During late February and March 2011 APSE surveyed members using an online system. Although the Decentralisation and Localism Bill, in the context of the ‘Community Right to Challenge’, applies only to English local authorities we extended the survey to ensure opinions and experience could be gathered from across the UK. A total of 140 responses were received.
Whilst respondents were predominantly based within English authorities representing 78.6% of all respondents 12.9% of respondents were based within Scottish local authorities, 5.0% in Wales and 2.9% within Northern Ireland.
There was an even spread of respondents across different service areas within local government, averaging around a 15% response rate for service areas across refuse collection, leisure services, housing, building maintenance, community and civic venues and soft facilities management. The lowest sector specific response came from within social care at 3.6% and the highest sector group was parks and public realm at 20.7%.
During the survey APSE also facilitated a range of discussions at round table events organised through the APSE advisory group networks and at a regional events. These additional opportunities for discussion have provided APSE with an opportunity to gain a more detailed understanding of the core issues. These issues have been used to inform this paper in reporting the views of APSE members and informing the debate on the ‘community right to challenge’ and the use of the third sector in the delivery of public services.
The results of the survey and the roundtable events, will in addition to this paper, be used to inform APSE’s response to the current Government consultation on the ‘Community Right to Challenge’.
A copy of the full report is available to download below: