Nearly 250 of you gave us your thoughts on our work in this year’s user survey. We asked our members what you thought of our services – Daily News, Policy Briefings – as well as how you use our information (and why you value it). We’ll use this feedback to build on what we’ve delivered in 2017 and make 2018 even better.
Every morning over breakfast, thousands of councillors, local government officers, CEOs, MSPs and others receive our roundup of news headlines from across Scotland and the rest of the UK. We asked our members what they value most about this email – the short answer is brevity, breadth and timing.
“First item of reading over breakfast.” Councillor, Fife
So far this year (and it’s not quite over!) we’ve published 97 policy briefings, on topics ranging from universal credit to progress made on health and social care integration to creating walking cities. We’ve also released timely briefings on topics such as the local elections and the budget. We’ve also briefed extensively on international local government and finance. You told us in the survey that you appreciate how many areas we’ve covered this year. The fact that they’re also concise and relevant to our members’ work also ranked highly.
We also checked in with members to see what topics you would like to receive policy briefings on. As you might expect, finance, legal changes affecting councils and education were the overall winners here. Welfare reform, inequalities, housing and homelessness, health and social care and digital transformation of services were also suggested by a number of members. We’re working through every suggestion and will use these to inform our programme for next year.
“A great service and much appreciated.” Councillor, Orkney
This year, we were particularly curious about how people use the wealth of information we send out. Many members have used information in our Daily News or Policy Briefings to write council policies, as well as reach out to other councils who are working on similar projects.
Perhaps most importantly in these challenging times, we also wanted to know if we are saving our members time and money. By providing digested news headlines, flagging up new ideas, sharing examples and summarising lengthy reports, the majority of our members feel that our services save them time and money.
“It is exceptionally helpful and time saving to have bite sized information sent daily but also to have access to more detailed info when required.” Officer, South Ayrshire
Finally, we asked if the work we do makes our members feel more prepared – to speak with colleagues, with residents and with managers. Over 90% of you felt more prepared to speak with colleagues! Some of you also felt more prepared to talk to residents, the media, elected members and managers.
And finally – a big thanks to everyone who took the opportunity to tell us to ‘keep up the good work’! We’re looking forward to an exciting and far-reaching programme of work in 2018 – more on that soon.
“Please keep up the good work. I’m looking forward to you keeping me informed in 2018.” Officer, North Lanarkshire