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Residents loving life in Edinburgh

Posted: 10th May 2018

Residents continue to enjoy life in the Capital, according to the Edinburgh People Survey 2017 – the largest study of its kind in Scotland.

Of the 5,180 respondents to the annual survey, 95% said they were satisfied with Edinburgh as a place to live, while 69% said they were content with the way the Council manages the city – up from 66% the previous year.

Participants also recognised Edinburgh as an inclusive and diverse city, with 85% perceiving neighbourhoods as a place where people from different backgrounds can get on well together and the vast majority – 94% – agreeing that the Capital is welcoming and accessible to people of all ages.

A steady increase in satisfaction with refuse collection and recycling over the last few years – currently 69% and 72% respectively – contrary to a national long-term decline, reflects ongoing improvements to the service.

Council Leader, Councillor Adam McVey, said: “Each year the Edinburgh People Survey gives us a real insight into the public’s perception of Edinburgh, the services we provide and the areas in which we can improve.

“I’m pleased to see that, once again, residents are satisfied with life here – with satisfaction with the way the Council manages the city up 3% – and that the vast majority feel safe and included in their communities, making Edinburgh the welcoming place it is.

“That said, we are also well aware of the areas for improvement, thanks to participants’ feedback, and these results will prove invaluable to our work prioritising services as we move forward.”

Depute Council Leader, Councillor Cammy Day, said: “Edinburgh People Survey 2017 makes positive reading, and I’m delighted that the majority of respondents are happy with so many aspects of life in the city – from public transport to cultural events or refuse collection.

“We do recognise that there are a number of areas that scored lower though, and we fully intend to take these concerns into account as we work to improve the city.”

Community life features heavily in the Edinburgh People Survey, which showed that 39% of respondents feel they are able to have a say on things happening in their area, the highest figure since the survey began.

It is recognised that the figure could be improved, though it is intended that the recent establishment of Locality Committees across the city will address more issues at a local level. Other areas for improvement include road and pavement maintenance, dog fouling and graffiti and cycle safety.

A number of questions added in 2016 highlight residents’ travel habits and demonstrate, for the second year, the bus to be the most common form of transport, with three quarters of participants using the service in the last month (compared to 68% in 2016) – chiming with 90% satisfaction with public transport. The public travel on foot most frequently though, walking 5.6 days a week, followed by travel by car or van, which was used 4.3 days a week.

Key findings in the Edinburgh People Survey 2017 include:

  • Residents continue to be happy with life in Edinburgh, with 95% of participants satisfied and 89% content with their neighbourhood as a place to live.
  • 84% of citizens feel safe in their neighbourhood after dark, while most don’t think violent crime (86%), graffiti and vandalism (76%) or antisocial behaviour (72%) is an issue in their area.
  • More people than ever – 67% – attended a festival in Edinburgh in the last two years, with 76% believing festivals make the Capital a better place to live.
  • When contacting the Council over the last year, as many people used the website (18%) as the telephone (17%).
  • More than two thirds of respondents – 72% – agree the Council cares about the environment.
  • 57% think the Council keeps them informed about the services it provides – compared to 48% in 2014.
  • Edinburgh’s parks and green spaces are as popular as ever, with an 86% rate of satisfaction, which has gradually increased over recent years.
  • 47% of respondents had used the library in the previous 12 months, with 91% satisfied with the service.
  • Almost half (47%) of cyclists feel safe using roads, dipping from 53% in 2016.
  • Two thirds of citizens are confident about their job prospects in Edinburgh, broadly consistent with recent years.

Information gathered by the survey is used throughout the year to inform work with services, while identified areas for improvement will be addressed, with updates on progress fed back to committee mid-year.

The survey is undertaken through face-to-face interviews with residents across the city’s 17 multi-member wards each year, conducted in the street and door-to-door.

Members of the Corporate Policy and Strategy Committee will consider the survey results on Tuesday, 15 May.
Download the full report from the Council website.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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