As well as inviting written evidence and listening to views first hand, the Commission asked Ipsos MORI to undertake a survey of Scottish households on their views of local democracy and how it might be improved.
MORI contacted 1,006 respondents (adults aged 16+) by telephone between 29th November and 5th December 2013. The sample achieved was representative of the Scottish population in terms of geographic location, age, sex and working status and included demographic data against which the findings can be analysed, such as household composition, national identity and political preferences.
Two out of three respondents said that they would be willing to pay more in Council Tax if they could be guaranteed that the money raised was to be spent on local services such as schools and care for older people. More than seven in ten people felt that one size does not fit all in terms of service delivery and that local services should be delivered in ways that meet the needs of local people in their area.
In addition, 6 in 10 adults said that they do not feel part of how decisions which affect their community are made, an opinion that is shared among those of all ages and from deprived and affluent neighbourhoods alike. Fewer than half of adults (44%), and only a third of young adults (34%) feel clear about who makes decisions about how local services are delivered in their area. 60% believe that decisions about public services are taken too far away from where we live and 54% think that central government controls more decisions about local decisions than it did in the past.
82% of people agreed that they would like more say in how services are provided in their neighbourhood. This desire to have a say in service provision was equally strong in Scotland’s most deprived communities (83% agreed). More than 75% said that they would get more involved in their local community if it were easier to participate in the decisions that affect it, a figure that rose to 87% among those living in the most deprived neighbourhoods in Scotland.
Download the survey results: Commission MORI Poll
View the press release: Press Release