Thursday, 25 June 2009

Place Survey and Spin

Fellow Nottingham blogger Alan a Dale has already looked at this one but while he got his heads up from the Post I got mine from the NCC press release. As this gave the impression that the 'Place Survey' released by the Department for Communities and Local Government describes Nottingham as the land of milk and honey I just had to take my cynical little self off and look at the actual figures.

As Alan points out its a fairly mixed message for Nottingham but it really isn't too bad overall for an urban area with some extremely high deprivation figures. Is it really too much to ask NCC's spin doctors to reflect this mixed message rather than homing in, Exocet like, on the bits that make NCC look good?

So lets have a look at a few of the figures that the press release throws at us and maybe have a little peek at some of those it erm, forgot.

"74% of residents are satisfied with the refuse collection."

Not bad eh? I imagine that NCC would also like to trumpet their success in recycling as, no they wouldn't because only 54.8% of us are happy with this service.

And we're not too keen on NCC's ability to keep public land clear of litter either, with only 54.2% of us very or fairly satisfied with that, which is somewhat mid table. But NCC would rather we heard about the fact that 65.2% of us are happy with parks and open spaces. Not to sure how to reconcile those two figures, all I can think of is that Nottingham peeps like our parks with a smattering of empty McDonalds cartons and used condoms, gives the place a bit of character...

And with a slightly triumphal flourish we are given the news that more people are generally satisfied with how NCC runs things (46.9%) than Derby's citizens (35.2%) or Leicester's (40.1%).


Leicester's spin doctors would probably counter that 32.3% of the Leicester population believe that Leicester City Council gives value for money compared with 30.3% for NCC. They would then no doubt say "ner ner ne neeerrr ner, you smell of pooh." Derby is still in the dog house with this one though with only 27.1%. They would probably have to reach for their recycling satisfaction figure of 68.5% in order to claw back a round in this game of East Midlands Urban Council Top Trumps.

But as Alan says, its questionable as to how much use this data is with Nottingham's response rate of only 34%. And Leicester and Derby's were even worse with 30% and 29% respectively.

But my point isn't to embark on an analysis of the figures, I just wanted to take the piss out of Nottingham City Council's pathetic spinning.

Look, we can take the truth, it won't kill us to hear that, although some of NCC's services are very good, some are a little bit crap. Most of us already know that anyway. Just wrap it up in a nice positive sandwich, we'll wipe away a small tear and we'll cope. And we might take NCC's press releases a bit more seriously too.

Addendum; interesting if somewhat off topic analysis of community cohesion figures in the Place Survey and ethnic make up from Liberal Conspiracy blog.


Anonymous said...

Love the NCC press release on their website. Looks like they got that image of the venerable old geezer and his grandson from the same place as the BNP got their pictures of 'typical Brits' for their Euro election leaflet.

Andy said...

Yeah, and there'll be a huge scandal about how they actually live in West Bridgford.

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