Shropshire Council

Summary results 2016/17

A total of 1,002 people and organisations took part in this Big Conversation, which ran from November 2016 until March 2017. 

We asked people to tell us what they thought about services and activity aimed at improving their local communities, their health, the local economy and the council itself – all these priorities are identified in our corporate plan.

The online version of the survey received 280 responses, and together with the information our partners gathered we now have useful feedback about the work and activities organised by the council and our partners, about what communities do to help themselves, and their main issues and concerns for the future.

Resilient communities

  • 79% of people surveyed were satisfied with their local area as a place to live.
  • 77% said their community was active and resourceful (51% of people surveyed do some sort of voluntary work, 46% have picked up litter, 29% have organised a social activity in the community).  There was, however a recurrent theme that it's the same people who tend to be active in the community and more people need to be encouraged to get involved. Respondents said barriers to doing more included not knowing how to get involved and availability of training, resources and support.
  • 50% rated our work in communities as good or very good – people wanted greater visibility of elected members within their communities and a stronger understanding of the work of their elected representative. They also said they don’t understand the role of Shropshire Council or what it does.
  • 44% said they felt able to influence local decisions (83% of those surveyed said they have voted; 38% are active on a local committee or group).

The Your Community theme report summarises the findings relating to resilient communities.

Healthy people

  • People are actively looking after themselves, with some 77% of those surveyed saying they eat well, 76% staying active, and 68% saying they take steps to look after their mental and physical wellbeing
  • Just 50% of those surveyed said they get a good night's sleep, and only 45% support their family and friends in leading a healthy lifestyle – carers, in particular, tended to say their health was poor as their focus was on the person they cared for, and the opportunity to take care of themselves was limited
  • 41% of people surveyed said our work enabling communities to retain or improve their health was good or very good, but that figure sat alongside very mixed views regarding our work in this area, and how closely we should work with health partners. Some people called for greater partnership working, sharing of resources and joint services, whereas others suggested we should do less and focus more on its other core services

The Your Health theme report summarises the findings relating to healthy people.

Prosperous economy

  • People feel we can do more to improve Shropshire’s economy -  45% of those surveyed rated our work on making Shropshire’s economy more prosperous as either good or very good
  • Key areas identified for improvement include:
    • improving mobile and internet connectivity – this impacts on business as well as social use
    • doing more to support the tourism economy and making the most of our green spaces
    • improving access to market towns by lowering car park fees – this will increase visitor numbers and support local businesses and shops
    • improving public transport – lack of transport impacts on people’s ability to get to work, to socialise, attend health and support meetings
    • increasing the availability of affordable homes (linked with issues of low wages and under/unemployment within the county)
    • doing more to keep our younger people within the county – young people told us they envisaged leaving the county for more job, education and lifestyle opportunities in bigger towns or cities
    • attracting and supporting investment, both large and small, across the county (not just Shrewsbury)

The Prosperous Economy theme report summarises the findings relating to the local economy. 

The council

  • Some 59% of people who responded to the survey said they had noticed changes to the services provided by us
  • Just over half (53%) of these people said the impact on their own or someone else’s life has been for the worse. Feedback from focus groups gave examples such as services closing, funding cut, loss of support staff, or services being reduced (eg street lights, gritting)
  • The remainder said the impact had been either mixed or better
  • Some people felt they could pay a contribution towards services in order to maintain them. People who expressed the greatest level of concern about the idea of service cuts had a disability, cared for someone with a disability and/or were on low incomes They felt that they may not be able to cover the cost of replacing a service they currently receive free or that is subsidised
  • Some feedback suggested we should do more to lobby central government for more funding

The Your Council theme report summarises the findings relating to Shropshire Council.

Final reports and action plan

We've produced a series of reports to accompany and summarise this work. Full reports from the partners who supported the Big Conversation have also been published:

Feedback from the survey and engagement work carried out by partners is informing our strategies and actions plans, including ongoing work to deliver the corporate plan, and in the development of strategic action plans and service plans. The top 30 issues raised within the 2016/17 Big Conversation have also been highlighted within a You Said, We Have, We Will report which we'll make available soon; this allows us to ensure any outstanding actions are monitored and reported on.