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PUBLIC TALK DOWN COUNCIL SERVICES IN CITIZEN'S CHARTER POLL

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Local roads and street cleaning score the highest dissatisfaction ratings in a survey of attitudes to 31 public ser...
Local roads and street cleaning score the highest dissatisfaction ratings in a survey of attitudes to 31 public services by the Citizen's Charter Unit.

More than 3,000 people were asked how well they thought the different services were performing. Three of the seven local government services covered in the study feature in the bottom five for current performance.

Nearly 60% of users said the local road service is not doing very or at all well. Half those classified as users of street cleaning thought the service was doing very or fairly well but nearly as many (44%) thought the opposite.

Council housing came fifth from bottom after law courts and prisons.

The best performing local government service in the public's opinion is primary education. Primary schools are doing very well or fairly well in the opinion of 84% of users.

Three private sector services were included for comparison and one of them - supermarkets - scored the highest performance rating. Respondents were also asked to identify the three services they would most like to see improved. Council housing was mentioned by 34% after NHS hospitals which were a priority for 37%.

Local roads, secondary and primary schools and the police were all mentioned by about a quarter of the sample.

Local government fared better when the respondents were asked to judge whether a service was doing better or worse than last year. Supermarkets again came top. Primary schools scored well with 21% of users saying they had improved compared to 17% who thought the opposite.

Refuse collection was judged to be better by 19% of people. Local roads have improved since last year according to 10% of the users but 41% think they are worse.

The survey found 70% agreed slightly or strongly that it is a good idea for public services to publish league tables.

Nearly half the respondents agreed strongly that private companies should have a chance to show they can provide services cheaper or better than the public sector.

The survey also found support for performance related pay with 48% strongly agreeing it should be used in the public sector.

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