The results of Croydon Council’s first major resident survey since the pandemic have been published – giving a statistically significant picture of resident views on both the council and the borough.
The survey is the first for many years and reflects the Executive Mayor’s commitment to put listening to Croydon at the heart of the council’s approach. It will give the council a better understanding of the views and priorities of the borough’s communities as it continues to make improvements to services, following the governance and financial crisis of previous years.
A total of 1,694 on-street interviews were carried out between September to December last year in a number of locations across the borough, to ensure a representative mix from different areas of Croydon. People were asked about a range of characteristics including age, gender, ethnicity, disability, with targets for each to ensure that those interviewed were representative of Croydon’s population.
The surveys were carried out by an independent market research company with experience running similar surveys in other London boroughs.
The survey asked for opinions on Croydon the place and their community, local services provided by the council and its partners, as well as questions to measure satisfaction with the council. These included the way the council is run, the services it provides, value for money, and whether they feel well informed.
Most respondents (69%) were satisfied with their local area as a place to live. Croydon’s good public transport links were perceived as one of the best things about living in Croydon by residents (45%), along with the variety of shops (23%) and the availability of parks and open spaces for residents to enjoy (22%).
Respondents reported a strong sense of community in Croydon, with 78% of residents feeling strongly that they belong to their immediate neighbourhood and 82% saying that the local area is a place where people from different backgrounds get on well together.
Residents told the council that keeping the streets safe, clean and well lit were the most important services provided by the council, followed by education and other services for children and young people.
While Croydon continues to make strong progress in tackling its financial challenges and transforming the council, the results showed there is more work to be done to rebuild the trust with local people.
Of those interviewed, 45% of residents were satisfied with the way the council runs things, 11% points below the October 2023 Local Government Association (LGA) benchmark. When asked why, residents who were satisfied often recalled positive experiences with council services or staff, while a number of those dissatisfied referenced the council’s previous financial crisis. Of those interviewed, 45% stated they have trust in the council, 10 per cent below the national benchmark given by the LGA.
The report on the survey results will go to the Executive Mayor and cabinet for discussion on Wednesday 31 January. The feedback from the survey will help to inform future improvements and service plans across the council and will be shared with council partners to ensure that together, they respond to the views of residents. View the residents’ survey results here.
“The past few years have been difficult for people in Croydon. It’s clear the council’s relationship with residents has been damaged by the council’s disastrous financial collapse in 2020 and the serious governance failings that caused it.
“Since being elected in May 2022, I have made it my priority to put this right, by tackling our financial challenges – and, above all, listening to local people to understand their priorities and how we can offer them the best possible value in a way that is sustainable.
“Carrying out this survey and publishing the results is an important part of listening to Croydon. It will help us to understand how our residents they feel about the place and where they live and its communities; our council and the services it provides; and what is important to them in their daily lives. This feedback will inform the way we and our partners deliver services for local people, so that we are accountable to residents and putting them first in all we do. My thanks to everyone who has taken part.”
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon