Key findings from the budget priorities survey 2015

Results show that 254 people had expressed their views on budget priorities online or via paper copies; the survey was also available to print off and in Easy Read format.

Results from the survey suggest the following:

People were asked from the main services provided by Devon County Council what they thought were the priorities for their community.

The top three community priorities were –

  • Appropriate community support and care for older people
    (82% selected as Essential or High Priority)
  • Supporting vulnerable individuals and families to prevent neglect and harm
    (79% selected as Essential or High Priority)
  • Maintaining major road networks
    (73% selected as Essential or High Priority)

The lowest community priorities were –

  • Supporting home to school transport
    (29% selected as Essential or High Priority)
  • Supporting healthy lifestyles
    (24% selected as Essential or High Priority)
  • Supporting Devon’s cultural heritage
    (20% selected as Essential or High Priority)

People were asked about the main services provided by Devon County Council and whether they thought spending should be protected or reduced.

When asked which of the services listed they would like the Council to protect the most the top priorities were –

  • Residential and nursing care for older people and those with physical disabilities
    (83% Protect service as much as possible)
  • Community care services for older people and those with physical disabilities
    (82% Protect service as much as possible)
  • Safeguarding vulnerable children
    (76% Protect service as much as possible)

When asked if any services listed should particularly have investment reduced those services that were lowest priority were –

  • Trading Standards
    (21% Protect service as much as possible)
  • Streetlights
    (19% Protect service as much as possible)
  • Planning and development control
    (17% Protect service as much as possible)

When asked about their community, respondents indicated that they felt that they fairly strongly belonged to their local community, with 63% thinking communities could play a bigger role in the running of local services. Suggestions that Devon County Council could help communities by signposting to information and advice (52%), help with seed funding (50%), and training (48%) were selected by around half of the respondents, and community buildings by under two-fifths (39%). The Council could play an active part in facilitating community activities.

Overall 74% of respondents were either already involved, or would like to get involved in their local community. 40% of respondents indicated that they would like to get involved, or more involved in their local community, whilst 34% said they were already involved, but felt they could not do more.

A significant percentage of respondents indicated that they are already reducing waste and recycling (84%), as well as using online public services (72%). Under a half (43%) said they already help family or neighbours, a third (32%) to volunteer or help run a service, and around a fifth (22%) support their community safety.

When asked whether they would pay more council tax to protect services, 75% of respondents selected ‘Yes’, whilst 47% of respondents said they were satisfied with the way Devon County Council has managed the tough choices faced.