LAMBETHWATCH: THREE MOCK THE WEEK
A Lambeth council report to this week’s meeting of its cabinet includes the annual ‘Residents Survey’ where a marketing company surveys more than 1,000 residents from different areas of the borough.
The report to the cabinet based on the survey says: “The results show very high levels of satisfaction with the council at 72 per cent and approaching six out of 10 (57pc) agree Lambeth council provides good value for money.
(The actual figures are: Very satisfied 14 pc; Fairly satisfied 58 pc; Fairly dissatisfied 11pc; Very dissatisfied six pc.)
The penultimate paragraph of the report to cabinet says: “There has been a decline in the proportion of residents saying staff are friendly and polite (59pc compared to 67); the council resolves problems when asked (46pc compared to 51pc); and: the council responds quickly when asked for help (42pc down from 52pc). “More residents than a year ago say they don’t know.” the report adds.
Yes folks! It’s time once again for – MOCK THE WEEK!
BBC2’s ‘Mock the Week’ often had a sketch where one comedian – usually pretending to be a government spokesman – gives the official viewpoint while a second – usually Hugh Dennis – says what the government actually mean. The host is Dara O’Braian.
For the purposes of this item, Andy Parsons, the bald headed one, (or the follicularly challenged one if you’re one of those politically correct sorts) is the first comedian.
Dara: OK. Your subject tonight is Lambeth council’s annual residents survey. Andy Parsons, you’re the Lambeth council spokesman reading the council”s residents survey, Hugh Dennis – you have to say what Lambeth council actually mean.
Andy: Lambeth council have a longstanding commitment to listening to residents and ensuring that their priorities, views and concerns are used to inform decision-making. We do this in a number of ways; through consultation, engagement, research and partnership.
ITALICS Hugh: We don’t do consultation, engagement, research or partnership.
Andy: The council has had to make, and will continue to make, a number of difficult decisions, often as a result of our reducing grant from central government……
Hugh: These difficult decisions include finding £700,000 to dig out the basement at Carnegie library even though we’ve got no money for libraries because of the reducing grant from central government………
We’ve spent money fighting a judicial review in the High Court in London. We gave building societies and banks around £80 million in the financial year ended March 31st 2016. We give our chief whip £20,000 a year.
.Andy: …..However, our survey shows that even within this context, resident satisfaction with the council remains high.
Hugh: Which was the state some of the people were in when our marketing company approached them.
Andy: The use of some services, such as parks and opens spaces, are valued highly by our residents.
Our survey shows that in some areas, use of services is actually increasing, particularly parks, open spaces and leisure facilities.
Hugh: That’s because we’ve shut two libraries and hugely downsized a third. All the library users have now gone somewhere else.
Andy: These findings have been used to inform Future Lambeth; our borough plan, which is our overarching strategy for the borough, and will continue to inform our budget setting, strategy, and further engagement with residents.
Hugh: Further engagement. More judicial reviews.
Andy: Undertaking the survey and utilising the findings in decision-making provides a clear demonstration of the council’s commitment to give citizens a voice in shaping the future of the borough. Key to this is letting citizens know what the survey findings are.
Hugh: We didn’t include libraries in the survey options. Or demolishing council estates.
Andy: Key findings of the survey: Use of council services – the council continues to provide vital services to the borough from schools, to libraries and adult social care.
Hugh: Except those we’ve shut.
Andy: Lambeth council has a longstanding commitment to listening to residents and ensuring that their priorities, views and concerns are used to inform decision-making
Hugh: If you believe that, you’ll believe anything.