2012/2013 National Survey for Wales – Local Authority level results

The National Survey for Wales is an annual survey undertaken across Wales’ 22 local authorities and which replaced the Living in Wales survey series in 2009. It is designed to elicit residents’ perceptions, attitudes, opinions and experiences on a wide range of issues and topics, from health, education to local services. In accordance with the principles of random stratified sampling, a technique utilised to achieve unbiased and representative results, 14,500 households were randomly selected to participate in a 25 minute face-to-face interview. At a local authority level, a minimum of 600 interviews were conducted in each of the 22 Counties, including Carmarthenshire. The ‘headline results’ are structured into several key domains and form the basis of this report. In total, the first release of statistics for the 2012/13 NSW contains disaggregated data, available at a local authority level, for 22 questions. It is widely anticipated that all results will be broken down at a local authority level in the coming months.

Local Authority Services

Figure 1: Proportion of people who agree/disagree their Council provides high quality services, by local authority

When surveyed, 60% of Carmarthenshire respondents agreed that Carmarthenshire County Council provides high quality services, which is three percentage points above the Wales average (57%). Carmarthenshire ranked 4th, bettered only by Cardiff, Caerphilly and Vale of Glamorgan respectively. Furthermore, this is consistent with the results of the 2012 Citizen’s Panel Survey, whereby 55% judged the Council to be a good provider of services.


Figure 2: Local authority is good at letting people know how well it is performing, by local authority
Carmarthenshire County Council was ranked as the best local authority in Wales in terms of letting people know how well it is performing, with 52% of Carmarthenshire residents agreeing with the aforementioned statement. The county’s result is considerably higher (9%) than the Wales average of 41%.

Figure 3: Would like more information on local authority's performance, by local authority

Only 44% of Carmarthenshire participants admitted they would like more ‘performance management’ information, the lowest of all 22 Welsh local authorities. In light of the high number of respondents who did not require further information on their Council’s performance (42%; 14% neither agreed or disagreed), this suggests that residents feel well-informed on how Carmarthenshire County Council is performing.


Figure 4: Can influence decisions affecting local area, by local authority
In Carmarthenshire, 7 out of 10 respondents (70%) do not believe they can influence decisions affecting their local area – positioning the authority as the worst in Wales for this category. Only 15% felt they could influence local decision making, 9 percentage points below the Wales average.


Figure 5: Would like to be more involved in decisions affecting local area, by local authority
Participants were asked to what extent they agreed or disagreed with the statement “I would like to be more involved in decisions affecting my local area”. In Carmarthenshire, 42% of respondents proclaimed they wished to be more involved in local decision making, compared with the Wales average of 47%.

Quality of Local Area


Figure 6: Local area is well-maintained, by local authority
Over three quarters (77%) of surveyed Carmarthenshire residents consider their local area to be well-maintained, the highest result across Wales’ 22 local authorities and 9 percentage points above the Wales average.

Satisfaction with domains of life


Figure 7: Satisfaction with local area, by local authority
In the above chart, respondents were asked to rate how satisfied they were with their local area on a continuum from 1 (not at all satisfied) to 10 (completely satisfied). Carmarthenshire fared rather favourably, achieving a mean ‘satisfaction score’ of 8.6 – the joint best in Wales, with neighbouring Powys.

Sense of Community


Figure 8: Feeling of belonging to local area, by local authority
The above chart, and those which follow, are imperative to monitor and measure community cohesion. Eight out of ten (82%) Carmarthenshire respondents felt they belonged to their local area, a result which places Carmarthenshire in the top 3 Counties in Wales. Two of our neighbouring authorities obtained slightly better results, namely Powys and Pembrokeshire.

Figure 9: People in the local area from different backgrounds get on well together, by local authority


Over four fifths (82%) of Carmarthenshire participants affirmed that people from different backgrounds get on well together in their locality. Carmarthenshire’s result is eleven per cent above the Wales average and second only to Ceredigion.

Figure 10: People in the local area treat each other with respect and consideration, by local authority

A significantly high proportion (88%) of Carmarthenshire participants agreed that, in their local area, people treat each other with respect and consideration. Carmarthenshire is ranked first in this category.

Internet Access (Aged 16+)


Figure 11: Household has internet access, by local authority
In Carmarthenshire, 68% of households randomly selected to participate in the National Survey for Wales had internet access, five percentage points below the Wales average, as illustrated in the above chart. This result is among the worst in Wales and serves to position Carmarthenshire in the bottom quartile (19th).

Feeling Safe

Figure 12: Feeling of safety walking in nearest town or city centre after dark, by local authority

58% of Carmarthenshire respondents said they felt safe walking in their nearest town or city after dark. Although this is equivalent to the Wales average, the county’s result is 25 percentage points (or 43%) below that of neighbouring Ceredigion.