Annual User Survey

About the survey

Every year, we ask the officers and councillors who use LGiU’s member-only services what they think: of us, of our services and about what we should be focusing on over the next year (and beyond).

We’d like to thank those who used the survey to tell us how much they appreciate what we do. We’re a small team – although we produce a massive range of services – and it’s great to hear that we do is both widely used and useful. We have also been reading through the points you raised regarding what topics we should look at, and how we can improve the services we provide to you and your council.

What you told us

Daily News

96% of you say that you’re “very” or “quite” satisfied with Daily News. Since we first launched this product in 2013, satisfaction with it has risen every year. Daily News now reaches over 20,000 councillors and officers across England and Wales – and we’ve recently launched Scottish and Irish versions of the bulletin. Enquire via partnerships@lgiu.org.uk if you’re interesting in seeing those.

Policy Briefings

Most of you think our policy briefings are “almost always” or “usually” on the right topics – 96% of you. We asked for additional suggestions, and hundreds of you shared your thoughts on what we should be looking at in our briefings. We’ll be looking closely at all your suggestions in the coming months.

Weekly Policy Summary

Every Friday, we publish our roundup of news, briefings, publications and events. Those of you that read it say you find it useful as a check on what you might have missed during the week. However, many people said they wished they had time to read it, but often couldn’t – although they appreciated that the information was in bitesize format. We recently tweaked how the summary is presented, and will continue to look for ways to improve it. 

Other services

For the first time, we asked you to tell us which LGiU member services you had used in the past year. Our most popular services are Daily News, Policy Briefings, our publications and C’llr Magazine. Many of you have also attended our learning and development events, taking advantage of the LGiU member discount. Ditto our policy roundtables and networking opportunities. However, less than 1 in 10 of you has used our members’ area on the website, the briefings bank of previous Policy Briefings or invited us to run in-house training at your council.

Our policy agenda

This year’s user survey revealed that awareness of our policy programme is on the rise. In 2017, we’ll once again be structuring our thinking around key themes – finance, services and democracy. You can sign up for updates on those themes on our policy projects page or via the new sign up form. We also asked you to consider what should be top of our agenda. Funding local government was the clear winner: nearly 200 of you said you’d like us to keep on looking at how councils are financed, how they can become financially sustainable and how they can continue to fund services. Devolution, adult social care and housing were also top priorities. Health and social care integration, leaving the European Union, planning and commercialisation also ranked highly.

Adult social care, social care crisisBrexitBusiness rate reformPlanningDevolutionEducationFunding local governmentTransportHealth and social care integrationPartnership workingHousing, affordable housing, social housingInequalitiesLocal government reformWelfare reforms

What are we working on?

Awareness of services

Some of you pointed out that you’re not always aware of everything that we do. We have recently launched a new sign up form that shows you everything you’re entitled to receive via email. You can also use our members page to find out about our other services, including C’llr Magazine, learning and development events and networking opportunities. We’ll also do our best to promote our publications and events to you. You can also get in touch with the Partnerships Team at any time via partnerships@lgiu.org.uk if you have any questions about your membership services.

Policy debates around the UK

We asked you if you think LGiU is effectively engaging with policy debates around the country. While many weren’t sure, 86% of those that did take a view said we’re “concerned” or “actively engaging with” issues across the country. We want to keep you informed about policy developments across the UK, but we know it’s also important that information about your local area reaches you too. With this in mind, we’re trialling a new regional lunchtime summary update with selected councils. Watch out for that in your inboxes. We’ll also keep on doing our best to make sure our policy briefings, publications and other work looks at issues that matter to everyone.

International horizons

One of the issues you’d like us to look at is how international affairs affect local government here in the UK – and look beyond the UK when providing examples of good or innovative practice. With our new service for Scottish councils up and running, and our work in Ireland taking off, we’ve been working on a programme of work that does exactly that. We’ll be regularly publishing briefings that draw on examples from local governments around the world, and that explore how the huge global changes taking place affect councils here in the UK.

Your top policy issues

Funding local government, as above, is the number one top issue you’d like us to look at. You can take a look at recent and upcoming work on this here, as well as sign up for updates on it. We’ll be asking what a sustainable system for funding local government would look like, how councils can support local growth and what greater fiscal devolution should look like. You also let us know that you’d like us to keep on top of devolution: again, you can see our ongoing work on the nature of democracy and devolution here and sign up for updates. We’ll be investigating what’s next for devolution, localism and local leadership. For our thinking on services and how local government can best provide services in the future, take a look at our work here.

Brexit, Brexit, Brexit

Naturally, lots of you said you wanted to hear plenty from us on how Brexit will affect your work. You can see all of our work on Brexit here and make sure you’re signed up for our Brexit updates via the new sign up form.

Too much information?

We produce a lot of emails – over 12 million individual emails during 2016, in fact. We know it can feel like your inboxes are buckling under the weight of all the information you need to digest. This year, we moved to a new email platform, in part to make it easier for you to control which emails you receive. Every email we send you has a link to ‘manage your preferences’ and change the bulletins you get. Alternatively, contact partnerships@lgiu.org.uk if you’d like to change your preferences.

Events around the UK

London’s a convenient location for many, but lots of you would prefer to attend events closer to home. In fact we run events around the country – recent event locations include Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool. Our 2016 annual review shows the extent of our work across England. We’ve also been experimenting with webinars, as you’ve asked us to do in previous user surveys. In 2017 we’ll do our best to let you know where and when our events happen.

Providing PDFs of policy briefings

Last year we stopped providing PDFs of our policy briefings. Because we send so many briefings out to members every week, it was time consuming and cumbersome to produce up-to-date PDFs for all our briefings. With a small team and limited time, we’ve been focusing on sending you top quality briefings. However, we know some of you would like the option to download PDFs. We are exploring solutions that will allow us to provide you with PDFs again. In the meantime, you can of course download any webpage (including policy briefings) as PDFs by clicking ‘File – Save As – PDF’ or ‘File – Print – Send to PDF’.