Concern over low response rate to ‘Big Notts Survey’

Concerns have been raised about Nottinghamshire Council’s ‘Big Notts Survey’ after 7,000 responses were received from hundreds of thousands of requests.

By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter
Saturday, 4th September 2021, 8:25 am

It comes despite thousands of pounds being spent on what the authority described as its “biggest ever survey”.

Council figures show the survey received 6,136 responses between August 23 and its launch three weeks earlier.

This number has since increased to ‘more than 7,000’, the council’s leader confirmed at Thursday’s policy committee meeting.

Nottinghamshire Council is currently surveying its residents.

It is described as the ‘highest number of engagements’ from any survey conducted by the authority – but falls far short of the authority’s consultation targets.

The survey, which closes on September 19, has been sent to hundreds of thousands of homes, asking residents their views on numerous issues before responses drive the council’s emerging 10-year plan.

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Adverts have also been taken out online, and the survey amounts to an overall cost of £50,000 to the taxpayer.

Coun Jason Zadrozny, member for Ashfield, who sits on the policy committee, described the survey as a ‘missed opportunity’.

The survey is asking residents questions on a range of issues, including Covid recovery, the biggest issues in their area, and their aspirations for the future.

Council leader Ben Bradley told the meeting he is ‘optimistic’ more responses will arrive before the September 19 deadline.

He said: “I’ve asked for this to be the start of an ongoing, two-way conversation with residents, and we’re going back to those residents and telling them what we’re doing.”

The survey can be accessed on the council’s website and social media pages, as well as in libraries across the county.