- Engagement with infrastructure projects across the UK is generally low, with nearly 1 in two people (49.2%) saying that they have never taken part in a consultation about local services, issues or projects.
- People who have lived in their property for a year or less are more likely to have taken part in a consultation within the last five months than someone who has lived at their property for 10years or more.
Today (04 August 2022), Copper Consultancy released the final report in its latest three-part Attitudes series. The report explores the connection between “belonginess” and closeness to community with levels of engagement with infrastructure projects.
Findings show that the closer and more connected someone feels to their community, the more likely they are to participate in consultations about local, issues, services and projects.
The report, title ‘Does community matter?’, uses several questions to identify how close people feel to their community, including questions about how much they trust other people in their community, if people feel they can influence things locally and how actively engaged they are with their local area.
Data shows that those who have higher levels of trust; feel they have more influence about decisions in their local area people; and report that they are active members of their local area are far more likely to engage than the national average.
Based on a nationally representative UK sample of 4,004 respondents, 49.2% said that they never taken part in a consultation about local services, issues or projects. This figure dropped to 40.4% for people who said they trust people in their local area, dropped further (35.2%) for those who said that they feel like they have influence over things that happen in their local area, and dropped further still (20.1%) for those who said they were active members of their community.
The report also explored If time spent living in a property contributed to engagement, with surprising results.
Data suggests that those who have lived at their property for less than a year are the most likely to have taken part in a consultation about local services, Issues or projects. 62.2% of people surveyed who had been in their property for less than a year said that they had taken part in a local consultation within the last five months. Whereas only 14.5% of those who have lived at their property for 10 years or more said they had taken part in a local consultation within the last 5 months.
Annabel John, Director of Strategic Communications & Creative at Copper Consultancy, reflected on the series of reports saying: “This series of reports confirmed some things that we knew, challenged some deep-rooted perceptions which we thought to be truth and uncovered insights and intelligence that will help reshape the way we engage with people and communities in support of our clients.
“The value of investing in research to better understand audiences and stakeholders cannot be overlooked and if we were to take one thing away from this work, it would be that it’s time we started communicating with people as people, taking account of their differences, traits and behaviours, rather than thinking of them as sections of the planning act.”
You can read the full report here.