Poll results: What should be the three main focus areas of councillors this year?

We asked you what three areas you think councillors should predominantly focus on addressing this year with a list of ten different options. Thank you to everyone who responded – we had 74 responses in total. Here’s what you said.

The full picture:

The remaining options all came in with under 10% of the votes, demonstrating a relatively high level of agreement with the top three above and a more divided split between the rest.  ↪  Click each on each priority to find LGIUs resources to support you in this area.

For example, joint fourth on the priority list with 9.5% of the votes each is ‘better management of public spending‘ and ‘making neighbourhoods more liveable‘.

Closely behind with 8.1% is ‘addressing housing affordability‘.

And another tie comes in for the sixth spot between ‘supporting high streets and local businesses‘ and ‘engaging with communities and increasing democratic participation‘ with 6.8% of votes each.

Landing seventh is ‘encouraging people to lead healthier and more active lives‘ with 5.4% of votes.

And so, out of the options we polled, the lowest priority on the list with 1.4% of the votes is ‘ensuring a vibrant cultural landscape‘.

The remaining 1.4% of the votes went to ‘other’ with one commenter explaining the missing priority for them from an England perspective is ‘making integrated care happen and pushing for NHS reform especially the points which crossover with local government’.

What you told us

The top three:

According to our poll responders, the top priority focus area they believe councillors should address this year is ‘alleviating the cost of living crisis‘ with a high 21.6% of all votes.

The second biggest concern, ‘improving children’s and young people’s life chances‘, came in 4% behind the top focus area but was still flagged as significantly important with 17.6% of votes.

And, the third biggest area that our voters want councillors to focus on this year is ‘tackling the climate crisis in the local area‘ with 12.2% highlighting this issue as an immediate priority.


Read on for support in these priority areas.

How LGIU can support you in supporting your communities


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Top priority: Resources for tackling the cost of living crisis

UPDATED: Collection on the cost of living crisis

What does a ‘cost of living crisis’ actually encompass? This LGIU collection has everything you need to read! It explains the current situation, highlights the aspects that are of most relevance for local government and points you in the direction of leading resources and ideas to help you get to grips with this significant issue.

You’ll find a wide range of tailored local government resources including case studies, briefings, expert advice, research, panel events and more. Get stuck in here.

Panel summary: Delivering for communities in a cost of living crisis

Members and Global Local premium subscribers can check out the highlights from our first 2023 Global Local Executive Panel. In partnership with the Improvement Services, Chief Executives from around Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Australia came together to discuss their firsthand experience of delivering for communities during a cost of living crisis and how local government can tackle the various challenges it poses. Read here.

Global Local: Cost of living during a climate crisis

This edition of Global Local highlights ways in which councils can address the climate emergency while also supporting residents through the impacts of the cost-of-living crisis. Available to read here for LGIU members and Global Local subscribers.

Find out more about Global Local and how you can sign up today here.

Priority two: Improving children and young people's life chances

Training: Make a difference as a councillor

Councillors can have a big impact on the lives of children, young people and their and families. Our upcoming training session helps you consider your role and priorities as a councillor to maximise your impact.

11 Jul 2023, 09:30–12:30 / 12 Sep 2023, 09:30–12:30

This course is part of the LGIU Build your own curriculum programme. Buy 2 courses in the programme and get the third for free (plus earn an LGIU certificate of completion). Purchase your 3-pack here.

Youth Justice: Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan and response

This briefing looks at the recently released UK Government’s Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan for England and Wales and the implications it holds for children and young people along with some related publications.

Emerging technologies in education

Over the last decade, the digitalisation of education has already created a number of opportunities for students and educators alike. More recently, emerging (new) technologies – think AI, learning analytics, virtual reality or robotics – have begun to take education to the next stage as we explore in this Global Local newsletter.

Priority three: tackling the climate crisis in the local area

Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

Supporting resilient communities to address health and wellbeing

This briefing identifies key challenges to public health and wellbeing in the face of a changing climate and looks at examples of how councils in the UK and internationally are beginning to address them.

We have a vast library of member-exclusive resources on climate change and how local government can respond and lead the way forward – explore the topic in further detail here.

Why loving local is key to tackling climate emergency and cost of living crisis

Scotland Loves Local started as a campaign born out of the Covid-19 pandemic and has now evolved into a community-wide mission to drive long-term sustainable change. In this article, Kimberley Guthrie, Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership Interim tells us all about the big plans on the horizon.

At LGIU, we’re always sharing inspiring best practice stories and ideas – sign up to our weekly And Finally newsletter to never miss out or share your own story with us here.

Global Local Executive Panel: Approaching climate action while in permacrisis

At LGIU, we are excited to be partnering with the VLGA to gather together senior executives from Ireland, the UK and Australia to explore how local government can approach climate action while in a permacrisis. Book your place today!

13 Jul 2023, 8:30–10:00 (BST) / 17:30–19:00 (AEST)

This session is part of our Global Local Executive Panel series. Explore more local solutions to global challenges – FREE for LGIU members.

Collection: Environmental governance

This collection showcases the wide range of LGIU work that covers all things environmental governance on a local level, including best environmental practice from local leaders around the world, the importance of community engagement, and adaptation and resilience strategies. Dive in right here.

Collection: Pollution

This next climate collection tackles pollution, including air, waste and water. From exclusive LGIU member content to our Global Local newsletters, plus articles which are free for anyone to read, these collections provide resources to support better policy and practice for your communities. Get into the thick of it all right here.

Collection: Energy – powering local future

Last, but not least, this collection explores energy on a local level, including transitions in energy sources and powering future homes. It has plenty of key resources to offer for staff and councillors in public services that aspire to drive a sustainable energy transition in their areas. Read all about it here.