2007 residents' surveyWe conducted a survey in August 2007 to find out what residents think about living in Belfast and about council services.
In total, 1,517 residents from the nine electoral areas across the city were surveyed. The responses helped to shape our policies and priorities and the consultation was carried out by an independent consultancy, BMG Research.
Focus groupsIn addition to a door-to-door survey, a series of five focus groups were held. The purpose of these groups was to look at the key issues which were raised in the survey and to ensure that certain groups of people, such as young people, older people and people with disabilities, had a chance to have their say.
This was the fourth large scale public consultation exercise that we have carried out. Consultations were also carried out in 1999, 2001 and 2004.
ResultsThe results from the 2007 resident survey are split up into three parts:
People want the council to lead the city
- 86% of residents agreed that the council was important to their everyday lives - a 17% increase from 2003.
- 56% felt that the council is the organisation best placed to direct the future shape of the city.
- 84% of residents felt it was important for the council to consult them.
People want a safer, cleaner, greener city now and for future generations.When asked what the council's priorities should be, residents highlighted:
- working to make local areas safer (54%)
- working to make your local area cleaner and greener (42%)
- creating a clear vision for the city's future (37%)
- promoting good relations between communities (34%)
- helping to create a better city for children (29%).
People want more facilities and activities for our young people.We asked residents what they felt would most help to improve their quality of life. The top four things identified include:
- activities for teenagers (41%)
- cleanliness of the streets (29%)
- facilities for young people (25%)
- access to affordable, decent housing (18%).
The survey results indicated that our residents enjoy living in Belfast and have seen many improvements during the past three years.
Satisfaction with the council and our services is improving
- 74% of residents were satisfied with our overall service provision - up from 65% in 2004.
- 64% of respondents felt that council services are available when they need them.
- 61% of residents believed that we are efficient in delivering our services.
Communication between the council and residents is improving
- 91% of respondents stated that receiving and reading City Matters helps increase their understanding of the work of the council.
- 61% were satisfied with how easy it is to find information about the council.
- 41% of residents agreed that the council keeps residents informed about what it is doing.
Residents want more say
- 70% of respondents stated that they did not feel they were given sufficient opportunity to have a say in how Belfast is developed.
Belfast is getting better
- 96% of respondents enjoyed living in Belfast compared to 92% in 2004.
- 68% felt that Belfast has got better during the past three years while only 8% felt it has got worse.
Neighbourhoods are improving
- 81% felt that their neighbourhoods have got better or stayed the same during the past three years.
- The best three things about living in
- good neighbours (29%)
- family and friends (22%)
- local amenities (10%).
- 62% said that recycling facilities had improved during the past three years and 60% felt that the general appearance of the city has improved.
- Residents highlighted that the worst things about living in Belfast were antisocial behaviour (24%) and religious tension (9%).
- When asked which aspects of life
had got worse over the past three
years, residents identified areas which
are outside the direct control of
the council. These include
- access to affordable housing (47%)
- cost of living (44%)
- traffic congestion (42%).