The Herefordshire Quality of Life Survey is a survey of the views of Herefordshire residents about life in the county. The 2012 survey was part of a suite of both quantitative and qualitative research into what was important to residents at a time of significant budget cuts, called Your community - your say.
The survey was posted to 4,125 households and was based on the 2008 Place Survey with some changes to support the needs of ongoing service review and budgeting. The survey was designed to reflect the three sub-localities of Hereford and the eight other localities. The fieldwork took place between May and July 2012 in which time 1,346 responses were been received, giving a response rate of 33%.
The key findings are listed below, or the overview report and a more detailed report looking at differences between localities can be downloaded from the resource box below.
About the local area
Most important: level of crime, health services and affordable decent housing (same as in 2008).
Most in need of improvement:road and pavement repairs, job prospects (new in 2012), activities for teenagers, affordable decent housing and the level of traffic congestion
Priority(i.e. both important and in need of improvement):affordable decent housing, job prospects, road and pavement repairs and public transport
Agreement that communities should have a say in the running of various services ranged from 44% to 71%, with the most interest being in road and pavement repairs, public bus services and health and care services. The desire amongst respondents for communities to run certain services if they wished was markedly more muted. Running facilities and activities for young children and for youths received the most support.
Compared to the Place Survey in 2008, more respondents are feeling safe in their local area. 74% feel safe when outside after dark, significantly up from 69% in 2008 and 96% when outside during the day, up from 92%.
91% of respondents were satisfied with their local area as a place to live (up from 87% in 2008) while 94% were satisfied with their home.
Satisfaction with West Mercia Police and the local dentist has risen significantly since 2008 to 69% and 80% respectively.
Overall satisfaction with the way Herefordshire Council runs things increased significantly from 33% in 2008 to 51% in 2012. The proportion who were dissatisfied also fell significantly since 2008.
Priorities for public services
Majority (87% or over) agree with 5 of the 6 identified high priorities for Herefordshire Council, while support for the sixth one, promote self-reliance in local communities was a little lower (75%).
However the top 3 were clearly identified as creating a successful economy, improving health and social care and raising standards for children and young people. These were broadly similar in the different localities, though some differences emerged.
Other key points
Volunteering at least once a month through clubs and organisations has increased significantly to 34% from 29% in 2008
While most (60%) of respondents had contact with family, friends or neighbours most days of the week, for one in twenty the contact is once a month or less and a similar proportion (5%) felt lonely most or all the time.
Around 250 other comments were made; about a quarter, were concerned with the value of the survey and the cost that could have been better spent in other ways. Another common theme was a broad range of transport issues.