Response 729332799

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Introduction

Are you responding as an individual or an organisation?

Please select one item
(Required)
Individual
Ticked Organisation

What is your name or your organisation's name?

Name/orgname (Required)
The James Hutton Institute

The Scottish Government generally seeks to publish responses to a consultation, in summary and where possible in detail. We would like your permission to publish:

Please select one item
(Required)
Ticked Your response along with your full name
Your response only (anonymous)
Please do not publish my response at all

Section A - A Use of SHS

1.. What are the main social survey topics that you use in the SHS? Please tick all that apply. Please distinguish between the topics in your following answers.

Please select all that apply
Household composition & characteristics of all occupants
Ticked Employment status of the highest income householder
Ticked Household income from employment and other sources
Ticked Health /disability
Ticked Transport – cars, fuel spend, and bicycles
Ticked Accommodation - type of property, tenure, housing aspirations
SHCS social survey - use of heating, repairs, adaptations
SHCS social survey - energy efficiency and renewables
Ticked Internet access
Ticked Recycling
Ticked Savings and household finances, including housing costs (mortgage and rent)
Ticked Children in the household (childcare, schools, and travel)
Ticked Other - please indicate
Please select all that apply
Ticked Key adult characteristics
Ticked Health/disability and caring responsibilities
Ticked Accommodation/housing experiences
Ticked Neighbourhoods and community safety (including perception of local crime rate and local police performance, harassment and discrimination)
Ticked Education - qualifications
Ticked Employment/economic activity
Ticked Transport – Travel Diary
Ticked Transport – use of private/public transport, congestion
Ticked Perceptions of local government and services
Participation in sports activities
Participation in cultural activities
Ticked Environment – access to the outdoors, green space, land use
Ticked Environment – climate change
Ticked Internet access and use
Ticked Volunteering
Other - please indicate

2. . What do you use the SHS for? We are particularly interested in how analysis of SHS data is used for informing, monitoring and evaluating policy and practice decisions, including examples of where analysis has influenced decision making. Please be as specific as possible in your answers.

Please explain
The SHS data are widely used in the research (descriptive analysis and statistical modelling) of the James Hutton Institute (www.hutton.ac.uk) on the following topics: - Drivers of socio-economic differences between individuals and households across rural and urban areas, in particular using the Scottish Government 6-fold urban-rural classification. Both spatial and temporal dynamics are considered. - Differences in the travel behaviour of individuals across rural and urban areas, in particular using the Scottish Government 6-fold urban-rural classification. Both spatial and temporal dynamics are considered. - Differences in individual well-being across rural and urban areas, in particular using the Scottish Government 6-fold urban-rural classification. Both spatial and temporal dynamics are considered. - Access to, and use of, greenspace areas between groups of the population and between rural and urban areas. Both spatial and temporal dynamics are considered. We work closely with the Scottish Government's Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division (RESAS) and other national and local stakeholders involved in rural and regional development. Such work includes the Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme (2016-21), commissioned by RESAS. Data from the SHS are essential inputs to that research and the interpretation of findings about rural economies, particularly remote rural areas, provided to Scottish Government and its stakeholders in policy and practice.

3.. Are there any alternative evidence sources available for the topics and/or questions you use in the SHS?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No

Section B - Views on options for 2017

4.. What would be the impact of SHS option A for your organisation’s use of the SHS? Please distinguish between the different topics you use when answering.

Please explain
The main advantage of Option A would be that it still allows for disaggregated spatial analyses which are the core of our research, and the interest of our principal stakeholders and sponsors of the research. The main negative impacts would be limitations on the study of year-on-year changes on some topics (i.e. those to be covered biennially).

5.. What would be the impact of SHS option B for your organisation’s use of the SHS? Please distinguish between the different topics you use when answering.

Please explain
Option B would have a major negative impact on the potential for research which focused specifically on different types of rural areas, and probably that on small towns. This would limit our ability to provide evidence-based recommendations to our main stakeholders, including the Scottish Government. The SHS is the only survey in the UK that samples individuals and households from remote rural areas in Scotland. Other UK surveys (e.g. BHPS/UKHLS) have a limited coverage of such areas of Scotland with a main sample which does not cover the regions north of the Caledonian Canal, including the Highlands and Islands.

6.. Do you prefer option A or option B?

Please select one item
Ticked Option A
Option B
What is the reason for your option preference?
We would prefer Option A. The negative impacts of Option B would be significant due to the likely implications for restricting detailed spatial disaggregation between types of rural area sand small towns due to the very small sample sizes proposed. Option A would still allow for such disaggregated spatial analyses which are the core of our research and interest of our main stakeholders, including Scottish Government.

7.. Under option A (biennial) half of the topics would be asked in 2017 (odd year) and half in 2018 (even year) (assuming this is the model adopted for 2018-2021). Do you have any views on what topics should be asked in 2017 and 2018?

Please explain
We have no specific preference for which topics are included in the survey in the odd or even years.

8.. Under option B (reduction in sample size), a small reduction in full sample topic coverage of around 4 minutes (around 7% of questions) is necessary to maintain current ‘one third sample questions’ at around their present sample size. How should this be achieved?

Please select one item
i. By cutting topics completely
Ticked ii. By reducing breadth of larger topics
iii. By introducing more biennial topics and questions
iv. By introducing more one third sample questions

9.. In order to contribute to the 4 minute reduction, which of the topics which you use do you think could be:

Please be specific as possible in your answers.
i. Cut completely and/or reduced in breadth ii. Go biennial iii. Move from full to one third sample Please be as specific as possible in your answers. Reductions to the breath of questions could be made to: HOUSEHOLD INTERVIEW - Children in the household (childcare, schools, and travel to school) RANDOM ADULT INTERVIEW - Internet access and use

10.. Under option B (cut in sample size), would you prefer local authority data to be published on a:

Please select one item
Two year rolling average basis every year
Ticked Two year basis every two years (i.e. 2017 and 2018 data would be published in 2019, 2019 and 2020 data would be published in 2021)
What is the reason for your preference?
The option of a two year basis, every two years, is preferable from the point of view of studying changes over time, which is very difficult to do under the alternative approach of a rolling average basis every year.

Section C - Looking Ahead

11.. Looking ahead to 2018-2021 , the Scottish Government may need to make further reductions to the SHS. If this is necessary, would you prefer any further changes to the SHS to be based on:

Please select one item
i. A reduction in the overall SHS sample size
ii. A reduction in the frequency of SHS data collection
Ticked iii. A reduction in SHS topic coverage
iv. Other – please state
Please explain why.
The choice of this option assumes that any proposal to exclude topics from the SHS would be supported by an assessment of the level of usage of each topics in the SHS. Hence, consideration of the topics to omit in future would focus on those which are either used least often, or the consequences of their omission would have the least adverse impact.

12.. What would be the impact on the work of your organisation if there were to be a further:

Please be specific as possible in your answers.
i. Reduction in the overall SHS sample size Reducing the sample size would have adverse impacts on the robustness of the analysis of current and planned research of the James Hutton Institute regarding differences between rural areas and small towns, at the level of the local authority. In turn, this would constrain the potential for supplying an evidence base suitable for informing policy focusing on regional and rural development issues. Examples of topics which are or would be studied at this level are: inequalities, poverty, income disparities, labour market dynamics, accessibility to services (health, public transport, education, etc.), travel behaviour, and environmental factors. ii. Reduction in the frequency of SHS data collection Reducing the frequency of SHS data collection would adversely impact on the ability to detect changes which take place over short timescales. This would be limit the scope for testing the effectiveness of the impact or uptake of policy and/or practice interventions over short-term periods (e.g. in the year following intervention). iii. Reduction in SHS topic coverage Reducing the coverage of topics of the SHS would lead to a discontinuity in the analysis of topics subsequently excluded from the survey. The significance would depend on the exact topics which were excluded from the SHS.

Section D - Any other comments and information about your organisation

13.. Do you have any other comments about the SHS or this consultation?

Please explain
Yes. One major limitation of the SHS (besides not being longitudinal) is that it does not provide any workplace-based geographic indicators, only residence based. For example, this limits research into understanding differences in earnings between individuals which, currently, can only be done on the basis of information about place of residence. An option for consideration in the 2017 SHS is to include a question about the postcode of the individual’s workplace.

14.. What sector do you work in?

Please select one item
Central government
Local government
Parliament
NHS
Other public sector (e.g. NDPB)
Higher/further education (excluding students)
Third sector (Voluntary and charity)
Private sector
Student
Journalists / media
Ticked Other (please specify)
If other, please specify
An independent research organisation, one of the Scottish Government’s Main Research Providers.

15.. What is the main topic area(s) that your organisation as a whole focuses on?

Please select all that apply
Health
Housing
Ticked Environment
Transport
Ticked Income and wealth
Ticked Communities
Sport
Culture
Young People
Ticked Equalities
Other – please state