Merton Council

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Annual Residents' Survey

The Annual Residents' Survey is a survey of residents over 18 years old in the borough. Merton residents are interviewed, face to face by independent researchers, about their personal concerns, attitudes to the council and council services. Over a thousand local people are interviewed in their homes and public places ensuring that the opinions of a broad mix of residents are collected. In recent years we have also surveyed young people between the ages of 11 and 17.

A London-wide survey is carried out at the same time as Merton's own survey, which enables Merton to compare its results both with previous years and with the rest of London.

No survey for 2015

Due to the withdrawal of our contractor from delivering the Survey of Londoners package we were not able to run our usual survey in 2015.

We have been working with TNS since 1999. They have informed they are no longer willing to offer the survey package we have been taking part in, to ourselves and other London boroughs. This meant we would not have been able to commission a similar survey in time to conduct the field work during the autumn as we usually would. Instead we have begun looking at alternative options and discussing these with other councils so we can decide what would be the best, most cost-effective proposal for the future of the survey.

Results of the 2014 survey

The Residents' Survey 2014 was carried out in September and October 2014. The survey covers the following issues:

  • Personal concerns of residents
  • Image of the Council as a whole
  • Satisfaction with local services
  • Other local matters and services

Results of the 2014 residents survey

Key messages from the 2014 survey

Since the council started commissioning an annual independent residents’ survey in 1999, the 2014 results show several “best evers”: Amongst the noticeable results from 2014 are:

  • The number of people saying that the Council is efficient and well run is at a record high, 72%, up 2% on last year, which was also a record high.
  • The council has beaten its highest ever Value for Money score of last year (56%) with 57% this year.
  • 79% agree that Merton is doing a good job, the same as 2012 and 2013; the only year in which the score has been bettered was 2011.
  • The number of people saying that the council is doing a better job than one year ago is up by 4% to 47%.
  • Respondents are asked to identify three issues that are a concern to them. The number saying that council tax is a concern has fallen by 3% to an all time low of 19%.
  • Satisfaction with the way the Council deals with litter has risen 1% to 61%. The proportion rating the Council street cleaning service as good to excellent remains at 54%, consistent with the trend of higher scores since 2010. The number of people saying they are concerned about litter and dirt on the streets has risen by 4% to 34%, making it the top concern amongst residents in the borough.
  • Satisfaction with policing has fallen by 3%, and crime remains the second largest concern for respondents, although the number of people saying crime is an issue of concern has fallen slightly for the sixth year running.
  • The number of people saying traffic congestion is a concern has increased by 2% on last year to 27%, making it residents’ third biggest concern.
  • Concern about lack of jobs and the quality of health services has fallen.
  • A record number of people think the council involves residents in decision making (56%, up by 4% since 2013).
  • However, fewer people think the council responds quickly when asked for help (-4%) and more think the council does not do enough for people like them (+2%).
  • There has been an increase in residents’ opinions of several services, namely repair of roads, recycling facilities, activities for young people, and fly tip removal.
  • Satisfaction with leisure and sports has decreased by a noticeable 7% from last year’s record levels but satisfaction levels remain higher than at any time before 2010. Satisfaction among users is at an all-time high of 63%.
  • Levels of satisfaction with public transport, housing benefit and council tax collection have also all dropped.
  • Satisfaction with Merton’s libraries has never been higher, with 66% of residents saying it is good to excellent, and a record 82% of users saying so.

Young people:

Young people’s concerns are similar to those of adults, with litter the biggest concern but satisfaction with street cleaning remaining positive. Bullying also remains a key concern but the level of concern over crime has fallen significantly this year.

Merton council continues to be viewed fairly positively by young residents, with 77% feeling they get the services they need (a slight increase from 2013), and 84% feeling that the council does enough to protect young people (a significant increase from 2013). 89% of young people surveyed also agree that Merton is a good place to live, whilst significantly more young residents in Merton feel that the council involves young people when compared to the London-wide average (+15%).

As with adults, feeling safe in the local area is a key factor that young people feel could be improved to increase their sense of health and wellbeing (54%). However, overall young people are fairly positive about their health and wellbeing, with 92% saying that they are fairly satisfied with life.

Looking forward:

Whilst we are pleased that residents generally feel we are going a good job, we know there is a lot more work to do. Although satisfaction with street cleaning remains positive concern about litter has continued to increase. Concern about traffic congestion also remains a key issue for local residents These are areas we will look to target whilst making sure we continue to provide value for money to our residents.

Technical note

  1. The survey is carried out through face-to-face questionnaire-based interviews, averaging 17 minutes with each respondent.
  2. Interviews were conducted at 104 sample points across the borough with people from a variety of backgrounds.
  3. Respondents must indicate that they have been in the borough for at least six months to be interviewed.
  4. The survey with young people was carried out with residents aged 11 – 17.
  5. Image questions are statements put to residents who are asked to agree or disagree, for instance: "Merton offers value for money" or "Merton is doing a good job".
  6. Results on services are usually provided separately for users of the service and the population as a whole.
  7. London comparisons are based on a survey in October 2014 with 1,074 people across London. It is separate from surveys undertaken in individual London boroughs.

Previous surveys

Contact us

Consultation and Community Engagement,
Merton Civic Centre,
London Road

Tel: 020 8545 3896

This page was last updated on Tuesday 9 February 2016

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