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Residents' Survey needs More Investigation

July 20, 2008 12:17 PM
There's more to be gained from the 2007 Residents' Survey

There's more to be gained from the 2007 Residents' Survey

At a meeting on 22nd July, the borough council will be asked to look again at the findings of the 2007 Residents' Survey.

Lib Dem councillors will ask that the views of the 18-24 and 25-34 age groups are properly analysed because the 2007 Residents' Survey did not accurately represent the demographics of the 2001 census data.

The census states that the 18-34 age group is 24.7% of the borough's population, but contributed 15.5% to the Survey results. Furthermore, the 18-24 age group provides 9% of our population, but contributed only 3.8% to the Survey results. A further survey - the 2006 Citizens' Panel Survey - also did not accurately represent the demographics of the 2001 census data. Against the census data of 24.7% of our population falling in the age range 18-34, this age group contributed only 11.2% to the Survey results and the 9% in the 18-24 age group contributed only 2.7% to the results.

One of the council's key objectives is to support young people. Looking again at the views expressed by these two age groups will give the council a much better idea of their likes and dislikes, satisfaction levels with council services, and suggestions and ideas which also form part of the survey documents.

Cllr Julie Morris, leader of the Lib Dem group of councillors said "Under representation by these two age ranges could be quite significant in how the results of these surveys compare with previous surveys. The council claims improvements on fractional amounts of a percentage yet does not "weight" the document to reflect accurately the demographics of our population. We don't really know what those younger age groups think or how satisfied or dissatisfied they are. What we do know is that the older age groups are over-represented when it comes to analysing the results. It's quite a simple task to re-run the analysis for the two age groups concerned. Once we have that information, the council can sensibly more forward to give priority to younger people based on their opinions."