Understanding London Life
London presents one of the most challenging environments in which to govern and deliver services. Communities here are more varied than they have ever been and there are more of them. Each Borough is distinctive from its neighbour in some way - from rural fringe, to suburb, to urban core. For some, daily migration patterns present significant issues; for others, it is the economic in-migration of communities which presents both opportunity and pressure. Amongst others things, absorbing population growth and dealing with ageing and diverse populations means that more than ever, we need to give careful consideration to how the capital’s public service infrastructure is treated as well as how councils are funded. The challenges facing public services in London are numerous.
It was against this background that Ipsos MORI was commissioned by Capital Ambition to carry out a comprehensive analysis of Best Value Performance Indicator (BVPI) data for London. The 2006/7 wave of General User Surveys provided us with a total of 42,277 responses from individual Londoners: at least 1,100 in each of the 33 London Boroughs, and by far the largest body of data available on Londoners’ views on community, quality of life and the service they receive from London authorities. By analysing opinion survey data alongside other key socio-economic variables such as deprivation and housing market structure, we hope to add to the broader debate on delivering better communities and high quality services.
Of course, we should not forget that we are still reporting public perceptions, and this may lead on occasion to situations which seem counter-intuitive to the reader. However, for the body of residents who took part in this exercise, their perceptions are their reality.