Majority of residents disagree they influence council decisions

Bridgwater Mercury: Majority of residents disagree they influence council decisions Majority of residents disagree they influence council decisions

THE majority of Sedgemoor residents who took part in a survey on the council's budget disagreed that they can influence decisions affecting their local area.

The response was collected during Sedgemoor District Council's Budget Consultation exercise, which helps inform the process of deciding where money will be spent.

A total of 1,210 completed forms were received from a random sample of residents and handed out at various meetings during the consultation period.

The level of overall satisfaction with the council was 73%, which is the highest ever recorded in a consultation survey. The figures show 56% said they were 'fairly satisfied' with the council and 17% said they were 'very satisfied'.

But around 52% disagreed they could influence decisions affecting their local area, with 14% saying they definitely disagreed and 31.7% agreeing they could influence decisions.

Other results of the consultation showed residents were slightly more in favour of reducing/stopping local services rather than increasing council tax.

Out of each pound of council tax collected, Sedgemoor is allocated 9p towards the services it provides. The majority of completed forms showed residents felt this portion of the Council Tax represented value for money.

Areas voted most important were efficiency and value, with economic growth following closely behind. Waste collection received the most 'very important' votes, followed by community safety. Grass cutting and flower beds and housing benefits received the lowest ratings. The £100 prize draw, open to all those completing the questionnaire, was won by a Cossington resident.

The full committee report on budget consultation can be found at www.sedgemoor.gov.uk/budgetconsultation2013

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