Liverpudlians are more aware of local council cuts than residents of three other major English cities, and are more likely to say cuts have had a negative impact on them, according to a poll conducted for the independent trust Power to Change.
The YouGov polling looked at how local people have experienced cuts to some council services in Birmingham, London, Liverpool and Manchester.
It has been released as Power to Change launches a campaign to help people across England take over assets from their local councils, and breathe new life into forgotten libraries, leisure centres, public parks and other spaces.
The polling, conducted before the General Election was called, found:
- 69% Liverpudlians are aware of financial cuts that have been made to council-run services in the area since 2010. This compares with 68% in Birmingham, 63% in Manchester and just 53% in London. The average for England is 60%.
- 83% Liverpudlians aware of these cuts said that they had made a slight or strong negative impact on them. This compares with 82% in Birmingham, 78% in Manchester and 70% in London. The average for England is 74%.
People in Liverpool are also more likely to say that the sense of community well-being in their local area has become a bit or a lot worse since 2010. This is in line with when the cuts began:
- 37% Liverpudlians say that the sense of community well-being in their area has become a bit or a lot worse since 2010. This compares with 32% in Birmingham, 31% in Manchester and 30% in London. The average for England is 33%.
Liverpool Council has made £330m in budget cuts since 2010, after central government more than halved the annual grant it makes to the local authority.
According to new Power to Change analysis, English local authorities could currently hold assets worth up to £7bn which could be handed on to communities to run for themselves.
Richard Harries, Director of the Power to Change Research Unit, said:
‘Continued austerity policies are being felt across England, and evidently Liverpool is feeling it more than most.
‘We make a mistake if we treat local communities as passive players in all this. Increasingly, people are stepping in to save the spaces and buildings that they love and running them for themselves, like the libraries and public land brought back to life in Croxteth by Alt Valley. Even in tough times, these sorts of community businesses can transform places which are otherwise in danger of falling into disrepair’
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from two YouGov Plc surveys. One survey included Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. Total sample size was 504 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 17th – 24th February 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all adults in each city (aged 18+).
The other surveyed Great Britain including a breakdown for London and England. The total sample size was 4,265 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 17th – 21st February 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).