State of roads a top priority in forthcoming local elections

The state of Wales’ roads are the top priority for the people of the country in the forthcoming council election, an Ipsos poll has shown.

Approximately 60% of people in Wales agreed that the condition of their roads needed improving, making it their top priority. Wales’ figure was the highest across the UK apart from Scotland and the East Midlands.

Meanwhile, the lowest priority for the people of Wales was traffic congestion with only 18% calling for action, the lowest number across the UK which had an average of 28%.

Another top priority for the people of Wales, and above the national average, was health services with 49% calling for improvement, compared to 37% across Wales, Scotland and England, reports Nation Cymru online.

Only 23% considered the level of crime and anti-social behaviour an issue in Wales, compared to 32% across Wales, Scotland and England.

Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos, said: “Nationally, much of the attention is being paid to the cost of living crisis, Ukraine and party-gate, but when it comes to the upcoming council elections more local factors will also have a role to play.

“Although most people are pretty happy with where they live, they still want to see improvements, particularly on roads, housing, high streets and the local cost of living – all of which are regular bugbears for local residents.

“And these can all vary by where you live, for example, crime is a particular issue in London, while in the rest of the South East traffic congestion is a bigger priority.”

The poll also showed that the people in Wales were the most satisfied of all with where they lived, with 83% satisfied, compared with London dead last where only 67% were satisfied.

Councils didn’t seem to get the credit for this satisfaction, however. 36% in Wales were satisfied with their council and 27% thought them good value for money, compared with 34% and 38% across Wales, Scotland and England.

Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive of the Local Government Information Unit, said the figures showed “a worrying disconnect between the public perception of what local government does across the UK and the value they truly provide for our communities”.

He said: “It’s disappointing that people feel their councils provide poor value for money, when after more than a decade of funding cuts, councils across the country are continuing to care for the elderly, safeguard vulnerable children, invest in housing and drive local growth.

“And, throughout the pandemic, councils up and down the country supported their most vulnerable residents and made public health work where central Government interventions failed.”

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