Association of London Government. It is the biggest the ALG has commissioned on provision in the capital, and covers services and facilities such as refuse collection, libraries and parks.

Twenty-seven London boroughs took part in the exercise, 25,000 Londoners were interviewed and it took six months to complete.

According to the survey, 38% were very dissatisfied and 23% were fairly dissatisfied with procedures set up by councils to adjudicate on their complaints. Only 12% of those interviewed were very satisfied.

Overall council service provision, however, seems to fit the bill. The survey revealed that 46% were fairly satisfied and another 6% very satisfied, compared with 6% very dissatisfied and 15% fairly dissatisfied.

The report also showed that residents in outer London were slightly happier with the performance of their councils than their inner London neighbours.

ALG chairman Sir Robin Wales told Public Finance: 'This survey helps us to highlight areas where we are not doing so well, but we will strive to achieve the levels of service we want and know we are capable of giving.'

Data from the survey will be used by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions for its own performance indicators – named Best Value Performance Indicators – due for publication by the end of the year.

According to the ALG, the survey will provide early benchmark information ahead of the DETR's indicators. Wales added: 'Our results will give councils in London the chance to share and learn from each other nine months before everyone else. The results will enable us to target our resources where they are most needed. London boroughs are ahead of the game when it comes to consulting and listening to the people we serve.'


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